Camera Settings: The Basics

When taking pictures with most DSLRs on manual to get a picture with optimal quality familiarity with ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed is necessary. All differing, these setting effect a picture’s exposure. Getting a picture that displays the subject is of course key, but so is the exposure to get a good quality image of the subject.



Depending on the light available the ISO will change. The more light the lower the ISO needs to be set. For example a picture in broad day light would be fine with an ISO of 100. In contrast, a picture at night or in a dark room would demand an ISO of over a thousand. With higher ISOs the film grain/noise will become much more noticeable.




Aperture refers to the size of the whole of the lens which affects the amount of light that is allowed in. It is representative by the term f-stop (focal ratio). The larger the aperture the smaller the f-stop. For example an aperture that reaches maximum size with probably represented as a f-stop of 4. The larger the aperture (the lower the f-stop) the more light it lets in. Keeping this into consideration when compensating for exposure. Aperture also has the unique ability the either blur the background (if properly done) or making all details of the image equally clear. The higher the apeture (the lower the F-stop) will create an effect where the subject can be clear, while background is blurred. The lower the apeture (The higher the f stop) will allow all part of an image to be clear.



Shutter Speed

Referring to how long the shutter closes, the shutter speed is the final point when reaching optimal exposure. Measure in seconds how quickly the shutter speed closes can have a variety of affects on  the image. First and foremost shutter speed effects the amount of light that is available. SO the faster the shutter speed the less light it will be letting in, and vice versa for longer shutter speed. Therefore, on a very sunny setting shutter speed can be shortened to compensate for maybe a large aperture, or high ISO. THe shutter speed also effects the image with motion blur. FOr example trying to take that split second (By split second it can be 1/6000th of a second) even like a bird’s wing movement, requires a faster shutter speed. Also when free handing to avoid motion blur from camera movement a fast shutter speed maybe necessary. When motion blur is wanted to display the actual movement of a subject a slower shutter spped (letting in more light) can be used.



So many File types, Where to start?

As most multimedia enthusiast and the average computer user will notice when saving a variety of types of media is the variety of file types. With the endless acronyms and abbreviation novice users may get lost in the extensive computer jargon. A short guide through the name and use of the most popular file types is a step in the right direction to properly use these resources.



Encapsulated Postscript Vector also known as an EPS is a file type extension used for (its name sake) vector graphics. This file is specific to Adobe Illustrator in order to edit content. ESP can contain both graphics and text. This file has a capacity to better transmit to printing with a capability to convey specific details to print well.



Portable Document Formats shorten to PDF is an electronic representation (either graphic and/or) of a printable document. The ability to correctly convey even more (links, audio, video) than the regular printed document with the added speed of being an electronic file comes in handy. To save upon the ink of traditional print PDFs can also be used, even allowing users to sign documents.



Tag Image Format File referring to the acronym TIFF is usually used as a bridge between different applications for images. Notably for Scanned images, desktop published mages and faxing TIFFs can be meet a variety of needs.



Joint Photographic Experts Group abbreviated to JPEG is a file type that is used for most digital graphics and  photos. JPEGs compress images while keeping a degree of original content with use of size reduction. Compression reduces some picture quality (therefore decreasing the storage use of the image), this makes them good options when putting images on websites and sending them digitally.



Portable Network Graphic is the full name of PNG. Used for image compression and can be used in software development freely. This file type allows a an exchange of file size and image quality. Once again for websites, and even hard drive storage that needs to be rationed.



American Standard Code for Information Interchange shorten as ASCII. Used for text files through out internet and software. Each letter (1-9) and letter is represented by a 7 part binary code. Used by some operating systems for text file.



Moving Picture Expert Group refers to MPEG. Setting a standard for audio and video compression. Trading off quality fo file size MPEGs are used to coserve some intergetty of file while assuring a manable file size.



Musical Instrumental Digital Interface is used to record and play music created by digital means. Transmitting details on to how the sound is made creates a much more consistent audio. For those who would like creating music this is possible with an input storage device along with a keyboard.



Audio Video Interleave is a file format used to store audio and video information. Usually less compressed it is used for most Microsoft Applications.  A down side is the larger file, but still have better video quality.



WAVE is a uncompressed audio file  created by Microsoft. The fact that it holds raw audio it leaves the quality at its best.

The Right to Copy

As in most countries the rule of law places a foundation for order. Even in the whimsical world of creativity the structure of law still finds its place. In the case of creative and intellectual content, Copyright laws serve as a protective shield that defends the rights of the author.

Copyright Laws

In the general forms it outlaws copying, distributing, displaying, or editing of original work without consent of the author. For example,  If someone were to take an original painting and translate that art to digital illustration and try to distribute that, it would be violating copy right law with some exceptions.

In order to lawfully  copy the work, contacting the owner of the content is needed. Getting proper permission to use the content on agreed upon fashion. This may come with a fee for use, but paying a fee upfront is better than paying for a lawyer for copyright infringement.

One misconception is to be recognized as a copyright holder there must be some kind of registration. In reality as soon as content is produced in tangible form copyright applies. Notice of copyright is not necessary but useful for widely used content to establish ownership. However, intangible forms such as ideas, methods, strategies, content that hasn’t been recorded (An improvised speech with no recorded proof), phrases, and slogans  are not protected.

