single reflex camera

Photography Super Newb Primer

So I recently upgraded from a point-and-shoot to a DSLR camera and because I was a super beginner I took two photography classes at the local photographer-nerd camera store. It was very informative, I’ve practiced a lot, and I’m confident that I have a decent grasp of the basics now. So because I totally have a thing for sharing interesting and/or useful knowledge, I am going to share this knowledge. So if you’ve ever been confuzzled by those photography buzzwords (I know I was), here you go.

First things first.

1. What’s a DSLR?

A DSLR is a digital single-lens reflex camera. There are lots of kinds of cameras but the two that 99% of non-professional photographers use are point-and-shoot (PNS) cameras and DSLRs. PNS cameras do not have interchangeable lenses, use electronics to view the subject before taking a photo, and everything is pre-programmed. Due to the advent and pretty darn good picture taking capabilities of cellphones, a lot of PNS cameras are now coming out with some level of manual control (I had one before I got my DSLR and it was pretty great).

A DSLR has interchangeable lenses for more control of the imaging. A mirror system lets you directly view the thing you’re shooting through the viewfinder, and there’s no shutter lag like there is with a point-and-shoot. Plus the ability to adjust aperture (more on that later) lets you control depth of field, and being able to shoot with shallow depth of field is like the number one thing that makes a photograph look like a more professional photo versus a casual snapshot.


(borrowed the image from

The ability to isolate the subject from the background and get that cool blurred-out background is a function of aperture, and that’s something a point-and-shoot can’t do. Basically you have a shit-ton more control, much higher image quality and flexibility with a DSLR. But it takes some practice to learn to use it, although almost all DSLR cameras have an automatic mode that’ll do just fine for most situations.

DSLRs are a lot bigger and bulkier. You can’t put it in your pocket. And they’ll run you probably at least $700-900 bucks for a body, and then you need a lens for it (although many camera bodies are sold with what’s called a kit lens, i.e. a starter lens to get you going).

Size comparison (and that DSLR has a pretty small lens on it, mine is about twice that long):

There are many brands of point-and-shoots, but in the DSLR world, like 95% of photographers shoot either a Canon or a Nikon. And you kind of have to pick one and stick with it, because the lenses are not interchangeable. You have to buy Canon lenses for a Canon, etc. There are other less common brands but if you shoot a Nikon or a Canon you will be able to find equipment (lenses, batteries, etc) in any camera store.

Moving on.

There are two basic things you gotta worry about when you’re taking a picture: light and motion. Mostly light. Like, 90% light and 10% motion. And only motion if the thing you’re photographing is, you know, moving.

Taking a picture is recording the light that’s bouncing off the thing you’re photographing. So photography is really about light.

There are three major variables that you can control to affect the lighting of your shot.

1. ISO

People talk about this one first usually, because it’s the one that doesn’t actually affect how much light hits your sensor. ISO is a measure of your camera’s sensitivity to light. The lowest ISO setting (on mine it’s 100) is the “native” ISO. That’s the baseline light sensitivity. When you increase it, you’re turning up the volume on the sensor. You’re not getting any more light to the sensor, you’re just making the sensor more responsive to the light that hits it. The downside is that you are also turning up the noise. A high-ISO shot will have more noise. I would use my lowest ISO setting on a bright, sunny day. If I were shooting outdoors on my highest ISO setting (which is 1600, although more modern cameras have ISOs that go much higher) the image would be totally blown out and white. Most people adjust the ISO first according to the environment (sunny, cloudy, indoors but well-lit, dark, etc).

2. Aperture

You’ve probably heard on TV or somewhere some photographer drop jargon about “f-stops,” right? They’re talking about the aperture. This is how much the aperture will close down when you take a shot. A low f-stop means a very open aperture (counterintuitive, yes) and a high f-stop means a very narrow aperture. Illustration below of the size of the aperture at the moment you take the photo:

The size of the aperture is one of the two things that control how much light enters the camera (the other is shutter speed, more on that in a sec). A higher aperture value is a smaller opening, meaning less light will enter.

The other thing this affects is your depth of field. This is a big thing. Your camera will focus on the thing you’re pointing it at, right? You can imagine that distance, from the lens to the subject, as a slice of space where the camera can focus. Depth of field is just what it says…how thick is that slice of space where the camera can focus. 

(image from

A shallow depth of field means your focus will only be good for a narrow slice behind and in front of your focal point. Everything else will be blurred out. If you stop down a lot (narrow the aperture), your depth of field increases until at the top of your range, you’ll be able to get clear focus on just about everything you see. So you’d use a shallow depth of field for a close-up portrait shot, and a deep field for a landscape shot.

