The evening began with a presentation by club member Dave Gray who gave an illustrated talk about the various functions of a camera and how to use them and get the best from your camera.
Dave explained that you could use ‘auto’ and just point and shoot to take a photograph but with a little ‘know how’ there is so much more you can do to get better results. The aperture, shutter speed and ISO can all be varied depending on the type of image you are taking and must all be balanced to get the best image
The aperture that is set controls how much of the image will be in focus. For landscapes usually it is preferable to have everything in focus from the foreground to the far distance. For a close up of a flower or bird for instance the subject should be in focus but the background looks better if it is blurred. The settings range from 2.8 to give a very shallow depth of field up to 22 to give a wide depth of field although not all cameras have such a wide range.
The shutter speed controls the amount of light the camera takes in —while a slow shutter speed gives the photographer a longer exposure. Taking photos of sport or wildlife a fast shutter speed is needed but to give moving water a blurred appearance a slow shutter speed could be used. Trial and error is needed to work out the optimum speed.
The ISO can be changed to reduce the amount of digital noise that appears particularly in the dark areas of an image. As you increase your ISO number, your photos will look brighter so a higher ISO can help you capture images in darker environments.
Many cameras have built-in histogram so the image can be checked for over exposure (too light) or under exposure (too dark) and adjustments made.
Most cameras today have both manual and auto focussing which adjusts the focal distance of the lens. You can set how many focus points you use depending on your subject. For a landscape you would probably use many focus points to get overall focus but for a portrait you would get better results if the focus is just on the eyes with fewer focus points.
Other more advanced topics mentioned were focus stacking and bracketing.
Thanks to Dave for giving such an inspirational insight into all the technicalities.
After the break members split into groups for a practical session where they could ask for advice about their particular make of camera. Most had brought along their cameras and handbooks so that fellow members could help with any queries. There was a group that use Canon cameras and a group that use Nikon. Also several members have the popular mirrorless cameras so they got together to discuss any problems they might have.
A useful evening to get everyone ready to get the very best from their cameras. PM