Dec 28, 2010

Aperture and F-Number

In photography, Aperture refers to how big the lens hole opens for the light to travel across. High aperture means big hole, and low aperture means small hole. Controling aperture stop of the photographic lens means controling the amount of light reaching the film or image sensor.

F-Number or F-Stop
In our DSLR, f-number is used to describe the aperture of a lens. Please be aware that the f-number and the aperture level have inverse relationship. What is that mean?
Small f-number = High aperture
Large f-number = Low aperture
F-number or aperture also explain the speed of the lens. Higher aperture (Smaller f-number) has better lens speed. Professional Zoom Lens with aperture f2.8 is faster than the Normal Zoom Lens with aperture f3.5-f5.6.

How to read the lens aperture?
If you have a 18-55mm, f3.5-5.6 lens, it doesn’t mean that maximum aperture is f3.5 and the minimum is f5.6. However, it describes the maximum aperture vary with the focal length.
Focal length = 18mm; Maximum aperture = f3.5 
(Range is about f3.5 to f22)
Focal length = 55mm; Maximum aperture = f5.6 
(Range is about f5.6 to f22)
If you see a 18-200mm, f2.8 lens, it means the maximum aperture is f2.8 no matter the focal length is 18mm or increased to 200mm.

What can Aperture do for us?
1. Background Blur
Under a same focal length and camera distance from the shooting object, high aperture can increase the background blur, low aperture can decrease the background blur.
*Using manual focus has greater control to create foreground blur or background blur.

2. Increasing Shutter Speed
Under a same ISO level and lighting condition, high aperture can increase the camera’s shutter speed. In contrast, small aperture decrease camera’s shutter speed.
*When the light is not enough, maximize the aperture/minimize the f-number (shutter speed increased) can decrease the probability of blur picture output.

Now you can try to use the Aperture Priority mode (A or Av) and snap some objects with different aperture, then see the effects... ^ ^

Dec 21, 2010

Shutter Speed

What produce a photograph? The very basic 3 elements combination for camera setting is Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO (Light Sensitivity), creating various parameters of an exposure. And, we called it exposure triangle.

So what is shutter speed?
Shutter speed is the time length for our camera use to take a photograph, or the duration when we press on the shutter button until the camera releases it.
In technical aspect, shutter speed is a term used to discuss exposure time:
- The effective length of time a camera's shutter or lens is open.
- Duration of light reaching the film or image sensor.
There are different shutter speed in DSLR such as 1/1000s, 1/500s, 1/250s, 1/125s, 1/60s, 1/30s, 1/15s, 1/8s, 1/4s, 1/2s, 1s and so on. And, the “s” means “second”.
1/60s means “1 divide by 60” second or 0.016667 second shutter duration.

What can shutter speed do?
Fast shutter speed can freeze the moment and slow shutter speed can create blur motion in a photograph.

Let’s see some examples below:

Got it? Get your camera and test withome shot! Good luck...
Note: Keep the shutter speed at 1/lens focal length or faster to minimize hand shake.

Dec 14, 2010

Photoshop Shortcuts For Beginners

Changing Workspace: Window Tab -> Workspace -> Basic or Legacy

Create New Document: Crtl + N

Zoom In: Ctrl + Space + Left Click

Zoom Out: Ctrl + Alt + Space + Left Click

Moving Art board (When Art board is zoom until larger than screen): Space + Left Click & Drag

Fit On Screen: Ctrl + 0

Viewing Actual Pixel: Ctrl + Alt + 0

Image Size: Ctrl + Alt + I

Canvas Size: Ctrl + Alt + C

Switching Foreground & Background Color: X

Move Tool: V

Type Tool: T

Create New Layer: Ctrl + Shift + N

Duplicate Layer: Ctrl + J

Delete Layer: Select Layer + Delete Button

Undo (Step Backward): Ctrl + Alt + Z

Redo (Step Forward): Ctrl + Shift + Z

Save As (New File / Other File Formats): Shift + Ctrl + S

Open Document: Ctrl + O

Let's practice it and make our photo editing and design more efficient!
Click here to download Adobe Photoshop CS3 Full Version Keyboard Shortcuts (PC)

Dec 12, 2010

The Four Main Modes in DSLR

Before we see the four main modes, let’s have some basic understanding on the scene modes.

Scene modes such as Landscape, Night, Macro, Portraits, Sports, Sunset and so on are the modes preprogrammed by the manufacturer to automatically give the best exposure and settings for each scene. Sometimes we call it Auto Modes because we just need to select the scene and let the camera adjust the setting combination automatically.
To read more about Scene Modes, please click here.

PASM Modes
The four main modes, sometimes abbreviated "PASM", are Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual. Normally you can found it in the manual guide when you purchase a new DSLR.

So what are the differences?
P: Program mode has the camera calculate both shutter speed and aperture (given a manually or automatically selected ISO). The difference between Program mode and Full Auto mode is that in program mode, only the exposure is automatic, while other camera settings (e.g., shooting mode, exposure compensation, flash) can be set manually; in Full Auto mode everything is automatic.

A or Av: Aperture priority or 'Aperture value' enables manual control of the aperture, and shutter speed is calculated by the camera for proper exposure (given an ISO sensitivity).

S or Tv: Shutter priority or 'Time value' enables manual control of the shutter speed, and aperture is calculated by the camera for proper exposure (given an ISO sensitivity).

M: Manual mode both shutter speed and aperture and independently set manually (with ISO sensitivity also set manually), where proper image exposure requires accurate manual adjustment.

There are some less commonly seen modes like:
- Sv (Sensitivity Priority or ISO Priority)
- DEP (DEPth of Field Mode)
- A-DEP (Automatic DEPth of Field Mode)

These modes are only available with certain brands and models.
*Source from

Dec 1, 2010

Warren Buffet - The Legendary Investor

There was an interview on CNBC with Warren Buffet, the third richest man (2nd Richest before 2010) who has donated over $31 billion to charity.

What can we know about his life? 
Here are some very interesting aspects of his life:
1. He bought his first share at age 11 and he now regrets that he started too late!

2. He bought a small farm at age 14 with savings from delivering newspapers.

3. He still lives in the same small 3-bedroom house in mid-town Omaha, that he bought after he got married 50 years ago. He says that he has everything he needs in that house. His house does not have a wall or a fence.

4. He drives his own car everywhere and does not have a driver or security people around him.

5. He never travels by private jet, although he owns the world's largest private jet company.

6. His company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns 63 companies. He writes only one letter each year to the CEOs of these companies, giving them goals for the year. He never holds meetings or calls them on a regular basis. He has given his CEO's only two rules. Rule number 1: do not lose any of your share holder's money. Rule number 2: Do not forget rule number 1.

7. He does not socialize with the high society crowd. His past time after he gets home is to make himself some pop corn and watch television.

8. Bill Gates, the world's richest man met him for the first time only 5 years ago. Bill Gates did not think he had anything in common with Warren Buffet. So he had scheduled his meeting only for half hour. But when Gates met him, the meeting lasted for ten hours and Bill Gates became a devotee of Warren Buffet.

9. Warren Buffet does not carry a cell phone, nor has a computer on his desk.

Buffet's Advices to Young People:
"Stay away from credit cards and invest in yourself and remember:
1. Money doesn't create man but it is the man who created money.
2. Live your life as simple as you are.
3. Don't do what others say, just listen them, but do what you feel good.
4. Don't go on brand name; just wear those things in which u feel comfortable.
5. Don't waste your money on unnecessary things; just spend on them who really in need rather.
6. After all it's your life then why give chance to others to rule our life."