(image from

3. Shutter Speed

This one’s easy to understand. Shutter speed is how fast the shutter opens and closes. This is a factor if you’re shooting something moving fast, like a sporting event or fireworks or something. Not so much if you’re shooting a mountain. But the thing to remember is that the longer the shutter is open, the more light hits the sensor. Too fast a shutter speed for conditions could give you a dark image, especially if you are using a narrow aperture. Motion blur usually starts becoming an issue at 1/200s.

There’s other stuff like lens compression (which is something that happens when you zoom in and change your distance to the subject) and white balance, but this is the super newb edition.

4. The Settings

How much you can control these things depends on the capabilities of both your camera body and your lens. My camera body has ISO from 100-1600. My lens is a 17-85mm f/4-5.6 lens. The 17-85mm refers to the zoom capability - it can zoom out to 17mm (that’s a measure of the width of the field of vision - for reference, your eyes have about a 50mm field of vision, so at 50mm your view through the viewfinder will look about the same as what you see with your eyes) and zoom in to 85 mm. That’s a bit better than a standard kit lens. The f/4-5.6 means that my lowest possible aperture is f/4.0 at 17mm and f/5.6 at 85mm. That’s…okay. To get a wider aperture I’d need a different lens. And lenses that go down to very wide apertures, like f/1.5, are very expensive. I have great results with the lens I have. I took the picture below at f/5.6 (I was zoomed in, so that’s as wide an aperture as I had available).

Most DSLRs have three settings that are super useful - fully manual (meaning you must set the ISO, aperture and shutter speed), aperture priority (meaning you pick the aperture and the camera chooses the appropriate shutter speed) and time priority (vice versa - you pick the shutter speed and the camera chooses the appropriate aperture). You’d already have set the ISO value based on the light conditions. I like shooting in aperture priority a lot.

When you want to FANCY THINGS, that’s when it gets fun. For example. Consider this waterfall:

This was shot on f/9 and 1/640s. You can see there’s a tiny bit of blurring of the water. If I’d gone faster to freeze the water, it would be pretty dim.

But actually, I don’t want to freeze the water. I WANT it to blur. I love taking those cool waterfall photos where the water is all soft-looking. LIKE SO.

You can see that the lighting is roughly the same - the top one’s a little brighter, but not much, but in the second one, the water is blurred. So how did I do that?

To get this effect, you have to use a slow shutter speed, so that the waterfall’s motion blurs (you usually also have to use a tripod or other stabilizer - I used a handy post to brace my hand). But a slow shutter speed on a sunny day would let WAY too much light into the photo. It’s hard to take photos like this in brightly lit conditions, because any shutter speed slow enough to blur the water lets in way too much light, even at a tight aperture. I got away with this because the sun was setting and it wasn’t blasting directly on the waterfall.

So the first thing I did was decrease the ISO to 100, as far down as it goes. I wanted the sensor at its absolute minimum light sensitivity. Then I stopped down to f/22, a very small aperture. That will let much less light through than f/9. And I switched to total manual control, and I shot a series of photos, decreasing the shutter speed each time. This one is my favorite, this was at 1/4s shutter speed. Faster speeds didn’t get enough blur, slower ones were too light.

Okay! I hope this is helpful! I am learning more about taking photos all the time. Since I like to hike and travel, I decided it was a skill that would be worth pursuing.

[Miraculous Ladybug]: Think Alike

I cracked and finally started writing my Photographer!Adrien fic, with some Adrinette for flavor. Don’t know how long it’ll be, but I’m gonna ballpark it at around 7 chapters? We’ll see :P

Links to Archive of Our Own: [AO3]

[Chapter 2] [Chapter 3]

Title: Think Alike

Summary: Adrien never really considered himself an artist per se. He only ever considered what he did a hobby, something that he did for joy and not for obligation. But Marinette held his prints up to the light, smiled up at the glossy photos he’d spent hours shooting and editing, and looked at them like they were practically perfect. And how could Adrien not let his chest swell up at the sight of her pride?

Chapter 1: Advice

“Okay dude. Torque problems. Are you ready for this?”

“I think the proper question would be are you ready for it. You slept through that entire lecture if I remember right. There are still drool stains on your notebook.”

“It’s just plugging things into equations right? Like….finding force.”

“This is a little more complicated than that.”

“How can it possibly be more — wait, what the hell is that pill looking symbol? What the hell is sin?”

“It’s sine. Not sin. And the pill looking thing is theta. You know, like when you need to find angles? Little bit of trig to spice up your afternoon. Hope you brought your calculator.”

“Screw you to Hell, dude. This isn’t funny. I forgot how to do this….”

“Wait, can you turn your head a little bit this way? I can’t quite get a good angle on your look of abject horror.”

Nino turned his head slowly and glared straight into the lens of Adrien’s camera, and Adrien couldn’t help but chortle as he he laid sprawled out on the grass and took three quick shots of his face. He peeked out from behind the camera and sent his friend a thumbs up. “Oh yeah. That’s perfect. But you gotta pout more. Really sell that glare for me. Make me feel it.”

