Week 3: Learning To Use My Camera

I have a hand-me-down 35mm camera that I intended to use for the project, however I had never used it before. Finding the manual was relatively easy, however the camera itself was a bit more difficult. I was using a Canon AE-1 Program, which used a single battery and had both manual and automatic (or program) settings. I attempted to use both to determine which would turn out with better images, although I wished to use the manual settings for the project.

I learnt that I needed to follow these steps to try and get the right aperture and shutter speed each time;

  • Use the lens of “stopped down” mode
  • As you press the shutter with your right hand (activating the meter) rotate the aperture with your left
  • When you have the correct exposure (according to the internal meter) the needle should be on the numeral in the viewfinder that equates to the maximum aperture of your lens i.e. if you’re using a 50mm f/1.8 then the needle should be on 1.8. Go too far and the red “under exposed” light flashes

I decided to go around the university and take photographs of stairs in both automatic and manual modes. These were on two different rolls of film, to determine whether there is a large difference. The development will be done another week as I still have to sort out timings and chemicals with the department

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