Basic Basic Digital Photography For Now

After the crazy English course during the summer (5 5-page papers in 5 or 6 weeks!!!) and Calculus last semester, I thought I’d take Digital Photography this semester cos it’d be fun. So far it has been surprisingly (cos I don’t know much about photography really) way too easy, but from the looks of the syllabus, we’re definitely going to get into stuff I don’t know pretty soon (basically everything else), like shutter speed and aperture and correcting distortion to pick three things at random. In case anyone’s interested, I thought I’d post up some of the more practical stuff we go over in class. :)

For the first class he talked about the half click/recompose technique. The basic idea is that when you half click (hold your shutter button down half way) you set your focus and exposure. So if you know that it’s a difficult situation for your camera (say you’re waiting to capture the moment when someone blows out their birthday candles) if you half click and hold it while everyone’s singing, then the camera’s done all the hard stuff that takes a long time so when the moment is right, you can just click it the rest of the way and the photo will actually take and you probably won’t miss the shot. The recompose bit comes into play when you want the focus or exposure to be somewhere besides the middle (the usual focus spot I guess). So for example if you’re taking a photo of two people, well it sucks if the background in between them is in focus instead of the people. So you center one of the people, half click, then frame your photo the way you actually want it and take the photo. The focus stays on the plane that you originally half clicked on, so it’s all good.

Suppose I wanted a photo of my lotion, but I don’t want it in the middle of the picture. Here it’s all focused on the bottom of the speakers.
Focus 2
If I point my camera at the lotion first, then half click, then repoint my camera at the speakers, the lotion stays in focus.
Focus 1
See? :)

Today, amongst other things, we talked about Image Size and Resolution, specifically how to change image size and resolution in Photoshop CS3 (open a photo, go to Image>Image Size, change the numbers). But every program does it differently, and I dunno this isn’t too complicated except for finding where the option is in the program you’re using to edit your photos. Oh and don’t resize it smaller for the web and then save over your original cos you’ll lose too much data. Oh and if you want to print your photo, 240 pixels/inch is a good resolution for your photos.

Class is Thursdays from 7pm to 10pm with practice time on the computers. :p


  1. That recompose trick, is it supposed to work for a simple digital camera too? I am trying it and I don’t think it works for mine.

  2. That learn how to type is addictively fun! It’s harder to get a high score cuz they don’t make sentences and they mix letter and word combinations. My highest score right now is 66.

  3. Yeah I sux at that typing thing! I’m not like a super fast typer anyways, but with the random letters, I think I ended up typing like 50 which is ridiculously slow.

    And yup the recompose thing is supposed to work no matter what. Although after you half click, you can’t zoom or move your camera back and forward, things have to stay in the same plane. And maybe you need to set one shot AF or something like that.

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