Keep reading

looking for Isaac Whitney

Shezza in the crackden: he’s in a self-imposed state of punishment.  Where is he?  'At then end of the world, wit the scum of the earth’.  Why?  Because he realized when it was too late that John and him had a chance and he blew it.  His guilt is overwhelming, his pain, unbearable.

Then we have John literally bursting into this scene: bisexual hero John Watson at the height of his prowess.

Inside he’ll find a smorgasbord of symbols about their situation.

Begining with: Isaac Whitney.  That name has stuck with me because it’s so evocative of sight.  Eye-saac Witness.  I-sick: witness.  There’s definitely a reference to sight, there, to seeing something, possibly to being sick.  Maybe John is here to witness that Sherlock is heart sick or sick with guilt.


First, we see skull and cross bones, representing death & danger, two penises, what looks like two single lens reflex camera: reference to the wedding?  The mayfly man?  Certainly a reference to looking and seeing.

In yellow paint, that could be seen as the TBB cypher paint, we get two u’s that are almost a closed circle.  To me, these look like eyeballs in profile with the lens part open: seeing eyes?  Reminds me of Sherlock’s eyeball tea of sight from TSoT.  They also look like two golden rings, though they’re open.  Could be a reference to wedding rings.  Broken wedding rings?

Left panel looks like it has a blue crown on it.  Reference to Moriarty’s line, ‘in a world of locked rooms the man with the key is king’?  John’s about to bust in here like a boss, so maybe.  He’s definitely, 'the man with the key’, to Sherlock’s heart.

Two green circles that look like balloons are there, too; one higher than the other.  Could be a tall/short reference,


Here we see the first symbol inside the house: a large, heavily lidded blue eye with a dilated pupil.  Bill’s own very large open eyes echo this visual.

This is the place where Sherlock sees and where John will see that Sherlock sees. 

We see Wiggins as a clear foil for Sherlock, even having some legit deduction skills of his own.  Here we see him very concerned about keeping John out of this place.  Sherlock doesn’t want John to see this.  Or does he?  Is it coincidence that he’s at the same drug den frequented by Isaac Whitney?  Could his homeless network not have told him exactly where Isaac would comes knowing that Kate would go to Mary for help and that John, jonesing for action, might come bursting in here?

Down the hallway, this eye will be lit in such a way as to look momentarily white,

The use of a line above the eye and at an acute angle from the tear duct is reminiscent of the eye graffiti warning left outside Baker St,

Note that on TBB, it is John who sees this being painted and doesn’t say anything to Sherlock.  He witnesses this happen,

In the plot this is an eye that says, 'we’re watching you’, it’s a threat.  But, in the context of John and his feelings for Sherlock it’s an eye that says, 'look.  Look at Sherlock.  Look at Sherlock’s signs’.  To me, this is John’s counterpart to Sherlock’s happy face.  One means, 'I love you’, and the other means, ’see that he loves you’.

Here we are at the beginning of HLV and maybe John is finally ready to see Sherlock’s full humanity and to see the feelings Sherlock has for him.


Next, we get this very meaningful tableau: the open eye, a green loveseat.  The eye is blue, has a dilated pupil (Sherlock’s signifier of being in love for ASiB), it is open and has a heavily lidded romantic quality as well as pretty, short lashes.  We can see this as Sherlock’s eye: he is in love and he sees it.  He also sees this couch underneath that is reminiscet of the Baker St couch, where they sat with their arms around each other during the stag night.  A couple of happy faces are directly underneath the eye.  This green tile is very evocative of the kitchen tile at Baker St,

Contrast: during the stag night, they spent a significant amount of their time on the couch doing this, 

Being blind to what’s going on between them.  Tessa, Sherlock’s foil, telling Sherlock’s story of heartbreak, having to literally yell to get them to wake up.

Well, Shezza is awake and that’s why he’s kicking himself.  This is one of the great ironies of Shezza: it’s Sherlock at his most sober.  The truth is the most sobering thing of all and to counter this he goes to get high but is made no less sober by it.

Have we ever seen Sherlock look more raw, more aware than as Shezza?  He’s got his eyes wide open, literally and figuratively.  (I should add, 'up to this point’, because post-shooting Sherlock at Baker St is even more wide-eyed and aware.  He’s like Shezza 2.0.)

Here we get several happy faces, like what Sherlock painted on his wall.  I am of the opinion that the happy face is a sign that Sherlock put on the wall for John showing him that he loved him, before TGG and that he shoots the wall in his frustration that John doesn’t understand and continues to date Sarah.  We’ve seen that though Mrs Hudson says that fixing the wall is coming out of this rent, the happy face has never gone away.  Conceivably someone fixed the bullet holes and kept the happy face?  Why would they do that if not at someone’s request?  This happy face is very meaningful to Sherlock and he has convinced a repair man or Mrs Hudson to leave it despite her qualms.