Some may also assume copyrights last forever. In reality this is not true, not until 70 years after the authors death, this may vary if work was for hire then extended to 95 years since publication. Due to the multitudes of many copyright laws changes it is best to not assume for work made post-19th century. But works of Bach, and Voltaire to name a few are all apart of the Public domain which means it is open for anyone to use.


Fair Use

With limitations to the rights of the copyright holder to be able to make a case of a copyright infringement in some cases. If the copy, distribution of this content is for “criticism, new reporting, teaching, scholarship and research” are with in this area of exception. The nature of the use is also very important, is the person profiting (especially monetarily) off this work is also an important question to ask.”



First completing form from  the Copyright office is necessary specific for content. Then produce 2 copies of content and send it to the office. Within a span of approximately 16 weeks a copyright certification should be received. Registration is important if a lawsuit is raised in the case of the content, the certificate will stand validating the copyright.




Career Paths of Multimedia Designing

With the ability to use multiple mediums of design to create a diverse range of content, multimedia designers find themselves in an interesting area in the job field. This allows them to have the option  of working in  their strongest area and integrating this into their jobs.

Web Designer

In this career path the goal is to create websites for a client that not only conveys needed information ,using branding, and keeping the customers view point into consideration. Beyond creation keeping the website updated with correct information is an ongoing service. Understanding of multimedia design and knowledge of some computer programming is necessary. Though no need to be extensive, the background in some coding will help edit any coding issues that may come up.


Multimedia Animator

An ability to work with programs to create graphics and animations are keystone skills in this occupation. Animators can work independently, or on a team to create a large project such as film, games, and special effects. Flexibility is necessary to be able to adapt to software of large companies. Depending on the designer computer based animations, or hand made pieces transferred to the computer can be used for a project. Being able to communicate and understand clients is also necessary.


Creative Director

Experience with diverse forms of media is a must have for creative directors in order translate the qualities of a brand among different mediums.  Leadership is also important, creative directors will be managing groups of various artist to create a brand that is able to be advertised in many forms. Understanding of business relations, management, and background in multimedia is a powerful combination for one who is pursuing such a career.


Film/Video Editor

Like putting together puzzle pieces of video together to create content that tells a story is the job of a film editor. Working closely with cinematographers, a director, and sound editors, they must go through hours of all the video to remove, add, and enhance what is necessary. An understanding of the software is key, and a fine eye for detail while sifting through video, all while being cognizant of the directors wants. Time management is needed to meet deadlines, while still producing good.



With diverse mediums to create, illustrators convey necessary messages with still images usually for advertising. Skills in either drawing, photography, or digital illustrations is key to be able to translate images to  be used in advertising. From books to TV illustrators create content to be displayed while meeting the needs of the client.


Once again, multimedia design can lead to a myriad of opportunity to display talent. Either in a specific areas, or great skill in many forms, designers can translate their talent in endless ways. In our world of communication designers will always be around to make the information look good.





Beyond the Camera: Grips, Holds, and Tripod

From the dawn of photography important elements that of the art quickly followed. The ancient tripod quickly evolved complimenting the first cameras. As the hand held capability came along so did proper ways to hold it along with added grip accessorizes to prevent any tragic accidents.



The best friend of any digital camera is the oh, so supportive tripod. Where a steady shot is needed and the human hand proves to be insufficient the tripod saves the day. Especially with pictures that demand a slow shutter speed the worst effect is the shaky motion blur of an unsteady camera. With portrait and landscape where multiple pictures at the exact same angle is needed the tripod gives a great consistency.

An often overlooked element of a tripod beyond its steadiness is that it allows photographers to  take sharp pictures with slower shutter speed (Don’t have to worry about motion blur of a shaky camera), therefore lowering ISO, and a smaller aperture to capture breath taking depth without causing an underexposed shot. This is very useful when taking pictures at night.When using macro lens with a high magnification where slight movement can ruin a shot, the tripod is a great addition.



Saving countless photographers the heartache of breaking their precious (and expensive) cameras the addition of grips are a life saver. Most DSLRs come with a built in handgrip, while some are accessories added to the specific model of camera,and it can pay off well for the adventurist photographer.With many variations such as battery grips, hand grips, pistol grips, and so on. Because most cameras are designed with landscapes as the easiest way ergonomically to take pictures, grips made to ease the transition from landscape and portraits can be useful. Some grips come with a second shutter button for comfortable portraits with a rotated camera.

Large lenses that may cause shaky shots can be balanced with a battery grip. Especially in DSLRs the sometimes extensive lenses can be unsettling if not handled with sturdy hands, a simple grip can even out the weight. Not to mention that battery grips carry an extra battery, which can be helpful for extensive photography that may take large lapses of time.



Photography is an art of great enjoyment, but incorrectly holding a camera will cost you good pictures ( and even the camera itself). Holding the camera’s built in right sided grip (sorry lefties, not many modifications are available) ,using the left hand to support the lens, and tucking in the elbows toward the body as support is the first step. This first step removes a lot of motion blur from an unsteady camera because the correct positioning allows your body to naturally support the camera. The right index finger will control the shutter button.

When holding the camera vertically it may cause some discomfort at first, but after a few rounds it will come naturally. With the right hand with the grip facing up and the left hand supporting the lens. Though support may be difficult, putting the left elbow against the body provides more support.


The art of photography has come a long way from its humble beginnings, but with new technology comes new technique. With practice and patients the artist in this case photographer will produce better work.