Tips for better photos using Digital Camera

Tips for better photos using Digital Camera
Tips for better photos
Lunchbite series
Difference between Digital and Film
Image Sensor
– DC: Image Sensor (CCD, CMOS)
– FC: Negative Film, Slide, etc…
– DC: Memory Card (CF, SD, Memory Stick)
– FC: Film roll
Instant Display
– DC: Can view the photo from the LCD immediately
– FC: You should develop the film first
Difference between Digital and Film
Camera (cont’)
Sensor Size
– DC: usually smaller (e.g. 7.2mm * 5.3 mm)
– FC: 35mm film (35mm * 26mm)
Film (Sensor) Speed (i.e. ISO 100, 200, 400, …)
– DC: can change ISO anytime
– FC: depends on the film used
Difference between Digital and Film
Camera (cont’)
– DC: smaller focal length (e.g. 7mm – 21 mm)
– FC: larger focal length (e.g. 34mm – 102mm)
Shutter / Aperture
Shutter Speed
– is the amount of time that light is allowed to pass
through the aperture (e.g. 15s, 1s, 1/30s, 1/60s,
1/1000s, etc…)
– controls the amount of light that reaches the sensor
– Diameter of an aperture is measured in f-stops (i.e.
smaller the f-stop, larger the diameter)
Depth of Field
Depth of field (DOF)
– The amount of distance between the nearest and
farthest objects that appear in acceptably sharp focus
in a photo
– Aperture, focal length, sensor size and subject
distance also affect the DOF
Smaller the aperture (i.e. larger f-number, e.g. f/8, f/16) gives a
larger DOF
Shorter focal length of lens gives larger DOF
Depth of Field (Aperture Size)
Example 1 (fixed focal length - 50mm):
Depth of Field (Focal Length)
Example 2 (fixed aperture size)
50mm f/2.8
300mm f/2.8
You can see that shorter the focal length of the
lens, larger the DOF
Depth of Field (cont’)
However, the DOF of compact digital camera is
significantly greater than 35mm film camera
– if the field of view of DC lens focal length of 21mm is
equivalence to lens with focal length of 102mm in
35mm film camera, then
N = 102 / 21 ≅ 5
is the focal length equivalence factor
– The DOF of a DC with focal length equivalence factor
N at a given F-number is the same as that of a 35mm
film camera with aperture number of F * N
(i.e. the DOF of DC at f/2 ≅ DOF of FC at f/11) !!!
Depth of Field (cont’)
DC with focal length equivalence factor ≅ 5
Angle of View
Angle of View depends on the focal length of the lens
– Focal length 50mm gives wider angle of view
Also expand distance
– Focal length 300mm gives narrower angle of view
Also compress distance
20mm f/2.8
(Buildings look far away)
Distance Expanded!
50mm f/2.8
(Similar to what human
300mm f/2.8
(Buildings look very close!)
Distance Compressed
Let’s shoot!
Outdoor (sunny day)
– No problem, even AUTO mode works fine
Outdoor portrait (at night) / Indoor (dim light)
– Shutter speed becomes slower
– Can use flash to get a faster shutter speed 1/60
second (Be aware that flash will make cool
– However, the background usually becomes very dark
Solution: use slower shutter speed (i.e. 1/20 s shutter
speed + fill flash)
Result: the background becomes brighter and color is
more natural
Examples (At night)
Shutter: 1/60 seconds
Aperture: f/4
Flash Light: ON
Shutter: 1/15 seconds
Aperture: f/4
Flash Light: ON (-1/3 flash power)
Examples (Indoor)
Shutter: 1/60 seconds
Aperture: f/2.8
Flash Light: ON
Shutter: 1/15 seconds
Aperture: f/2.8
Flash Light: ON
Be aware~~!
Hand-holding rule of thumb
– The slowest shutter speed that you can still handholding your camera and still achieve a sharp image
Minimum shutter speed = 1 / lens focal length
e.g. if using your wide-end (7mm), the minimum
shutter speed = 1/7 second
if using your tele-end (21mm), the minimum
shutter speed = 1/21 second
– Slower shutter speed will result in blurred image due
to hand shake…
Let’s shoot (cont’)
Portrait + Far away scenery
How to make the building behind looks closer?
Solution: use larger focal length (Zoom) to
compress the distance! (e.g. 300mm)
Result: The building looks closer! But blurred?!
Why? (Tips: DOF)
Solution2: use larger focal length as well as smaller
aperture! (i.e. 300mm, f/22)
Result: The building looks closer and sharp!
To make everything in focus, you should know
what is hyperfocal distance!
Hyperfocal distance
If the lens focuses at infinity, the depth of field
starts at somewhere in front of the lens and
extends to infinity.
Focuses at infinity to take the scene far away
can make the scene appears sharp
However, the subjects near to the lens are out of
The distance from the lens to the points that
make out-of-focus image is referred to as the
hyperfocal distance
Hyperfocal Distance
To make the subjects near the lens and the
scene far away both in focus, the lens should
focus at the hyperfocal distance (H)! Then
subjects located inside the H/2 to infinity will look
How to find it?
Hyperfocal Distance
Hyperfocal distance (H) = f2/(N*c) + f
f – the lens focal length, mm
N – the f-number (aperture)
c – the circle of confusion, mm
The circle of confusion (c) depends on the size
of the sensor (e.g. compact digital camera have
c = 0.005 to 0.007)
•Digital Camera: Canon G2
•Lens: 7mm-21mm
•Aperture: f/2 – f/8
•Circle of Confusion = 0.006mm
You can go to
to get the chart for your camera
General tips to good photos
Shoot at the eye level of your model
Much Better…
General tips to good photos
Focus on model’s eye
Much Better…
General tips to good photos
Rule of Third
– Instead of placing the main focus of interest in the centre of the frame,
which gets a little boring, that you look to position it on an intersection of
the thirds
Much Better!!
– This is a principle taught in graphic design and photography and is
based on the theory that the eye goes naturally to a point about twothirds up the page
General tips to good photos
Using Diagonals
General tips to good photos
Open up a path
– Anything that moves needs a path to continue its action
– Anything with eyes needs some open space to look at
Sometimes, your lens is not wide enough to
capture the whole scenery within a photo
Or you want to make a 360 degree view, you can
use some software tools to help to combine
multiple photos into one
Panorama (cont’)
Panorama Factory
– Capture the photos vertically (allow more space up
and down)
– Allow 1/3 overlapping between images
– Lock the exposure (make consistent exposure in all
– Use focus on hyperfocal distance (avoid
inconsistence sharpness between images)
– Use Tripod!
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