Part of Unit: Camera Basics
Lesson Plan Overview / Details
There are 3 things that affect your image quality in photography: ISO, aperture and shutter speed. All 3 of these things depend on one other factor which is light. A photograph is basically a chemical process in which light is exposed to film, or a sensor in digital cameras, and registers an image. Knowing how to properly change and adjust these settings can be very beneficial to you as a photographer.
- 75 - 150 Minutes
California Academic Content Standards (Reinforced)
- ELA.9-10.R.CAGT.2.6 Demonstrate use of sophisticated learning tools by following technical direction...2
- M.2.NS.4.1 Recognize, name, and compare unit fractions from 1 12 to 1 2.1
- VA.9-12 (advanced).CE.SPMT.2.1 Create original works of art of increasing complexity and skill in a variety of ...
Objectives and Goals
- Know what Aperture controls and how to change it
- Know what ISO controls and how to change it
- Know what Shutter Speed controls and how to change it
Activities in this Lesson
- Hook - Hooks / Set
In the old days before 1980 you had to constantly worry about your Aperture setting or how high your ISO was at or how slow the Shutter was, but today almost all cameras just set these themselves in Program mode. But, knowing how each of these elements works and affects your picture can give you a big advantage in creating very compelling and unique photographs.
- Video - Demo / Modeling
This is a video tutorial on how to understand and use aperture, shutter speed and ISO to get professional looking images.
The man is quite interesting and I'm sure the students will get a kick out of him, but very informative.
- Aperture Shutter Speed and ISO, Photography 101 [ Go to Site ]
- Lecture - Lecture
Teacher will describe the 3 elements of light sources:
Aperture is how wide the lens' iris opens. The wider it opens, the more light gets in. It's exactly the same thing as the iris of your eye which opens as the light gets darker. The wider it opens for the same subject, the shorter the shutter speed will be to get the correct exposure. This is because the camera chooses shutter speed based on how much light gets into the camera. A brighter subject or wider aperture lets in more light.
Big apertures have smaller numbers, like f/4. Smaller apertures have bigger numbers like f/16. These are fractions, so 1/16 is smaller than 1/4. Big apertures like f/4 will tend to have just one thing in focus. A smaller aperture like f/16 will tend to have everything in focus. How much is in focus is called depth of field.
ISO is how sensitive your film or digital camera is to light. This depends on the the film, and can be changed with special development called pushing or pulling. Digital cameras can be set to almost any ISO.
Use the lowest ISO that gives you the apertures and shutter speeds you need. Pump up the ISO up to get smaller apertures and faster shutter speeds. Unlike film, digital interchangeable-lens SLRs usually look great even at higher ISO's like 1,600.
For film or point-and-shoot digital cameras, a normal ISO is 50 or 100. Faster ISO's are something like ISO 800 or 1,600. Digital SLRs are more sensitive to light than film or fixed-lens digital cameras, so their slowest ISO is often ISO 200.
The reason you want the slowest ISO is for lack of noise or graininess. The higher/faster settings often are more grainy or have image noise than the slower ones. Image noise is the random variation of brightness or color information in images produced by the sensor and circuitry of a scanner or digital camera. Image noise can also originate in film grain and in the unavoidable shot noise of an ideal photon detector.
Shutter Speed is how long the camera stays open to expose itself to the image. Most of the time it's just a short fraction of a second. The dimmer the light the longer the camera needs to collect it to make a good looking image. At night outdoors without a flash this can stretch into seconds or minutes.
If you want to change how motion is rendered you can use different speeds. 1/30 of a second looks about natural for running water. 1/500 of a second freezes everything. For sports, use the fastest speed you can for most things unless you want deliberate blur. Several full seconds will make waves look like a big, foggy blur.
Here is another way to think of these settings using a window as a metaphor.
The Aperture is the size of the window. The bigger it is, the more light it lets in, making it brighter.
The Shutter Speed is how long you leave the window open. The longer you leave the window open the more light it lets in.
Knowing how to adjust these settings can greatly improve your picture taking process and probably save you a lot of time in post production editing.
- Lab/Practice - Lab / Shop
Students will practice in groups of 2-3 people changing the Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speeds to achieve various results. They will each take 10 photos at various settings and note the settings of the Aperture, ISO and Shutter and review the results of the pictures.
Most importantly – a change in one of the elements will impact the others. This means that you can never really isolate just one of the elements alone but always need to have the others in the back of your mind.
- Check for Understanding - Check Understanding
Students will take 6 photographs of the same subject but at different Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speeds to achieve various results.
Students should use different settings each time and record the results on a piece of paper to compare later on.
- Assessment Types:
- Demonstrations, Observations,
Students will demonstrate to the instructor how to change the Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speeds to achieve various results.
Students should take 6 photographs of the same subject but at different settings each time and record the results.
- Photo #1 - Aperture f/1.8, ISO 200, Shutter Speed 1/4000
- Photo #2 - Aperture f/11, ISO 400, Shutter Speed 1/80
Students will then compare and contrast between the set of photos. If allowed, students should be able to print their photos to view and compare.
- Aperture is how wide the lens' iris opens. The wider it opens the more light gets in.
- Image Noise
- Image noise is the random variation of brightness or color information in images produced by the sensor and circuitry of a scanner or digital camera.
- ISO is how sensitive your film or digital camera is to light.
- Shutter Speed
- Shutter Speed is how long the camera stays open to expose itself to the image.
- Exposure [ Go to Site ] A great website that goes into great detail about the 3 exposure settings.