Daily English
Cultural English
Practical English

0549 Using a Camera

访问量:
Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 549: Using a Camera.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 549. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

If you like listening to these podcasts, consider supporting us by going to our website, eslpod.com, and becoming a Learning Guide member. Your Learning Guide membership will give you an 8- to 10-page guide for all of our current episodes that will help you improve your English even faster.

This episode is called “Using a Camera.” It’s a dialogue between Ingrid and Deng using vocabulary common to discussions related to cameras. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Ingrid: I don’t mind lending you my camera for the trip, but first, let me show you how to use it.

Deng: No need to do that. I took a photography class in high school, and I pretty much know all there is to know about taking pictures.

Ingrid: Wasn’t that a long time ago? This is a digital camera with some new features. For instance, this camera has auto zoom, image stabilization, and a memory card.

Deng: It can’t be that different from the camera I used 15 years ago. This looks like a point-and-shoot. You look through the viewer and push the button, right?

Ingrid: Well, not quite. You can adjust the flash and shutter speed, see? You can also attach a lens for wide-angle or close-up shots. You can even review your photos, saving the ones you like or deleting the ones you don’t want anymore.

Deng: Okay, I got it. By the way you’re talking, you’d think I was born yesterday. Just show me where to load the film!

[end of dialogue]

Ingrid says to Deng, “I don’t mind lending you my camera for your trip, but first, let me show you how to use it.” A “camera,” as you probably know, is a device that you use to take photographs. Ingrid is going to “lend,” let Deng use, her camera for his trip. Deng says, “No need to do that (meaning you don’t need to show me how to use it). I took a photography class in high school, and I pretty much know all there is to know about taking pictures.” “Photography” is – I guess we could call it the art and science of taking good photographs (good pictures). Deng says he’s an expert. He says, “I pretty much (meaning I almost know) all there is to know (everything) about taking pictures.” “Pictures” is just another word we use for photographs.

Ingrid says, “Wasn’t that a long time ago? This is a digital camera with some new features.” Up until recently, when for example I was growing up, cameras had “film,” which is pieces of plastic, basically, that have special chemicals on them. When you expose those chemicals to light and then later put them in other chemicals, you ended up with a photograph. Nowadays many cameras are digital, so there is no film; everything is stored electronically on a small memory stick or memory chip that is inside the camera or connected to the camera.

Ingrid says, “For instance (for example), this camera has auto zoom, image stabilization, and a memory card.” “Auto” is short for automatic, something that happens without you needing to do anything. “Zoom” (zoom), when we’re talking about a camera, is the ability to change the view so that something that is far away seems very close. “Auto zoom” would be the ability for the camera to automatically “detect,” or automatically know how far something is and zoom in on it so you could get a better, closer picture of it. “Image stabilization” is a feature on some cameras that allows the camera to keep the image (what you are taking a picture of) “in focus,” meaning very clear, even though your hand is moving. “Memory cards” are small, usually square or rectangular pieces of electronic equipment that are used to store data. It’s like a DVD or a CD can be used to store movies and photographs and other documents. Memory cards in a camera are used to “store,” or used to keep, the digital images – the photographs. If you want to take even more photographs, you can put in a different memory card with more memory.

Deng says, “It can’t be that different from the camera I used 15 years ago. This looks like a point-and-shoot.” The phrase “point-and-shoot” means that it’s a very simple camera where you just hold up the camera, put it in the direction of the thing you want to take a photograph of, and push or press a button that then takes the photograph. There’s no adjustments that you have to make before you take the photo. It’s a very simple kind of camera for dumb people like me, who don’t know how to use cameras very well. But I did take a photography class in high school! Deng says, “You look through the viewer and push the button, right?” The “viewer” is the small, rectangular opening in the back of the camera that you look through to see what you are going to take a picture of – to see the image of that you are going to take the photograph of. That’s a viewer. “Viewer” has a couple of other meanings however, so take a look at the Learning Guide for those.

Ingrid says, “Well, not quite. You can adjust the flash and shutter speed, see?” She’s showing him. The “flash” is the bright light that lasts for a very short period of time that gives you more light so that you can see what is in front of you; it will appear better on the photograph. That’s a flash. “Shutter speed” is the amount of time that the small window inside of the camera is open. A slow shutter speed means that you need more light; a fast shutter speed means you need less light. So if you’re out in the sun and it’s very bright out, you would not need a slow shutter speed. “Shutter” is just the name of the little window that opens and closes rapidly that exposes the film in an old camera – the electronic sensing equipment inside the camera, what the camera uses to convert that light into a digital image.

Ingrid says, “You can also attach a lens for wide-angle or close-up shots.” “Wide-angle” means that it is a “lens,” something that you put on the front of the camera, that creates photographs with a wider than normal view. A “close-up” is when you want to be very close or near to something, when there is very little distance between the camera and what you are taking a picture of. You could take a close-up of someone’s face, for example. Ingrid says, “You can even review your photos (look at your photos after you’ve taking them), saving the ones you like or deleting the ones you don’t want anymore.” So the camera has sort of a little computer that allows you to see the photographs on the back and delete the ones you don’t want.

Deng says, “Okay, I got it (meaning I understand). By the way you’re talking, you’d think I was born yesterday.” “By the way you’re talking” means the way that you are talking to me indicates that you “think I was born yesterday.” The expression “born yesterday” means that someone is inexperienced, someone who is naïve, someone who is easily tricked or lied to. You may say, “Of course I know how to use a fax machine. I wasn’t born yesterday!” Someone who would be born yesterday would, of course, be a very small baby who wouldn’t know anything. But you have experience, you do know something, and therefore you weren’t born yesterday. Deng says, “Just show me where to load the film!” “To load” means to put something into something else, especially when it is needed to make it work. So if you have a copier (a copy machine), you need to load paper into it; you need to put paper into the machine so that you can make your copies. “Film,” we already mentioned, is a long, thin piece of plastic used in older cameras to record the image – to capture the image, the light that comes in. The question indicates, of course, that Deng really doesn’t know what he’s talking about, since digital cameras don’t have film!

