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Photography Knowledge and Info – Exposure, White Balance and ISO

Basic Photography – Exposure settings and modes

Exposure settings and modes are basic photography knowledges. The correct exposure of a photo is dependent on the correct combination of f-number (aperture size) and shutter speed.
On modern cameras, several built-in modes of exposures are available. these modes are:
1. Manual mode: This simply means that you are in fully control of the parameter setting.
2. Program mode: This means that the camera uses it own in-built algorithm to determine the best set of parameters. This is the most convenient mode for beginners new to photography.
3. Aperture Priority Mode or AP: This mode let the users set the desired aperture setting and the camera will automatically determine the most appropriate shutter speed. This mode gives the user a better control over the general sharpness and Depth of field of the picture.
4. Shutter Priority Mode: This mode let the user set the desired Shutter speed and the camera will automatically decide on the best aperture setting or size. This mode is good for controlling exposure when using a slow shutter speed. This mode has the effect of giving the highest Depth of field for the given shutter speed.
5. DEP mode: Not all cameras offer this mode. This mode allows the user to determine the desire Depth of field or where certain area must remain in focus.

ISO Settings

ISO stands for International Organisation For Standards. For camera and photography, it is used as an indicator of the sensitivity of the recording sensor (in digital camera) or film (in film camera) to light.
Typically ISO parameters are 100, 200 and 400. If you are using a non-digital camera such as a traditional SLR, the ISO setting is in the roll of film itself. Digital cameras have it better, because the ISO setting can be changed on the camera itself. Technology makes life easier for photographers.

As the ISO number gets higher, the more sensitive it is to light intensity. Usually ISO 100 is used for taking photo in bright sunlighted outdoor conditions. ISO 200 and above are for more dimly lighted scenarios.
Shutter speed also is another factor that must be considered together with the ISO used. For example, ISO 400 allows a night scene to be captured at a faster shutter speed than at ISO 100. Therefore using higher ISO can reduce or prevent blurring caused by slow shutter’s reaction to movement.
It must be noted that the higher the ISO number goes, the grainer the photo image will be. Generally, this is not something to be desired. If the images have to be captured at very high ISO, denoising might have to be done digitally using Denoising Programs such as Noise Ninja.

White Balance

Different lighting conditions can produce different color casts effects. Because of this, there are several different classification of light conditions namely:
1. Daylight lighting
2. Tungsten lighting (studio)
3. Infrared lighting
4. Florescent lighting
These differing conditions can produce different color casting effect. For example, Florescent lighting will overlay a green cast.
The easiest way to deal with the color cast problem is to set the digital camera’s White Balance to auto mode.
Additionally, the White Balance can be used to not faithfully capture the actuality of the lighting condition, but to produce desired color casting. Color casting can be used to create different moods and thus experimentation in this area can produce some interesting results.