The DSLR Camera

The term DSLR is an acronym which stands for Digital Single-Lens Reflex. So a DSLR Camera is a digital camera that combines the mechanics of a single-lens reflex camera with a Digital Imaging sensor; as opposed to a photographic film.

The primary difference between the DSLR and the non-reflex single-lens digital camera is that the viewfinder of a DSLR presents an image that is almost equal to what’s captured by the camera’s sensor and not being captured by the camera’s image sensor and displayed on a digital screen.

  1. Lens
  2. Reflex Mirror
  3. Shutter
  4. Image Sensor
  5. Focusing Screen
  6. Condenser Lens
  7. Pentaprism
  8. Eyepiece/Viewfinder

OPERATIONAL DYNAMICS OF DSLR CAMERA’S

The Eyepiece/Viewfinder <8> is situated at the back of the camera. When you look through it, what you see is a reflection of information that has passed through the lens <1>; which means there’s a 100% chance of capturing what you see.

Information in form of light passes through the lens <1> and hits the Reflex Mirror <2> which is positioned at a 45 degrees angle inside the camera structure. This light is then directed vertically to a chamber called the Pentaprism <7>. This light is again re-directed by two mirrors into the viewfinder <8>.

When you take a picture by pressing the shutter button, the Reflex Mirror <2> bends backward, allowing light into the camera. The Shutter <3> remains open for as long as it’s been programmed to. This enables information to get to the Image Sensor <4> which then records the image and then the Shutter <3> closes and reflex Mirror <2> returns to its original position of 45 degrees thereby re-directing light back to the viewfinder <8>.

Once the process ends, the camera then processes information from the Image Sensor (4) and converts it into a pre-defined image format and writes it onto the memory card. This process takes less than a second and in most cases, some DSLR Camera’s can replicate this process of writing images more than 10 times within a second.

This is at best a summary of how your DSLR Camera works.

For an expanded view of how it works, you could follow this link and read more on Wikipedia

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What Is Photography

Photography can be defined as the art, process or job of taking and processing pictures with a camera.

Merriam – Webster dictionary defines photography as the art or process of producing images by the action of radiant energy and especially light on a sensitive surface (as film or an optical sensor).

The journey begins in the mind. You, first of all, create a mental picture of what you want and then create it physically with the tools (camera) you have in your hand.

Photography doesn’t just start and end by taking sharp and well-exposed pictures. Also having the best of tools doesn’t also guarantee excellent results. Just like any art, it requires a tool. In this case, the tool is the Camera. To use any tool effectively, it also requires skill/technical know-how to create outstanding results.

Unskilled attempts at photography results in a boring outcome. As a beginner, one may be thrilled by picture clarity and exposure; but as you advance, you start paying attention to details, the kind of images you create and what they stand for.

This is an attempt at defining photography in its simplest terms. Welcome to our journey into the world of photography. We promise to keep things short and simple for easy comprehension.

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A Practical Guide To Lighting Setups For Portraits

As a Photographer, we find ourselves constantly seeking for knowledge in certain areas to enable us to get better at what we do. Shooting Portraits could sound pretty simple but in the real sense of it, it’s not that simple. A lot of factors come to play and our ability to manage those Factors nicely to produce great images should be our forte.

lighting set up
lighting set up

The image above shows the ingenious use of various lighting modifiers, gear and positions being applied to achieve spectacular results. Special thanks to the folks over at Digital Camera World for putting this “Cheat Sheet” together to serve as a guide for us. We can either apply these or tweak the lighting positions a bit to achieve our results. A good example is the featured image used in this post. it was shot and produced by @omoakin. You can check him out on Instagram using this handle Ayodeji Photography

Why don’t we try these out and submit our results in the forums section dedicated to Lighting Setup For Portraits; let’s share our findings and challenges. Good Luck.

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ForteSpy Community; Explained

THE FORTESPY COMMUNITY; EXPLAINED

It’s precisely one month since this enviable platform was launched. For those of us on board and for the benefit of those who are yet to be part of this noble course, let’s share a brief insight into what this platform is all about.

CONCEPTION

Earlier this year I thought of a better way to network as Professionals whereby we could meet, share ideas, learn and inspire each other…. An idea came into my head and I decided to bring it to fruition. The idea was to create a global space dedicated to Photography reviews, news, editorials, and an online community for creative Professionals.(Modelling, Videography, Makeup Artists, Motion Graphics and Visual Effects Creation, 3D Animation, etc). After extensive deliberation, I started the design and building of the site in April and concluded on the 30th of April, 2017… It became fully operational for everyone on the 1st of May, 2017. It has a section for news, business tips, ideas, Editorials, product reviews also and then the online community proper.. it houses a very robust forum structure and groups according to your genre of Creativity.

