Do You Know How to Operate Your Camera?

cMERA operationsOver the past few weeks, I have learned so much in regards to my camera. Before hand, I knew nothing of how to operate my camera; I mean, I didn’t even know what a live photo was. I’ve learned that there is so much more to taking a picture than just clicking a button. There’s making sure you’re settings are set right, making sure you have the right lighting or even just making sure you’re taking the right photo. I knew nothing of any of the camera controls that I’ve learned about over the course of this week.

When I say camera controls, I mean the shutter speed, f-stops, ISO and white balances. Whether your camera is on automatic or manual also makes a difference as well. When you’re taking a picture, you want to make sure that you have the right exposure meaning the amount of light available and making sure your shutter speed and f-stops are set correctly. Shutter speed pertains to light quantity and shutter speed pertains to the duration of time of the picture. As a first time camera user, I’m learning to pay attention to my lighting when taking a picture so that I know the right amount of light I want in my pictures and to pay attention to my shutter speed so I know what fraction of a second I want my picture being taken in. It is also important to make sure that you have the correct ISO settings or your picture could come out too light or too dim. Every camera has different ISO settings so it just depends on how your camera works. I happen to have a 35mm DSLR Canon camera and my ISO setting goes as high as 6400 as and as low as 400. Now if I were take a picture outside, I would go with a low number for my ISO and if I were to be inside, I’d go with a high number. The matter of getting and knowing which ISO works best for which setting just means that you have to play around with your camera for a while. What worked for me was taking a few pictures with the different settings so I can I know which worked best with certain exposures.

Being a photojournalist is not easy. It’s important to know how to operate your camera because if you go to a shoot not knowing how to set the right ISO or shutter speeds, you could miss taking the right photo. Photojournalism is a profession where we capture the picture that tells a story so it’s important that you know what you’re doing with your camera and how to do it. I’m learning so much as I move forward in the class, especially the different ways to capture a photo. I always thought that I could take the perfect picture with just the click of a button but I’ve learned that we, photojournalists control how we capture a picture through a lens.


My Final Project

It’s crazy to believe I came into this class knowing nothing about how to operate a camera and I honestly feel like I have a lot to learn. The photojournalism business is no joke because you have to be skilled at how to operate your camera and all of its settings. I can say that I am an intermediate when it comes to working a DLSR camera at this point in my photography class. One of my favorite assignments that I went out to shoot was the assignment when I got to use my phone. Clearly, using  phone to take pictures is what I’m most skilled at because it’s quite simple to me. Although I still have a lot to learn about DLSR cameras, I do plan on investing in one once I am able to afford one. I plan to expand my knowledge with cameras and keep up with my website and social media pages.

As a final project, I had to go out and create a photo story. I had no idea what a photo story was and I thought I would have to shoot multiple photos and put them together. Turns out I had to find an event to shoot and create a story with audio about what the event consisted of. It felt as if I was doing a news stories like I did from previous classes and that made me more understanding of how to do the assignment.

best photo

The event I chose was the Warrior 150 Day of Service event hosted by the W-S-U Office of Community Affairs. The event was hosted to show how involved the university is within the communities of Detroit. W-S-U partnered with many other companies to make this event possible and to also remodel the former Durfee Elementary Middle School. I had a great time shooting and volunteering at this event because it is always good to give back to the community.

I learned a ton shooting this event because I was more aware of the settings on my camera although it was bright outside. I was able to set the correct f-stops and shutter speeds and ensure that I had the right exposure for my pictures. I am more comfortable about going on shoots because I am familiar with my camera and learned a great deal throughout this course.

What is sports photography?

I can honestly say that sports photography is my favorite kind of photography. Since becoming a photojournalist this year, I have experienced more than I could imagine with my camera. I have taking pictures at many events and gone into the community to take pictures but I can’t say I’ve enjoyed that as much as taking pictures at a sporting event.

I think it depends on which sporting event you photograph. I’m interested in football and basketball and would have loved to photograph either one had the seasons not ended when the assignments came around. Fortunately, I was able to shoot a tennis match. As we all know, there isn’t as much action at a tennis match as there would be at a football or basketball game. I was limited to where I was able to go because of the balls flying around which meant I was limited as to with types of pictures I was able to get.  I wasn’t able to get too many audience reaction shots because there wasn’t much of an audience there. Much of the audience wasn’t too engaged and as enthusiastic as I would have liked them to be but I worked with what I had. I did get a few photographs of the players engaging with one another as well as the coaches and that really brought out the most of my project.

