Manual 101 Reflection

What is the exposure triangle made of? Define each of the components.

The exposure triangle are the three variables that determine the exposure of a photograph: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. To have the best exposure in one’s photograph, one must balance each of these component in order to adjust the lighting. Aperture is the depth of field so a smaller aperture would mean a shallow depth of field and a higher aperture would mean a wider depth of field. ISO is the camera’s sensitivity to light, the higher the ISO may cause the photo to be grainier. Shutter speed is how long the camera is exposed to light, the faster the shutter speed the darker the picture will get. The faster the shutter speed the faster the camera can take the photo. All these three components determine the exposure in an image.


What do each of the 3 exposure triangle components control? How are they connected to one another?

ISO: Controls the camera’s sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO the more sensitive it is to light so it the image will be brighter. On the downside if the ISO is too high that could lead to the image to be grainier.

Aperture: Controls the camera’s depth of field. The aperture controls the amount of light reaching the lens. Low aperture means a shallow depth of field, while a high aperture means a wide depth of field. Low aperture allows more light to the reach the lenses so the image is brighter. High aperture allows less light in so the image will be darker.

Shutter speed: The shutter speed is how long the camera is exposed to light –how long the camera’s shutter is open when taking a photo. How long the camera’s shutter is open is proportional to the amount of light that will reach the camera.

These three components are connected with each other because by adjusting each component will give the best exposure to the camera. You can adjust the shutter speed to make it higher so the image can be clearer, once the image is a bit darker you can make the ISO higher so that there is more light.


Use the word: EXPOSURE. What does exposure mean when discussing photography? Define underexposure as well as overexposure.


When discussing photography exposure determines how light or dark an image will appear. Exposure is one of the main aspects of photography because it determines if a picture was in the right lighting. As a photographer, exposure helps you determine the best lighting in your photograph. Underexposure is when not enough light was exposed to the camera so the image is too dark. Overexposure is when too much light was exposed to the camera so that everything is too bright and closer to white.


As a photographer, why is it important to understand how to operate your camera in Manual mode? What does this free you up to do with your camera?


As a photographer, it is important to understand how to operate in manual mode because that means you can give different effects to your photograph. Understanding manual mode means that even at night you know how to give light into your image by adjusting you ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. The main benefit is that you can be more creative with your camera in Manual mode, you can do things such as panning, motion blur, and light painting. Manual mode also allows to focus on objects that you want the camera to be focused on, not what the camera wants to focus on.


You will now select 4 of your own photos from your Flickr Manual 101 album to discuss:

Photo 1: Freezing Action

ISO: 2500

Shutter Speed: 1/3200

Aperture: ƒ/5.0

For my freezing action I chose the photo of a water balloon popping that we did in class. In this photograph me and my partner Jamie set up everything with a tripod and the water balloons. We set the camera on a tripod so that the only thing we had to manage was the position of the water balloon. We first auto focused on the hand and balloon then switch to manual focus and set it on lock. We needed the background to be a solid color or a darker color so that the water would appear clearer. In the photograph, I had my ISO very higher because I had set my shutter speed extremely high. I set my aperture very low because I wanted a blurry background so that the only focus was the water balloon and a bit of the hand. The end result of the photograph, I was very satisfied because not only was the photograph super clear but we captured the different stages of the water balloon bursting. The balloon was centered in the middle (composition guidelines) so we could see all the directions the water would burst from.


Photo 2: Motion Blur

ISO: 100

Shutter Speed: 1

Aperture: f/29.0


The day was very windy and spring has just sprung so the leaves outside my window had started to sprout. It was windy that the branches started to shake that I thought I needed to take a photo of the motion of the leaves. The result made the leaves were glitching which I thought was really nice. When I looked at the photograph it seemed that it was the start of a story or the start of a music video.  I set my shutter speed to one second because I didn’t want all the movement of the leaves but only slight movement to give it that motion effect. Because I send the shutter speed to one second (low shutter speed) I had to have a very high aperture so that the image was not overexposed. I also set the ISO to 100 so that photo had even light. I did not have a tripod on me, so I just rested my arms on my table to steady the camera. I used the branches as leading lines because the branches would intersect each other. I manually focused on the branches because I wanted the focus to be all of the branches. Because I set the shutter speed at one second I had set the aperture very high. It was also a very sunny day so I wanted to show the contrast between the branches and the blue sky. I used the principle of design of light and shadows to be able to contrast the different tones between the branches and the sky.


