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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Photography : Chapter 1


I cannot exactly remember when and how it all started. I was quite young and my father bought this simple point a shoot camera with a film roll. He allowed me to use it to click few family photographs and somehow the results were good. This experience off course was very new and exciting for me and perhaps started my love affair with photography.
For a very long time, I had this view, that only good gear can create good photographs. I always wished I could afford a very expensive high end camera. Then somewhere along the line I realised photography is an art; similar to painting. Tools are important, but tools alone can never create a masterpiece. As Steve Jobs once said; Technology alone is not enough. Its technology married with liberal arts that yield the result.
Photography is also science. It was only until recently (about 5 years ago), I realised that if I understand the science behind photography, I will be in a better position to create good photographs and perhaps a masterpiece someday.
Internet again turned out to be my biggest channel to learn these basics. I came across few experts on this subject and learned a lot from them. Some of these guys post regular blogs/ podcasts on photography and I will try to share further details in my future blogs. Along with my friends, we created a group and visited number of places in and around New Delhi to experiment and learn this science.
In last few years, social media esp. Twitter has grown very fast. It has provided people with a channel to reach masses. And last week, I also decided to share some of my knowledge of photography and I stared writing tweets on this subject. 
I would like to add here that I am not an expert or a professional. I am learning and along the way, I think there are few things which I can share with others. Via this blog I will try to consolidate and elaborate on whatever I discussed on Twitter in previous week/s. Source for most of my information on this blog is internet
Let’s start this journey with basics!
Chapter 1: Understanding the Camera
What does a camera do?
A Camera freezes a moment in time. Focuses light through a hole onto a light sensitive film. Invention that led to photography and the camera was Camera obscura; an optical device that projects an image of its surroundings on a screen. Light from an external scene passes through the hole and strikes a surface inside, where it is reproduced, upside-down, but with color and perspective preserved (see the picture below).

For more information on Camera obscura, follow the link to Wikipedia page http://goo.gl/VFcm
Modern, portable version of the camera obscura is called Pinhole Camera. It is a light tight box with photo sensitive paper at one end and a “pinhole” at the other. The pinhole camera works by uncovering the pinhole to let a certain amount of light into the box.

The technical term for this “amount of light" is exposure. Two factors that control the exposure into the pinhole camera are "time"(how long you leave the hole open) and "size of the hole". These are basically the same two important things you control with your SLR Camera.  "Time"(how long you leave the hole open) is shutter speed & "size of the hole" is aperture

Many of us think that the Digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) is the one with detachable lens (something like Canon60D). However, most digital cameras today are technically DSLRs. SLR camera typically uses a mirror & prism system that permits the photographer to view through the lens and see exactly what will be captured. Contrary to TLR (twin-lens reflex) cameras where the image could be significantly different from what will be captured. TLR cameras with viewfinders had two optical light paths: One through the lens to the film, and another positioned above or to the side (rangefinder)


TLR

Rangefinder

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