What is exposure?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,505
    Photographer Jenny Berman discusses the basics of photography including exposure.

    Jenny Berman

    I have been a professional photographer for over twelve years. Since the ninth grade, the support of friends, family, and mentors opened a door to a different world, one behind a lens. My first inspiration was Jerry Uelsmann. Uelsmann is a photo-surrealist from the 60’s before the advent of digital art. He used multiple enlargers, hours of darkroom time, and perfected a unique style. His innovation and mastery of technique still drive me today. I learned my craft at The School of Visual Arts in New York City, where I studied with the finest photographers and printers in the world. Through Robert Frank, Anne Leibovitz, and many other established photographers and organizations, I learned the many factors that comprise a perfect photograph; subject, lighting, the finished print, and of course the person behind it all. In July of 2002 I ventured on my own, and started Ashton Imaging Inc. With pride, I bring every photograph to life, and am able to send clients home with much more than a print; I present my clients with a story and an idea or value they never noticed. I bring my photographs and your photographs together and preserve the chronicles of your life.

    Host: What is Exposure? Jenny Berman: A photograph is light, without light there will be no photography, this is simple as that.

    The first thing you need to think about is your film. Now, I know it s digital and you are like film, what s that? Well, in every digital camera you can adjust your film speed and it is just the same as when you are went to the store and bought film. You have 100, 200, and 400 and 1600 speed films. 100 for bright sunny days, you have lots of light, 400 for the actions sport shot, 1600 for low light and digital has really come along way with its very fast, we called film ISO. So, you do need the change that even in your point-and-shoots, even in your SLR s, every time you change your lighting scenario, the first thing you do is adjust your film speed. Now, because that will allow the light in different ways to come in and hit the film or CCD in this case. The next thing you need to think about is your lenses. Now, with the point-and-shoot it makes no difference, you can buy manual cameras, point-and-shoots and adjust that stuff but it s not the same as when they are adjusted in the same. So, with F-Stops and Shutter Speeds, an F-Stops is how big the lens opens? And a shutter speed is how quickly it shuts. So, combination between how big that light is and how quickly it shuts, is how much light is being hit to that ISO film. So, once you get an idea and then grasp of what kind of F-Stop you want and what kind of shutter speed you want, whether or not your shooting sports, you going to want a higher shutter speed, whether not if shooting indoor events, you are going to want a low F-Stops, so it can be very wide open and capture things. The next thing that affects your exposure would be flash. By far one of the most difficult things to grasp, everybody has a hard time with flash, even I have hard time with flash. You need to remember that there is three different types of light when dealing with flash, you have day light, florescent light and tungsten light. Tungsten light is red, florescent light is green and daylight is blue, RGB your primary colors, extremely important and useful to know, with that a flash is daylight, its compensating for all the extra ambient light to daylight, because daylight is the most flattering type of light there is.

    Now, with the flash you can either directly photograph on somebody or you can bounce it. Now, if you bounce it its going to fill the room and make everybody look angelic -- pretty, it s going to make everything light up. As far as the direct flash, its going to be very harsh and just getting in control on whether or not its up or down and way you want your light, if you point it this way and it will light up that way and just getting a feel for how that works. It s not an easy thing to overcome and definitely takes time to practice but play as much as you want, find a still object, take a picture with the flash pointing down, take a picture with the flash pointing up and sideways and just see where that light is going and then you will be able gauge what works best for you.