Last night Mrs.M came over while the boys were out drinking. I have borrowed her Canon 400D for a couple of weeks. This was lesson number 3 on how to use it. Baring in mind that lessons 1 & 2 covered same settings as 3. I just keep forgetting!

But I may have remembered some basics at least.

On the AV setting you choose your aperture. Aperture = how in focus your photo will be.

So on AV, I can change my “F” setting. This allows me to choose how much detail I want included in the photo on the areas where I am not focussed. The higher the F, the more of the photo will be in focus; the more detail I will be able to make out in the background. And visa versa: the lower the F, the less focussed the background will be.

I can also change my ISO setting – which has to do with how much ambient light there is. Daylight = 200 – 400 ISO, whereas at night, we can go up to an 800 or more. I think that the higher we go the more noise there is. And noise = the grainy / grey bits in the photo. Is that right ?

What I cannot change on this AV setting is the “time” (shutter speed). That is worked out automatically based on my ISO + F Settings and what I am focussed on.

I can also change the exposure on this setting. Over-exposed = positive values and the image comes out very bright. Under-exposed = negative values and the image comes out very dark.

Then I had a go at the TV setting.

The options are similar above, except here, I choose the time (shutter speed) and the “F” is then automatically calculated based on the time + ISO setting chosen. If the shutter speed is quick (less time) it will give you an instant in time photo whereas a long shutter speed will allow you to get more movement into the photo. So if I want to take a photo of waves breaking or do some torch writing at night, car lights etc, all would be on a slow shutter speed (more time). Defo need a tri-pod for this though!

Then we talked about the lenses… I am using a 17 – 85mm zoom. This is a good ‘all rounder’, which is good for portraits + wider / bigger shots. I also played with either a 50 or 55mm lens. No zoom on this one, so what I see is what I will get in my photo. I think the 50 – 85mm range is the good size for Portraits?  Hmm I will need a refresher on the lenses 🙂

Then there is the format that the photos are saved in on the card. It seems to be that if I use the ‘automatic’ setting then the images are saved in .jpg and if I choose to use the av or tv then they are in cr2 (raw setting?) If I remember correctly I can edit the images further in the raw format by actually changing the settings, etc as opposed to normal photo manipulation in image editing software? Not sure about this yet – but then the editing is another project for another day.

For now there is plenty “basics” to get my head around. But I think its going to be fun.