4/18/2016

Photography and Dyscalculia: An Evil Combination

I returned to college for Spring 2016 to take a photography class. Let me tell you, there is a lot more work to learning digital photography that I dreamed there would be. My sleepless nights weren't caused by college gear or by the massive amounts of equipment that a photographer needs. All of that seems perfectly reasonable. You, frustration looms large and you will never guess why.

Photography is math based.

Yup. It's the math part that's the burr under my saddle. Not the photos, steadiness or composition. 

What is the mathematical relationship between focal length and beating your head against the wall? An 18-140 mm lens works well. Unless it's a 181-40 or a 1-8140 mm. Dyscalculia wreaks havoc in a class like this.

Taking a photography course in college means learning the f-stop numbers and a bunch more math gobbledy gook. In f-stops, a small number means a lot of light gets in. Large numbers mean the opposite. My professor insists that these numbers make sense because they double each time and not only that but each "stop" cuts the light in half. It's all so clear now.

Uh huh.

Here's the f-stop chart.
f/1, f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22, f/32, f/45, f/64, f/90, f/128  Making matters more difficult is that my camera measures these f-stops in 1/3 increments. This means multiplying by 3 to get the difference in the stops. For example, if the objective is to move from f/4 to f/8 that's two stops. 2 x 3 =6, so I turn the dial six times to move the two stops, three stops would mean nine clicks and so on. Thank goodness the camera software helps me adjust!

Confused? Welcome to my home.

At least the ISO numbers make sense at 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 and 6400 - as long as they aren't confused with the shutter speed numbers.

Shutters speeds control how long the shutter is open. This chart doubles too. See?
1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1
 Because we all know that half of 125 is 60 and half of 15 is 8.

What this really means is that the faster the rabbit runs, the slower you move. It really doesn't matter because space aliens don't care and the dog is asleep anyway.

If you need me, I and my Nikon D2700 be hiding in the closet.

5 comments:

  1. I feel the pain! (There's a lot of math in music and in knitting, as well. Somehow my brain seems to handle it *there*.)

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  2. Interesting observation. We joke that everyone in my family has musical talent. Mine is to hit the on button for the CD player. Lol
    Seriously though, the only craft that I never care for is counted cross stitch. Funny. I never put that together until your comment. It makes complete sense.

    How did you work out the knitting challenge?

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  3. Oh, no!! I love math but all those settings are a little scary. Maybe I should have stuck with a point and click with a stabilizer. lol

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  4. Oh no! I love math, but all those settings make me think I should have stayed with a shoot and click with a stabilizer!!!

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    Replies
    1. It's a crazy little camera all right. Even my husband has banged his head against the wall a few times over it.

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