A couple of Editorials have been published and a number of Creative Professionals have joined the community. This publication is designed to enlighten members and intending members on how to use this platform because it’s pretty advanced and future-proof

WHAT'S NEXT

WHAT’S EXPECTED OF MEMBERS

As it is with any community, group, forum or gathering, one thing is to be a member, another thing is to participate and make a valuable input. The good thing about this platform is that whatever goes on here impacts positively on the society at large. As a photographer, videographer or creative professional of any sort, we encounter challenges daily, no one knows it all. So I hereby encourage every member and intending members to incorporate into your workflow active participation in this community; endeavour to share at least one piece of your craft every day, throw up at least a topic of discussion every day. It could either be an image or a video file, visual effects, animation, anything. tell us how you created it, challenges you faced and how you overcame them; from the community responses via comments, we’ll definitely gain a whole lot of knowledge and get better at what we do.

The site is equipped with a featured image/video functionality which automatically populates posts with the highest number of likes, shares and comments. These posts would form a stream/gallery which would appear on pages of this platform or a dedicated page. As it pops up, members can vote, comment, share other members works; at the same time Google is picking keywords and metadata from your image/video files and making it available online. In the end, you get noticed and more businesses start coming your way. All these features have been taken care of at the design stage.

Incorporate this into your daily workflow. No content is bad. As an amateur, don’t be shy about sharing your works or asking questions. Constructive criticisms are welcome. No discrimination of any sort is allowed here. As a professional don’t feel you know it all. There is always something new to learn daily. Your presence here may just be the leap someone needs. Impacting lives is key. Let’s endeavour to keep our communications civil here and have maximum respect for each other.

CONTACT

CONTACT FORTESPY

If for any reason members or intending members would want to contact the team behind this noble platform, you could use any of the available channels on the site. There’s a small envelope symbol on the bottom right, you’ll see it while viewing in desktop or Tablet mode. you can use that to communicate with the site admin. you can also use the contact page which can be accessed through the footer area.

THANK YOU

THANK YOU

Once again We want to say thank you to members of this great community. It’s clear that you believe in the vision and the need for us all to come together, learn, share knowledge and inspire each other. To those who are still undecided, don’t wait any longer, the time to be a part of this is now. This is the place to be.

If you have any observations, suggestions, kindly state them using the comments section below.

Overcoming Creative Blocks

Creative blocks could be described as a situation whereby a photographer, writer, artist or any creative professional is unable to get access to his or her creative bank. This apparent barrier to inspiration prevents one from creating new work. It could last for days, weeks, months and in extreme cases, years.

First of all, we need to acknowledge that this situation does exist and the make a conscious effort to avoid it or overcome it if the situation arises.

CAUSES OF CREATIVE BLOCKS AND THEIR REMEDIES

  • PERSONAL ISSUES

Life isn’t a bed of roses. At certain times we experience certain problems that take the most part of us. For example, grieving a loved one, marital issues, having to deal with children and possibly schooling. The pressure from these issues could hinder our access to inspiration. To deal with this, we’ll have to solve the issues as they come and if they become too difficult for us to handle, it’s advisable we just let it pass. There’s no problem that’s permanent. it’ll surely come to an end some day

  • LACK OF RESOURCES

Some people have this notion that conditions must be perfect before results can be perfect so they inadvertently spend their precious time brooding over their lack of expensive gear, finances, time or knowledge. This then causes a negative effect on their creative pattern. The best way to handle this is to make a conscious effort to exploit the available resources to your benefit. Make the best out of what you have. In the end, you’ll be amazed at what you can do.

  • NEGATIVE CRITICISM

If you work in a team, you can relate to this. You may have your work constantly criticised negatively by team members or rejected by your team leader. This may result in you doubting your talents and creative ability; Anxiety sets in and you find yourself overly conscious about the outcome of a project or task. If not properly checked, this situation can lead to creative blocks. To resolve this, you’ll need to program your mind to go against what scares you the most. The effect of will power can never be over-emphasised. Get back to the drawing board and start again. You’ll gradually find yourself overcoming those barriers of inspiration.

  • SUBSTANCE ABUSE

A lot of Creative Professionals are guilty of this. By substance abuse here, I mean the use of alcohol and/or drugs to help stimulate or keep the creative juices flowing. It gets to a point where the body is either accustomed to it and can’t function without it or requires higher doses of the substances to perform. The absence of these substances or its overdose could lead to depression or in extreme cases; death. The moment depression sets it, it begins to affect one’s creative process. To resolve this, it’s best to avoid using substances but if one is already caught up in this then the services of a therapist need to be consulted.

  • SUDDEN LOSS OF VALUE FOR ONE’s CRAFT

You may wake up one day and just begin to question what you do and why you do it. Something you derive so much joy in doing before suddenly becomes a chore. At that point or period, you’ll experience difficulty doing anything creative.To resolve this, you’ll have to do something out of the ordinary like; taking a walk around your vicinity, going to somewhere new, set out new assignments with timelines and trying to see things from a different perspective. These steps would definitely liberate one from the barriers of inspiration; otherwise known as creative blocks.

