Photo 101


So swat has come and gone and i spent all day moving tools from my dads shop to my new building. Everything is all over the floor and i have no storage other than an attic. Was going to build a bench, drawers, shelves, etc, but i was getting strong indications from my dad that he really wanted the stuff out of his shop TODAY so he could actually use his own shop...

So here is me. People will ask me how many cameras I have.. It;s somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 or so.. not all of them work, but I have been collecting antiques for many years.... I have optical stuff from the 1700's to a daguerrian/ambrotype camera to hasselblad to nikon. And here is where i always begin..

The concept of photography, as we know it today, was invented around 1822 by joseph nicephore niepce. Now.. everyone actually thinks it was Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre who did, but he didn't. Niepce invented it, but daguerre 'borrowed' the concept after niepce died, and COPYRIGHTED the process. Just as Edison did NOT invent the light bulb (someone else did back in the early 1800s,) but edison was the first to copyright the light bulb. If you ever invent something, congratulate yourself AFTER you copyright it.

Photography is not the same as digital. As you get to know me, you'll find that i consider digital the way most fine woodworkers consider particle board. It does have a use, but it's really not best to use particle board as the foundation for your house, and thus digital isn't the foundation of photography.

The optical laws for photography have been around for several THOUSANDS of years... (actually been around forever, we just discovered them at about that time). The ancient arabs found that if you take a room and remove ALL sources of light, and you poke a TINY hole in the wall, you would see on the opposite side of the room an image of whatever is outside. But it would be DIMM, backwards, and upside down. But that is what a camera basically is. Camera is taken from the latin CAMERA OBSCURA, which means dark room. Its a black box that you attach a device to let light in (lens, hole etc) and then send it to a recording medium (film, sensor, etc). For those of you who get National Geographic, a few months ago there was a complete article on using a room with a hole in the wall and capturing the image, so i'm not making this up..

so why do we need to know all this? My personal theory is that you need to know why something does something in order to actually get really really good results..

So we start with the basic controls of the camera...

F/stops (Aperture), shutter speeds, and film speeds (ASA or ISO, american standards association, or international standards association)

Each one of these needs to be addressed individually and photos taken (i'll start playing around with some images right now ) so let's see how far i get before the twins wake up for feeding and i fall asleep...

formerly Avalon
and informally as well...

PS. Most of this is taken from my college textbooks and my memory.. Feel free to argue... just send me an email first to warn me... but i do have books to quote... I once was told by a college professor that there are only two companies in the world that make optical glass for cameras.. Zeiss and Nikon.. Minolta, haslleblad, leica all bought their glass from them. I posted this info on a forum and was jumped by 5 different people saying i was wrong... I just quote from my college days..

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Photo 101
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