|Help Topics: Aperture
Size, Shutter Speed, Exposure
Meter, Focus Toggle, Film
Type, Zoom Arrows, Snap/Again,
Landscape, Java Help.
As any beginner in photography will contest to, learning how to use a manual camera can be downright frustrating and time consuming. Not only that, it can drain your pockets of your hard earned money, having to develop roll after roll of film, most of which turns out to be either under or over-exposed. Now, Shutter Bee is here to the rescue. Shutter Bee teaches you the fundamentals of how to use a manual camera. There's no film to buy, no film to process, no hours to wait to see the final results. It's instant and fun. Just read the basic instructions below, or skip the instructions and start taking pictures right away. The best method of learning is often by trial and error, which is what Shutter Bee is all about.
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Aperture SizeSet the aperture size by clicking on the aperture's upper (+) or lower (-) half. Alternatively, click on the aperture and drag your mouse up and down. You will see the blades of the diaphragm shift to make the aperture larger or smaller.
The size of the aperture determines how much light passes through your lens, as if it were a light faucet: large apertures let more light pass through, small apertures let less light pass through.
Aperture settings are referred to as f-stops, or f-numbers, expressed as a fraction, such as f/22. However, to save space, f-numbers are often denoted by just their denominator, such as 22. Note, the larger the f-number, the smaller the relative aperture.
On a manual camera, f-numbers are usually adjusted with a ring outside your lens barrel. A typical sequence of f-numbers on a camera run, from largest to smallest aperture: 1.8, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16, 22.
The difference between each f-number is twice the amount of light. Hence, aperture setting f/16 lets in twice as much light as f/22.
The aperture size determines the depth of field, or zone of sharp focus, that surounds your subject: whereas small apertures (high f-numbers) produce a long depth of field, large apertures (small f-numbers) produce a short depth of field. Therefore, if you're taking a picture of a landscape, and you want both foreground and background to be in focus, use a small aperture such as f/16. On the other hand, if you're taking a picture of a friend or family member, and you want to place more emphasis on them by blurring the background, use a large aperture such as f/4.
Shutter SpeedSet the shutter speed by clicking on the clock's upper (+) or lower (-) half. Alternatively, click on the clock and drag your mouse up and down. You will see the second hand move clockwise for slow shutter speeds, counter-clockwise for fast shutter speeds.
Release the shutter by clicking "Snap". You will see the aperture momentarily open for the length of time set by the shutter speed.
The shutter speed determines how long your film is exposed to light passing through the aperture: the slower the shutter speed, the longer the shutter remains open, the more light reaches your film. Hence, both aperture size and shutter speed determine the final exposure of your picture.
Like f-numbers, shutter speeds are expressed as a fraction, such as 1/60 second. However, to save space, shutter speeds are often denoted by just their denominator, such as 60. Hence, the larger the shutter speed number, the shorter the amount of time your film is exposed to light.
On manual cameras, the shutter speed is usually adjusted by a circular control knob on top of the camera. A typical sequence of shutter speeds on a camera run, from slowest to fastest: 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 250, 500, 1000.
The shutter speed determines the amount of motion blur a moving object will have in your final picture. Use a fast shutter speed (such as 1/500 sec) to freeze fast moving objects in their trajectory, or use a slow shutter speed (such as 1/2 sec) to illustrate movement by creating motion blur.
Like f-numbers, the difference between each shutter speed setting is twice the amount of light. For example, shutter speed 1/60 sec lets in twice as much light as 1/125 sec.
Due to the doubling/halving nature of both aperture and shutter settings, closing the aperture one stop (halving the light) while simultaneously decreasing the shutter speed by one setting (doubling the light) produces no effective change in the amount of light reaching your film. The same is true for closing the aperture two stops while decreasing the shutter speed by two settings. This means there are several aperture and shutter settings which produce the same overall exposure of your final picture. For example, the combination f/4 and 1/60 sec produces the same overall exposure as f/2.8 and 1/125 sec, or f/5.6 and 1/30 sec. This is not to say these settings will produce the same final picture since the combination you choose will determine the depth of field surrounding your subject (aperture size) and the amount of motion blur of moving objects (shutter speed).
Exposure MeterThe light meter estimates the exposure of your final snapshot by a "center-weighted" averaging algorithm, in which case the meter reading is influenced more by objects in the center of your picture (inside the white circle) than objects at the edges. For scenes of average light intensity everywhere, of equal light and dark, correct exposure is when the red exposure needle rests midway between (+) and (-).
One condition that often "fools" the light meter is when a light or white object occupies the center of the viewfinder. In this case, your camera will tell you to stop down your camera, or under-expose your picture in order to make the light object in the center appear darker. The solution to this problem is to set your aperture and shutter speed to give an over-exposure (+) that corrects for the under-estimation of exposure computed by the meter's internal averaging algorithm.
For the same reason, a dark or black object occupying the center of the viewfinder will also "fool" the light meter. In this case, under-exposure (-) is necessary to correct for the over-estimation of exposure computed by the meter's internal averaging algorithm.
Another way to estimate a correct exposure setting when a light or dark object occupy the center of your viewfinder is to first center objects of average light intensity within the viewfinder, set the aperture and shutter speed so the red exposure needle rests midway between (+) and (-), and then re-center the viewfinder to your original composition. Objects of average light intensity are gray stone, weathered wood, foliage or dark skin.
FocusClick on the focus toggle to focus on objects in the foreground (2m) or objects in the background (infinity).
FilmChoose between color or black-and-white film by clicking on the target.
ZoomCompose your own picture by zooming left, right, up or down.
Snap/AgainTake a snapshot by clicking "Snap!"
Advance the film to try again by clicking "Again!"
New LandscapeGet a new landscape by clicking on the green advance button.
Java HelpMake sure Java is enabled in your web browser.
Mac Netscape users may need to download the Mozilla MRJ plug-in and place it in Netscape's plug-in folder.
If Shutter Bee stops working for any reason, try hitting your browser's refresh/reload button.
|Help Topics: Aperture Size, Shutter Speed, Exposure Meter, Focus Toggle, Film Type, Zoom Arrows, Snap/Again, New Landscape, Java Help.
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