In summary. it’s worthy to note that creative blocks do exist. The syndrome is real and to avoid it, we must constantly be at work creating quality content. If there are other causes or remedies, feel free to contribute by using the comments section below.

Protecting Your Images Online

The need to protect your images online cannot be over-emphasized. This is fast becoming a recurring decimal these days – A situation whereby the established brands steal works from the upcoming artists, publish and take the glory without any form of compensation to the original author. Each day, more and more people are gaining access to the internet. To get noticed, you need to share your works, that’s about the easiest way people can get to notice you and subscribe to your services. When you eventually publish your works, what stops others from taking your work and claiming it’s theirs? Nothing. We can’t prevent them from doing a screenshot or outrightly downloading the image off the internet, but we can make a conscious effort (no matter how small) to keep our images safe.

HOW TO PROTECT OUR IMAGES ONLINE

  • COPYRIGHT PROTECTION

The best form of protection while dealing with copyright infringement is to register your work with the Copyright Commission/Office as it applies in your country. All you need to do is to head over to their office or online portal, create an account, pay the requisite fees and you’re done. The downside of this is that as a photographer or digital content creator, you’ll most likely be releasing content daily and that would cost a lot of money keeping up with the copyright protection of all content produced.

  • AVOID PUBLISHING FULL RESOLUTION IMAGES

If you’re using a Nikon D7100 camera which has a 24MP sensor with a resolution at 6000 x 4000, it’ll be advisable to publish an image size of between 1080px and 1200px on the longest size. In that way, the file size is reduced and the image quality is still retained for online viewing.

  • APPLYING YOUR WATERMARK

Applying watermarks to your images is the most conspicuous and easiest way of protecting your images online. The standard method used by photographers is to either add your name to the bottom/side of the image or better still a small logo. This tells the viewer that the image was created by you and belongs to you. It also doesn’t distract the viewer from appreciating your work. The downside of this is that any thief can easily clone this watermark out and claim ownership of the image.

Another type of watermark that’s usually adopted by those who want full control and protection of their images is to emboss the watermark boldly over the image. This method of watermarking can be seen on sites that hold stock images for sale like Shutterstock. The downside of this is that the watermark distracts the viewer from appreciating the work of art.

  • DIGITALLY SIGN YOUR IMAGES: METADATA

This is an area I’ll advise every photographer to invest some time in. According to the International Press Telecommunication Council (IPTC), Metadata is a set of data that describes or gives information about other data. In this case, Photo metadata is data that gives information about an image. This data can be passed on with the image from one application to another irrespective of the format. Metadata can be stored internally; embedded in the image file in formats like JPEG or TIFF or stored in a sidecar file such as XMP as in RAW files.

The Photo metadata consists of 3 categories,

Administrative: – This covers the identification of the creator, it’sDate of creation and location, contact information of licensors of the image and other technical details.

Descriptive: – This gives information about the visual content such as headline, title, captions and keywords.

Rights: – This covers copyright information and underlying rights in the visual content; including model and property rights and rights usage terms.

I’ll suggest you follow this tutorial closely and ensure this is incorporated in your workflow henceforth.

  • MONITOR USAGE OF YOUR IMAGES VIA GOOGLE ALERTS

If you’re passionate about keeping track of your portfolio online then Google Alerts may just be the most efficient tool to utilise. This service enables you to set up keyword triggers that send email notifications based on the criteria you set up. In this case, your images.

From my research, a random search using a keyword on google can pick up images with that name or with the keyword embedded in the metadata. So as a photographer, you could start by naming your images using a specific prefix or custom naming style. Have the names embedded in the keywords metadata and also in the file name. Then while setting up Google Alerts, put the keyword in a quote; for example ” John Doe” so the search weeds out any false readings and then delivers it’s findings to you daily, weekly or as it happens.

With these simple steps stated clearly above, you can prevent your photography from being used illegally online without your knowledge. Always remember to input your metadata and watermark your images. Sending Google Alerts on a surveillance mission would cost you nothing itsbenefits are huge.

Welcome Onboard

Welcome to ForteSpy!

ForteSpy is a global space dedicated to Photographers, Videographers and Creative Professionals as a whole. With an operational base in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, West Africa, we hope to positively reach out to the world.

ForteSpy offers an online community dedicated to Photographers and Creatives where knowledge can be shared, members can also learn from each other and be inspired. Editorials would also be published routinely which covers photography reviews, news, business tips, industry trends and any other useful information.

You can subscribe to our push notifications system for alerts on new articles and also head over to the community section and be a member let’s all grow together. As time goes on, this community would continue to grow and definitely evolve into something everyone would be proud of.