Three elements constitute the triangle of exposure: aperture, shutter speed and ISO:
Aperture (f/N): light passing through the lens
Shutter speed: how long the shutter stays open
ISO: image sensor’s sensitivity to light
A small aperture (i.e. f/16) gives a deep depth of field and is usually used for landscape.
A fast shutter speed (i.e. 1/1000 sec) is used to freeze motion, like birds in flight or action shots. It also gives a shallow depth of field.
A slow shutter speed (i.e. 1/4 sec) is great for motion blur like milky water effect or rain streaks. Slow shutter speed is also used for night photography or poorly lit areas. In any case, a tripod is highly recommended for long exposures.
Before you adjust the aperture, shutter speed and ISO on your camera, you need to ask yourself: What effect do I wish to create? What is the mood of my image? What am I trying to tell?
Use the light meter in your camera to help you get the proper exposure. Light is measured in Exposure Value (EV) and typically displays in cameras from - 3 EV to + 3 EV
-3 _____ -2 _____ -1 _____ ∆ _____ 1 _____ 2 _____ 3
under exposed correct expo. over exposed
Once you’ve taken your shot, check the histogram and readjust your exposure if necessary.
Time to practice. Let me know how it goes!
If you’re in the Comox Valley in August, check out my solo exhibition at The Hub, 545 Duncan Ave, Courtenay, BC. I will be showing some of my best images in big format! 24 x 36 inches, the perfect size for that empty wall in your living-room or office.
I am also featured in the Comox Valley Record, page 19, issue of 30 July 2019.
Composition can be daunting. The good news is you can learn about it and get better with time and practice!
When I’m in the field, I always look for interesting shapes, patterns, lines and texture. Once I find a potential subject, I evaluate the intensity of the light, its direction and the need to use filters or not. I identify distracting elements, determine my focal point and move around to find my composition. I establish the depth of field, what should be in focus and which lens to use. Then I set up my tripod, which is essential in order to get sharp images. After taking my shot, I check the histogram and the clarity of my image on the back screen. From there I can adjust my composition accordingly. I find that seeing my image on the small screen tells me right away if the composition is good or not.
I believe that a poor image cannot be fixed with a software so I prefer to take the time to compose my images while I am in the field. I also prefer to spend my time outside rather than in front of my computer!
Just added 3 workshops in English and 3 in French, all in the Comox Valley, and on Saturdays afternoon.
Learn how to use your camera on manual mode
Learn about exposure, depth of field, focus, and key elements of composition
Use technical and creative elements together to improve your images
Get more confident with your camera and your skills
Get more one-on-one time by being part of a small group of 5 participants
Take your newly acquired knowledge to your next trip
Graduated neutral density filters, or graduated ND filters, are used by photographers to control very bright areas of a scene. A graduated filter is made of glass which is half dark and half clear with a soft or hard edge between the two parts. Graduated ND filters come in different density, typically from one to 10 f-stops.
Fix or hand-held the filter in front of your lens. Place the darker area over the part you wish to darken (i.e. bright sky). The clear part of the filter will keep its normal brightness. You’ll notice that once you have placed the filter in front of your lens, you’ll need to re-adjust the exposure. You can use a graduated filter to emphasize an area of your image by darkening a less important area, knowing that the viewer’s eyes are naturally attracted by lighter areas in a photograph.
Note: The transition between the dark and clear parts of a filter can create an unnatural line in your image so use the proper density filter.
First look around and make sure no-one else is here. And then roll in the moss!
River otter, Lontra canadensis
25% off on Fine Art Prints! It’s time to redecorate your home or office with beautiful prints. Use promo code SPRING2019 at check-out.
Free delivery in the Comox Valley!
It’s mating season and if you are into that kind of pictures then there are a few things to consider before heading out.
First you need to learn about your subject: mating call, mating ground, habitat, food source, droppings and even tracks. For bird photographers, there are several websites dedicated to bird songs. Start memorizing songs and calls, it will be easier for you to locate birds once you’re in the field.
Find your subject’s resting or nesting area and return there very early in the morning. Wait for them to wake up and start their day. Did you know that some birds tend to face east in the morning to warm up in the sun? Leave plenty of space for your subject and observe them while they pursue their activities. With a good zoom lens, you’ll be able to capture their routine. Be patient! You might need to stand still in inclement weather or in an awkward position for a very long period of time before you get a rewarding image.
I hope you enjoy the awakening of nature as much as I do!
Spring has sprung and things are moving for Catherine Babault Photography!
An article about Catherine Babault Photography was published in the March edition of the magazine L’Entr’aînés, a monthly publication of l’Assemblée Francophone des retraités et des aînés de la Colombie-Britannique. You can read it here.
In April I had an interview on Radio Victoria to talk about my workshops and my passion for photography. Listen here.
Eight multi-day workshops have just been added for this summer: 4 in English and 4 in French. They will be given in the greater region of the Comox Valley, in a radius of 60 km. We will cover the art of composition, use of light, creativity and workflow. I will take participants to some of my favourite spots to photograph nature and wildlife. This should be fun!
After weeks of anticipation, the Pacific herring has spawned in shallow waters along the coastline of the Salish sea. Birds, mammals and humans have been competing for it since the controversial fishery opened last week.
I witnessed wildlife feeding, and even fighting, for the little silver fish. They could do with some good fish to fatten them up before their offspring are born in the coming weeks. They will certainly need a lot of energy at that time. I also saw a courageous mink running back and forth to get herrings from the shoreline, while keeping an eye on eagles perched on tall trees. It was going so fast, I had a hard time to keep track of it with my big lens. The light was great for photography as the sky was overcast and it was very early in the morning.
I always go in the field prepared and with intent. However my mind is also open for the unexpected.
One morning, I went to the Oyster River estuary with the intention to photograph ducks. I arrived very early in order to avoid the dog walkers, dogs being a major deterrent to wildlife observation and photography. The fog was starting to dissipate as I quietly entered the woods. Every few steps, I stopped, listened and looked for birds and other wildlife. That’s when I had the chance to spot a heron resting on a branch by the trail. The branch was low, which was perfect for an eye-level shot. I slowly approached the heron from the side, warning him of my presence. I quickly set up my camera and took a series of shots. I didn’t overstay because herons have a low tolerance level towards human presence and I didn’t want to disturb him any longer than necessary.
On that morning, although my intention was to photograph ducks in the estuary, I had the chance to observe a sleepy heron on a branch and come back with some great images. In nature photography, be prepared for lucky shots!