The Understanding Digital Photography Website is a Great Resource to Help Students Learn About Different Camera Settings

Is there an effective way to teach our students how different camera settings affect their photographs?

How fast should the shutter speed be to stop action?  How does the aperture setting affect how much of my photo is in focus? How do I use bounce flash to minimize shadows? How different does a scene appear using lenses with different focal lengths?

Teaching these technical skills can be even more difficult when students are using different cameras.

This interactive camera website was designed to help students learn the fundamentals of digital photography. Students have found that using it is intuitive, although there are several functions that may not be obvious.

Under the “Exposure” tab on the homepage, there’s a rectangle labeled “Aperture Opening vs. Shutter Speed.” This feature helps students understand there are many combinations of shutter speeds and aperture openings that yield the same exposure. “Hidden” on the “Focal Length” page there’s a rectangle labeled “Lens Perspective.” This feature was designed to show students how different focal lengths make objects appear closer together, or further apart.

You can check out the full site here

John Beale

John Beale, an award-winning photographer and writer, teaches introductory and advanced courses in photojournalism at Penn State. Prior to coming to Penn State, Beale worked for more than 20 years as a staff photographer and chief photographer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His freelance photojournalism, including assignments for The Associated Press and, has been published widely on websites and in newspapers, magazines, and books. Beale is a founding faculty member and the coordinator of the annual Keystone Multimedia Workshop, which has provided multimedia training for journalists and communicators since 2007.

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