The science of the camera


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I am a photojournalism major and one of the very first things that we learned in my photojournalism class was how the camera works. I think it is fascinating how that little machine in your hands is designed like the human eye. Obviously it does not do a lot of the things that a real eyeball is capable of, but it is so adjustable that you can create a wide array of effects.
camera.jpg
The images created by the camera are made by light entering through the lens and hitting a series of mirrors inside. The factors that control the amount of light that come in are the ISO number, the aperture size, and the shutter speed. The ISO controls how sensitive the sensor in the camera will be to the light that enters. The higher the ISO, the higher the sensitivity. The aperture size is the size of the opening that lets the light into the camera. The higher the number, the smaller the hole, the less light will come in. The shutter speed is pretty self explanitory. The speeds are measured to the fraction of a second. 
In addition to adjusting exposure of the photo, you can also manipulate the photo using depth of field (the amount of the photo that is in focus). My professor, John Beale, created a very interesting interactive website that allows you to see the effects of changing the settings on the camera. 

5 Comments

The website that professor Beale made is really cool! I am a PR major and was thinking about doing a minor in Photojournalism and I am pretty sure the link on your article might have just convinced me to give it a shot. I have always enjoyed taking photographs,but havent really learned how the camera truly works and minoring in photojournalism will probably give me the opportunity to learn more about the camera and continue my mini passion of taking photo's. You mention that a camera does not do a lot of the things that a real eyeball is capable of, i slightly disagree with that statement from my limited but plausible experience i think that the camera can do a lot more than a human eye can.

The website that professor Beale made is really cool! I am a PR major and was thinking about doing a minor in Photojournalism and I am pretty sure the link on your article might have just convinced me to give it a shot. I have always enjoyed taking photographs,but havent really learned how the camera truly works and minoring in photojournalism will probably give me the opportunity to learn more about the camera and continue my mini passion of taking photo's. You mention that a camera does not do a lot of the things that a real eyeball is capable of, i slightly disagree with that statement from my limited but plausible experience i think that the camera can do a lot more than a human eye can.

The problem with comparing a camera to your eye is that they have two somewhat different purposes. Cameras capture still images but my eyes receive constantly changing images that my brain interprets, more akin to a video camera.
This website explains it better than I could, but long story short, you're both right. Each has its own advantages. http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/cameras-vs-human-eye.htm

I think its cool that you are doing a minor in photojournalism. Unlike my self, I do not have "the EYE" to take pictures. I wondered though, isn't there a slight difference when you take pictures from a camera and you actually seeing it? I think the camera is a lot better at capturing pictures better anyway. Here a little video about what cameras capture what our eyes can't. Enjoy http://ed.ted.com/lessons/what-cameras-see-that-our-eyes-don-t-bill-shribman

Cameras actually amaze me a lot. I never really thought about it until reading your article, but it kind of blows my mind that cameras can capture a moment in your life. I found this article from ABC news- http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2013/03/memoto-mini-camera-automatically-captures-your-life-every-30-seconds/, and it is so cool. They came out with a camera that you can clip to your shirt and it takes a picture every two minutes that you have it on. I always wonder if pictures are real, which is really dumb, but what if it is just in our imagination like a dream or something?

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