Photo Lesson Overview on

CGIPix is an observation that Nikon, Canon and the rest no longer make cameras,
they make computers that you can attach a lens to.
Here is a basic overview of what it takes to create good, better or best pictures, you decide how much effort you want to put into your pictures.

The basics of photography, all on one page:

Composition is summed up by the rule of thirds. Divide the picture into a 3 x 3 grid.

Left - Center - Right
Foreground - Center - Background

Color is the temperature of the light in degrees Kelvin.

Blue is a cooler color, while red is a warmer color.

Lighting is the direction of the light, there are 4 main types:

Front - The light is directly on the subject.
Side - The light is at a side angle.
Back - The light is behind, leaving the main subject in a shadow.
Diffused - Shooting through clouds or in shade, there is light, but not from any discernible source, and the shadows are softer or not there.

Flash can be used as a supplemental light for "fill flash", or as the main illumination in dark conditions.

Fill flash will help overcome the shadows in back lighting.
As a main lighting flash can be harsh without additional equipment such as bouncing, brackets and diffusers.

Timing is critical for any dynamic subjects.

Children are especially dynamic subjects, even harder than sports. Athletes are predictable, children are not.
Even in landscape photography there are dynamic elements, such as clouds, wind patterns and water.

Lenses are expressed in mm and F-stops

A prime lens has a single setting in mm's.
A 50mm is the standard prime lens in 35mm photography.
A 24mm is a wide angle lens, while a 300mm is a telephoto.
A zoom lens will have a range of settings, 80-200mm is a standard zoom lens, for telephoto work, while a 28-80mm covers wide angle to slight telephoto.
The higher the mm number, the further away you can be from the subject.

Aperture is the lens control for the amount of light that is allowed to pass through the lens and the amount of area in focus, expressed as an F-stop number.

The F-stop scale is log based, each 1 stop is 1/2 or 2x light.
1 - 1.4 - 2 - 2.8 - 4 - 5.6 - 8 - 11 - 16 - 22
Modern zoom lenses are notoriously slow. Many are F5.6. A good prime (single focal length) lens is F1.4 - F2. My favorite prime lens is a 600mm F4 and it's a faster lens than a 55-200 F4.5-5.6.
Aperture can be thought of in several ways, the smaller the number, the more expensive the lens. A 300mm F2.8 lens costs thousands of dollars, while a 70-300mm F5.6 lens cost hundreds.
A smaller F-stop allows in more light, enabling extended shooting time at sunset and sunrise.
Using a smaller F-stop setting makes the background more out of focus. An F2.8 lens can still be set to F22, same as an F5.6 lens, but an F2.8 lens set at F2.8 will create a background that is blurred and free of distractions.
Smaller F stop lenses have a larger piece of glass in front.
The aperture (F-stop) setting is one of the 3 parts of the exposure equation, along with shutter speed and ISO.

Shutter speed is the amount of time the camera is allowing light in.

Shutter speeds range from 1/8000 of a second or less, to some exposures lasting hours.
Faster shutter speeds allow less light in, but will freeze any movement.

ISO is the speed rating of the film, or with a digital camera, the speed rating of the sensor.

A lower ISO number, usually 100-200 for digital, requires more light and a longer exposure and creates less noise or grain.
A higher ISO number, usually limited to 1600-3200 for digital, requires less light and a shorter exposure, but produces more noise and grain.

Exposure is the combination of Aperture Opening, Shutter Speed, and Film (Digital) ISO.

Get all three correct, and your exposure is great. Let one fall out of tolerance, and the end result is not as pleasing.
Luckily almost all cameras today have a very good built-in exposure system, but it can be fooled, and by letting the camera take control of exposure, you give up some of the creative control that is possible in photography.

All of the following exposures will produce good results in the same light: The Sunny 16 rule is that the film speed and aperture are the same on a bright sunny day, with the aprture set at F16. i.e.:

Aperture F16 - Shutter Speed 1/250 sec - ISO 250

Aperture F8 - Shutter Speed 1/1000 sec ISO 250

Aperture F8 - Shutter Speed 1/4000 sec ISO 1000

Here are the guidelines for using any pictures from this site:

If the image is stated as being a COPYRIGHTED IMAGE, then it cannot be used. A link MUST be placed from the page that the picture is used, either to Home Page, Thumbnail Page or to the photo's Gallery Page.
The link can be a text link at the bottom of the page, or the picture can be a link.
There is a limit of 10 (Ten) photos that may be used from this website on another single website. After 10 (Ten) photos, permission must be obtained to use additional photos.
Keep the name of the picture as it was originally named, without changing it.
The images on this site are all sized at 400 x 600, that is the size limit for using them on any other website.
The Desktop Backgrounds are for personal use only, and are not meant to be put on a website, unless they are resized at 400 x 600.
You can use the images for commercial, personal, professional or any type of website.
If it's a commercial website, remember that you don't have a model release, so if it's a picture with someone in it, and they are prominently featured, you can't use it without a model release. When it's a picture of scenery or anything where the people are not identifiable, then you can use it freely.
The "MODELS" pictures are all PREMIUM images. They cannot be used without permission.
It's not a requirement, but send me an e-mail if you use a photo.