Learn Photography

Photo Cheat Sheet Quiz - 4



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By Danny Steaven

Question Jim's Answer

Is the light good?

Good light helps to communicate the photograph's intent.

The sunlight in the upper part of the photograph creates a contrast problem.

What's the direction of the light?

• Sidelighting highlights texture and shape due to the shadows.

• Light from the camera conceals texture and shape.

• Backlighting separates the subject from the background.


How large is the light source?

The size of the light source determines the contrast of the light.

The sunlight is contrasty due to its small size. The shade, in the foreground, is low contrast.

What's the color of the light?

Set the white balance.

The shade is cyan (blue/green), so set the white balnce to Shade.

How much light is there?

Set the ISO

The light is bright, so use a lower ISO such as 100 or 200.

Also, if you want to blur the water, you need to use a low ISO so you can set a slow shutter speed.

Which letter do you use on the exposure mode dial?

Which letter do you use on the exposure mode dial?

• Use P if motion and depth-of-field are not important.

• S or Tv for motion is important. Motion includes subject motion and possible camera shake.

• A or Av for depth-of-field

Use S or Tv so you can set a slow shutter speed, such as 1/30th of a second.

Use a tripod, or set the camera on something, to prevent camera shake.

What you see is not what you get?

• Color

• Contrast

When should you not depend on the light meter?

• Is there something in the scene that will confuse your camera's light meter?

– A bright or dark area

– Backlighting

– Light or dark subject filling the frame

What's the best focal length?

• Medium when close to the subject

• Wide-angle for more apparent shape and volume.

• Telephoto for apparent compression of space

A wide-angle focal length was used here.

Click below for another photograph.