Photo 3: Panning



Shutter Speed: 1/15

Aperture: f/36

For my panning picture I chose this photo that I took of black car in London. I really like the aftereffect of the photo because it reminded me of a scene of a car commercial where they make the car looks super-fast and sleek. I set my aperture to about 1/15 of a second because it was a fast object so I did not need the aperture too close to 1/6 of a second. I did not have a tripod because I needed to follow the car’s path. I tried to give space to moving objects so I left more space on the left side of the photo so the audience could see that the car is moving in the left direction. I had set this autofocus because that way I would know at least majority of the car would be in focus in each picture. The background of the car did give it that motion look so I was satisfied with that effect. Because I set the shutter speed very low that would mean the picture would have more light. That is why I kept the ISO at 100 so that the image could be darker, as well as making my aperture at f/36 to also make the image darker. I wanted to make the image slightly darker so that the lights of the cars could be shown.


Photo 4: Shallow depth of field

ISO: 400

Shutter Speed: 1/10

Aperture: ƒ/6.3

In this photo was taken for my friend’s birthday party. She requested a photographer so I brought my camera to take some photos. I set my camera in manual mode with manual focus so that I could make the camera focus on her face and not the lights or the background. I also set the color temperature cooler because the lighting in the room was very yellow so I had to balance out the yellow. If I could go back, I would set the temperature to be even cooler because I still think the photo is a bit too yellow. I set the aperture very low (f/6.3) so that I could make the subject’s background blurry so that the main focus had to be her. I focus the camera on the foreground but not that lights so that fairy lights could give a slight flare to the camera lens. By manually focusing the camera on her face then her hand would be blurry so that it did not take away from the main focus. I zoomed in my camera so that I could frame her face and have the photo be very simple. The lights are the secondary focus but more are there to enhance her face. The color scheme was more of a cool and beige tone with only the lights being a different tone.


ISO: 200

Shutter Speed: 1/160

Aperture: f/5.6

This photo was taken on my trip to London the background is part of the Winsor Castle. I manually focused the lens onto the tiny tree branch because I wanted that to be the main focus. However, if I could go back I would try to focus it on the main branch not only on the small portion of the branch because the camera did not focus on the flower buds. I used the composition guidelines by using the rule of thirds and placing the branch of the right third so that it gave space to the rest of the photo. I also used the principle of color to give contrast between the blue of the sky and the pink of the flower bud. I sent my aperture very low so that it gave that blurry background, however I wish I made the aperture a bit higher so that the whole branch was in focus. My ISO was relatively low so that I could bring the color of the sky bluer because it was a very cloudy day in London that day.


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Shallow depth of field, Focus on foreground:


Shutter speed: 1/4



Shallow depth of field, Focus on background:


Shutter speed: 1/4



Wide depth of field, Focus on both objects:

ISO: 640

Shutter speed: 1/4

Aperture: ƒ/10.0

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ISO & Aperture & Shutter Speed

Aperture: 9

Shutter Speed: 30

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Light Painting

Light Painting in my opinion is a very interesting form of photography. It is a form of photography of using lights to draw out images and to form new shapes. For light painting to work, you slow down the shutter speed on you DSLR camera and lower the aperture and ISO. The shutter speed will be slowed down so much that it can follow the path of the moving objet in this case the light. Important tips to remember in order to create successful light painting photos is to make sure you set a good amount of time for you to draw, the camera is focused, and there are no distracting objects in the shot. When taking light painting photos it is vital to set a correct time limit so that if you were drawing something more complex you should give yourself more time to do it (lowering the shutter speed even more to around maybe 30 seconds). It is also important that you do not move the flashlight too much because every slow and bright movement the camera will catch it. The challenging parts of light painting was staying in the frame and connecting our lines. Our hardest part was writing characters or writing words. It was hard to turn off the flashlight move a bit and make a new line that still somehow connected with the last line. In many of our attempts all of our lines did not connect and everything was very wobbly. We combatted this issue by instead of drawing in the air, we angled the camera to the ground and drew out our images there. The results of this new angle actually turned out very well. Light painting should be best down in groups this way, one person can focus the camera and have more people means the more light painting photos that can be created.