We also see a teddy bear, like the one we see in John’s office.  The paws appear to form and 88.  A reference to 1888?  

Here we see the arches and the banister making heart-like shapes,  

Kicking Bill’s ass, here, is symbolic of what he’s done to Sherlock’s heart,

Right here: this is the visual of how John left Sherlock.  Beaten down, under symbols of love, under an arch of love, all messed up,

Another U/eyeball/ring.  For all we know Sherlock brought the yellow paint and did these as a form of catharsis.  Maybe, it’s a reference to, 'you.  It’s always you…’,

On the wall next to Shezza: a red scribble.  Looks like a heart, maybe; it is red.  Also looks like an S and a W.  Sherlock Watson?  A clenched fist?

The tops of the heart are the arches, the bottom, where they meet, John. That mustard coloured bedspread.  Symbolic of his cowardice, reticence?  The yellow light of his mixed messages to John?

Underneath the blue paint is green paint.  Sherlock is wearing blue and Isaac is wearing green.  Under Sherlock’s blue/straight façade is the truth of his green/envy.  

I love that Sherlock doesn’t turn his whole body towards John.  He looks over his shoulder in this flirtatious way, showing his butt with his hand on his hip.  It’s both shy and brazen.  Somewhere between Manet’s Olympia and Le Déjeuner Sur L'herbe,

The best thing about this look is that it reminds me of the way that Kevin Spacey looked at Mina Suvari in American Beauty.  Clearly love and lust,

A single yellow cypher on the back of the house.  I can’t make it out.  Is it painted by Shezza?  The way he rips that door down, I think this house gives him superpowers.  I’m sure he could’ve climbed up there, no problem.

I do know that there are two blue dots here and the cypher’s general shape is similar to the TBB symbol for 39,

39 is half of the clue for, 'dragon’, in TBB.

“Interestingly, the word dragon derives from two separate Greek words. One word means “a huge serpent or snake” and the other means “I see clearly”. Dragons in European traditions have wings, allowing them to soar freely above, resulting in a perspective that encompasses a huge panorama below. In this context, dragons can be thought to symbolize the ability to see the “big picture” as well as the ability to see far off danger or future circumstances.”  (Italics mine)


Finally, Sherlock frowning at the sight of Mary: when his guard’s down, everything shows,

This is definitely Mary that just took John on a sex holiday and he’s none too happy, 

Your knight in shining armour is not supposed to put you on the same horse as his wife.


Perfect Effect Scouting Force
Decepticon Reconnaissance Team Reflector!

Reflector likes to watch. He lives (they live?) to observe anything and everything, from scenery, to wildlife, to architecture. But above all else, Reflector likes to watch his (their?) comrades, learn their dark secrets, and profit from them. Reflector is also very impressed with his (their) own abilities both in the fields of observation and blackmail.

Reflector is generally composed of three separate robots—Spectro, Spyglass and Viewfinder—who combine into the one single-lens-reflex camera altmode that is Reflector.


So, if you go see the film you get given a little card with a short written piece inside. Written by Nishida, they are styled as magazine articles written by each Hero. There are 2 to get each week, so unfortunately I will only get to see this one and BR’s, but this was so adorable I am still happy anyway ;u;

There are no actual film spoilers in the contents of the article.

(Excerpt from Monthly “CAMERA”)

What is photography to me?

It is not something to take, but rather something that is taken. In other words, the subject is me.

Keep reading

The day I accidentally became a professional photographer.

I am not, by any definition or stretch, a qualified photographer.

I am an enthusiastic amateur. I’ve always taken decent photos, I have a pretty good eye for angles and all that shit. And I like to travel, so I end up with lots of opportunities to take them.

I recently upgraded to a DSLR (that’s a digital single-lens reflex camera, i.e. a Real Grown-Up Camera - this is the kind real photographers use) and signed up for a couple of classes to learn how to use it best (it has a great automated mode, but I like to learn things).  I’d just like to be more proficient at taking the photos I would take anyway. I have no aspirations to BE an even semi-professional photographer.

So I’m active on Yelp, and I’m friends with our local community manager, who is super awesome. He posted on FB that he was in dire straits and very quickly needed someone to take photos at an event he was hosting at a local salsa and hot sauce company. He just wanted someone with a good camera who could point it at stuff. I was like…I can do that. And I might get some free hot sauce. So I said I’d come over.

So I did. I was kinda nervous. The lighting was tricky (indoor fluorescents, yay) but I think I did an okay job. Then he was like…oh, you know you get paid, right? A hundred bucks! 

Wow. I thought I’d just be doing him a favor.

And that’s how I accidentally became a professional photographer for one night.

Here are a few of the shots I liked best.

There was a hot-sauce tasting contest. These are the weapons.