In the future if I do decide to continue on with photojournalism, I will try to shoot a football or basketball so that I am able to get a lot more types of images and spot the differences than shooting a tennis match. I enjoyed doing this shooting assignment and hope that others who go down this rode enjoy it as much as I do. No matter what, always know how to work your camera and know which settings to use to get the best photos.

My Gallery!

My first experiences going out as a photographer and snapping a few photos. It was quite the challenge but I think that I have a better understanding of camera operations.

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Capturing What’s All Around Us

Two umpires awaiting the start of the W-S-U vs Walsh woman’s softball game.

Capturing photographs on a smartphone versus on a DSLR camera doesn’t make a difference to me because anyone can take a picture on a smartphone and it can look like it was taken on a professional camera. I personally enjoyed taking pictures with my phone because I didn’t have to set any camera controls or worry about how the lighting looked. It’s a lot simpler on a smartphone trying to control the lighting and exposure in my opinion which is why I enjoyed taking pictures from my phone a lot more.

Being able to go out and capture a photograph on my phone had its ups and downs. It was hard to decide what to take a picture of because of everything that was around me. I knew that I wanted it to be something exiting and something that people would find interesting which is why I chose the image of the umpires talking before a game just beyond the fence. I knew that the outline of the fence would draw attention to people.

I’ve learned that each picture you take tells a story and that’s exactly what I did with the feature pictures I took. I knew that it had to be an event and an interesting one at that so I took pictures of a build-a-bear workshop. Getting these pictures were not hard at all because of all that was going on and because the event had such a great turnout. After capturing these pictures, I paid close attention to the editing tools on my smartphone; I had no clue about these prior to taking these pictures. Normally when I take a picture on my phone, I’m not worried about editing them and making sure the lighting is perfect and so I learned a lot about the camera operations on my phone as well.

Learning the difference between taking pictures on your smartphone versus your professional camera is just as important as learning the camera controls on both. I guarantee that if you’re like me, you will learn so much by just exploring the editing tools on your smartphone. Some of the things you’ll find as quite similar to what you see on your professional camera, all you have to do is take the time to explore.



Our First Amendment Rights

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

When becoming a photojournalist, it important that you know the code of ethics and the rights that journalists have. There is a strong code of ethics devised in order to make sure that photojournalists are doing their jobs ethically and that they aren’t battered for doing their said jobs. As a college student stepping into the photojournalist world, I never knew much about the dos and donts of taking photographs but after reviewing the code of ethics, I see that it takes a lot to do this job. I understand why there is a code of ethics and am glad that journalists are protected by the First Amendment and are able to express ourselves freely.

As photojournalists, you have to make a decision when called on a job. It’s not everyday that you have to go to the scene of an accident and take pictures. To me, that would truly break my heart but I know it would hurt the families involved even more. That’s when I would have to decide whether or not I am a utilitarian, an absolutist or if I’d follow the Golden Rule. Being a utilitarian means taking pictures because you know that it is your right to show the people and provide them the information that they need to be aware of. Publishing these pictures could be awareness to a cause and in this case the right thing to do would be to take the photographs and show the world. An absolutist believes that “People have the right of privacy.” They may believe that publishing a picture will be bring awareness but also that the family deserves to have their privacy during their tough time. The Golden Rules says to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This rule is similar to an absolutists point-of-view on whether or not they could put themselves into another persons shoes. As said by my photojournalist professor, “If you see yourself as an absolutist then this profession is not for you.” My professor is absolutely right. Learning about the basics to becoming a photojournalist is really going to prepare me for when I go out on my own and begin capture my own pictures. I know that it’s important for me to know when and where I can take pictures based on what I am learning.

I’ve learned about as much as I would have never thought to imagine about becoming a photojournalist and this is only the beginning of my career. If you haven’t already, check out the National Press Photographers Association‘s article on the code of ethics. This article really explains to you the job of a photojournalist and what the ideal photojournalist should do.

If you think you already have what it takes to become a photojournalist, take the First Amendment quiz to find out!