In my group, we played around with the colors of lights. Mixing and contrasting colors so that it gave the image we drawing or outline depth. In my favorite photo, we used pink and blue and the two opposite colors made the blue stand out. I really like this photo because the aesthetic of the photo reminds me it is the beginning of a story. The beginning of a story album. The way the blue and pink seem to fade into each other gives it a very retro vibe. This photo with a lot of photos was us mixing different light sticks together because we liked how when the light sticks would cross each other it would create a new color. I highly enjoyed light painting because it combined drawing and photography.

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1 object/30 times.


In this assignment we to use the composition guidelines with the additional challenges to take 30 photos of one object. The purpose of this assignment was to challenge ourselves to find new ways to complete these guidelines with only the help of one object. By restricting the things, we could use (one object) to made us think outside our box and leave of safe zone of the photography. The composition guidelines with the additional challenges were: framing, shadows, reflections, silhouettes, center, figure ground separation, fill the frame, lights, leading lines, point of view, rule of odds, and rule of thirds. It is important to understand the composition guidelines so that it can enhance your photography skills. The composition guidelines can help you when taking a picture that even when you are in a rush of taking a photograph the composition guidelines will guide you to a good photograph. The composition guidelines show the difference between a good and bad photograph. The most challenging part of this assignment was trying to take photographs that did not seem like the last one. For each photograph I had to think of new ways to take photos. What could I do to the key chain that will make it the same but at the same time give the photograph a different feeling? The biggest takeaway I had from this challenge was to think in different ways and use a different point of view when taking photographs. Having only one object and having to take 30 photos of this object made me think different effects. Different effect that I could make with the lighting to make it as if each photograph had its own individual appeal. My most favorite photograph in the was the one I took in the lighting room where I put the Disney key chain charm against a metallic surface which gave it a slight distorted reflection. I also tried to make the photo as clear as possible so that even when zoomed the charm would still be clear. My second favorite was the one where I laid the charm on a cd which gave the Disney key chain a slight rainbow effect.

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Principles of Design


The principles of design are helpful for photographers when taking photographs and critiquing photographs. The principles of design consist of unity/variety, rhythm, tone, balance, emphasis, movement, contrast, and pattern. Unity/variety shows the randomness or unity of a group of items. Examples of this could be a crowd of people or an organized group of oranges. Rhythm shows the flow of multiple objects, sometimes it is similar to pattern. A common example of rhythm would be ocean waves and how it repeatedly hits the beach. Rhythm is very similar to pattern however pattern it stays the same throughout. An example of pattern would be the patterns of fabric or the patterns of a windowsill. Tone shows the value of a photograph, the shadows and the highlights. Contrast is very similar to tone because contrast it shows the intensity between the shadows and highlights.

From this activity I learned the importance of the principles of designs. The principles of designs have help me improve my skill in photography. Now when I take photos I understand that having the lighting in a certain way will help me enhance my photography. This activity did not just enhance my learning and understanding of photography but it also was very enjoyable to do. I brought in some props that I can try to play with but also fit the requirements of the principles of designs. The principle that I learned most from was emphasis because having the focal point be very obvious helps the audience focus on a single point. Emphasis shows main focus of the photography, usually it is the largest image in the photograph.

The photograph I chose was the photo I took of my friend Jessie with the fairy-lights. This photograph represents emphasis. I used a very simple background to contrast the fairy-lights in the foreground. The photo was taken in the library that’s why the background is just a simple white wall. The photograph exemplifies the principle emphasis because of the simple background as well as the making the person the largest object in the photograph. The fairy-lights frame the face and the glow from the fairy-lights gives the face some light too. By having the model lighter than the background shows the contrast between them. I edited the photograph in such a way that I blurred out the background, made the highlights on her face brighter. By enhancing the lighting in the photograph it showed that the emphasis of the photograph was Jessie’s face.

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Elements of Art

The elements of art are different elements that defines one’s photograph. By using the elements of art it helps the photographer to capture the perfect moment in the perfect frame. The elements are helpful in discussing and critiquing photography; through this we can see if the photograph was thought out or was hastily made. Through the six elements of art, we can use form, value, shape, line, texture, space, color and line we can see the difference in individual photographs. Through form we can see the width, length, and volume of an object. Shape can have an organic or geometric form which can help lead the eye towards the center. Texture can give the audience a look into what a surface may feel like. Space is very important in a photograph because it can help emphasis what is the main focus and what can be blurred. The use of color especially helps to contrasts the background with the main focus. On the other hand, color can also help blend object together. Line can help lead the eye on where to focus in the photo, so things may not seem too chaotic. From this activity I learned how the different elements can help me upgrade my photograph.


In the Element of Arts activity, my favorite photograph was the picture I took of my mom’s hands that I wrapped with fairy lights. In this photograph I showed different types of forms. I focused the camera on the center of the hands so that it focused on the main fairy light bulb. The bulb gave the hands a warmth red glow as if the hands were glowing. I used a bit of contrasting because I made only the hands have the yellow and red color meanwhile I made the background dark blue. The form of the wires really stood out in the photograph which I really liked. The wires show the highlights from the light bulbs but also the shadows too.

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Burning House Challenge

Name: Qiqi Z
Age: 15
Location: Beijing, China
Occupation: Student


Watercolor set

Sketchpad with drawing

Teddy Bear (had it since I was 3)

Dog (My cute dog Mino)



Laptop (Has all my previous photos and files on it)

Phone (Easy to contact others)


Couple of photos (One of my grandparents and another of my parents and I)

Wallet (Has identification and money)

Backpack to put everything in

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Unlocking the Secrets Behind the Hummingbirds’ Frenzy

Photograph by: Anand Varma National Geographic

The photograph was originally published in “Unlocking the Secrets Behind the Hummingbirds’ Frenzy,” in July 2017. The backstory behind this photograph was the interesting fact about how hummingbirds shake off the water just like how a wet dog does. The post talks about how hummingbirds often brace downpour/rain in order to gather nectar to avoid starvation.

This photograph is very interesting because the quality of the photo is amazing. It not only gets the light of the hummingbird but also the path each raindrop takes. The composition of the photo puts the hummingbird front and center so it instantly catches the audience’s attention. The contrast between the brightness of the hummingbird and the dark background bring the whole photograph to life. At first glance I thought the raindrops looked like a ton of mini light rays. By giving the hummingbird the only light in the whole entire image really captures the audience’s attention.

The photograph would intrigue an audience and deserves an audience because it gives attention on hummingbird. The small bird that seems so insignificant in nature but actually is a very big part. By showing the details of the raindrops and the position of the hummingbird it shows the beauty that hummingbirds’ have on nature. The photograph shows the beauty of the small details that hummingbirds’ have. Through the photograph the audience can see down to the smallest feather the movement of the hummingbird when it shakes off water.

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Journal Entry 4

Week 1:




Week 2:




Week 3:


After many weeks of changing the structure and testing out the polymer, we have finally agreed that the super slime base is the best solution. Our biggest change with the amount of PVA solution that would be put into the mixture, we first started out following the super slime recipe then changing the amount so it would fit our goal. In the end we discovered that with 10 mL of PVA solution held the best results that completed our goal. Our goal is that our polymer would moisturize dry skin, while also covering up places with foundation. In the beginning our struggle was finding a polymer base that did not break easily or have a very wet texture. Another struggle was how could we make the slime last for a long time and not go all wet and soggy. We realized after some tests that if we keep kneading the slime after each use it would come together and can be reused again and again. After many weeks of hard work we have finally made a slime called The Beauty Blender Slime, which fulfills our goal. The Beauty Blender slime is a brush and blender packed in one, and also moisturizes skin.

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