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Ingrid: I don’t mind lending you my camera for the trip, but first, let me show you how to use it.

Deng: No need to do that. I took a photography class in high school, and I pretty much know all there is to know about taking pictures.

Ingrid: Wasn’t that a long time ago? This is a digital camera with some new features. For instance, this camera has auto zoom, image stabilization, and a memory card.

Glossary
camera – a device used to take photographs of images, people, or scenes

* I’m not a professional photographer, so I don’t need an expensive camera. Just a simple camera is good enough for me.

photography – the art and science of taking good photographs

* The college offers several photography courses that teach students about the importance of good lighting.

digital camera – a type of camera that is electronic and saves photographs as electronic computer files so that they can be changed, printed, or deleted

* The great thing about digital cameras is that we can delete all the unattractive photos and pretend they never even existed!

auto – automatic; related to something that happens without anyone needing to do anything to make it happen

* Shitari set up an auto response in her email account, letting people know that she’ll be out of the office until Monday.


zoom – the ability to change the view so that something seems to be either very close or very far away

* They love bird watching and use binoculars so that they can zoom in and see the birds in more detail.


image stabilization – a camera’s ability to keep an image in focus (very clear) even if the camera is moving in a person’s hands

* Juan Carlos’s hands always shake, but because his camera has image stabilization, it isn’t a problem when he takes photos.


memory card – a small, usually rectangular piece of electronic equipment that is used to store data, especially for cameras and phones, and that can be used on different devices and computers

* This memory card is full, because we’ve taken more than 200 pictures. Do you have an empty memory card we can use?


point-and-shoot – a simple kind of camera where one can simply hold it up facing the thing that one wants to take a photograph of, and push a button to take the photo, without needing to change any settings

* Point-and-shoot cameras are good for simple photographs while you’re on vacation, but if you want to have really high-quality photos, you’ll need to buy a better camera.


viewer – the small rectangular opening in the back of a camera that one looks through with one eye while taking a photo to see the image that will appear in the photograph

* Use the camera’s viewer to make sure that none of our relatives are left out of the photo.


flash – a bright light that lasts for a very short period of time, used to provide extra lighting when one is taking a photo with a camera

* We were temporarily blinded by the flash of the camera and couldn’t see anything for a few seconds after Amir took our photo.


shutter speed – the amount of time that a small window inside the camera is open, so that a slower shutter speed means more light exposure and a faster shutter speed means less light exposure

* When you want to take a picture of something that’s moving very quickly, like a car, you need to use a fast shutter speed.


lens – the glass or plastic part of the camera that light travels through

* If the camera lens is dirty, please clean it before you take a photo.


wide-angle – a type of camera lens that creates photographs with a wider-than-normal view

* Leta likes to use a wide-angle lens to take photos of nature scenes.


close-up – very near to something; with very little distance between oneself and another person or thing, especially when talking about a photo or a video

* They’re trying to take a close-up photo of their baby’s face while she’s laughing.


to delete – to erase, remove, or permanently get rid of something

* Why did you delete the voicemail message before I had a chance to listen to it?


born yesterday – naïve and inexperienced; easily tricked or lied to

* Of course I know how to use a fax machine. I wasn’t born yesterday.


to load – to put something into something else, especially when it is needed to make something work

* Don’t forget to load the gun with bullets before you go hunting.


film – a very long, thin piece of plastic used to record photographic images in traditional cameras

* If you open your camera before the roll of film is finished, you’ll expose the film to light and ruin all the photos you’ve taken.

Comprehension Questions
1. Which of these features would you not expect a digital camera to have?
a) A flash.
b) A viewer.
c) A roll of film.

2. Which feature would you adjust to take a photo with more detail?
a) Auto zoom.
b) Image stabilization.
c) A memory card.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
viewer

The word “viewer,” in this podcast, means the small rectangular opening in the back of a camera that one looks through with one eye while taking a photo to see the image that will appear in the photograph: “Whatever you see in the viewer is what you’ll see in the final photograph.” A “viewer” is also someone who sees something or who watches a television program or a movie: “This TV show has more than one million viewers on a typical night.” Or, “What percentage of our viewers are teenage boys?” The phrase “point of view” means perspective, or the way that one sees and understands something: “From James’ point of view, this is the most beautiful painting ever.”

to load

In this podcast, the verb “to load” means to put something into something else, especially when it is needed to make something work: “Marleah took about 30 photos before she realized that she had forgotten to load the camera with film.” Or, “I forgot to load the dirty dishes into the dishwasher.” The verb “to load (up)” also means to put a lot of something into a car or another type of transportation: “Can you please help me load the groceries into the car?” Or, “How long does it take the men to load up the train at the factory?” When talking about computer programs, “to load” means for a program to be installed or for a website to finish being displayed: “I wonder why it’s taking so long for this website to load on my computer.”

Culture Note
“Hidden cameras” are cameras that are “hidden” (cannot be seen) for “surveillance” (the ability to see and/or hear what other people are doing when they don’t know they are being observed). Traditionally, hidden cameras were used for “espionage” (spying; learning secret information, especially about the government), but today some people use them for “household” (related to the home) surveillance when they want to find out what other family members or visitors are doing when the homeowner is not at home. For example, some people want to install hidden cameras to “spy on” (secretly see what someone is doing) a “babysitter” (a person who takes care of another person’s children) and see whether he or she is taking good care of the children.

Are hidden cameras “legal” (allowed by the laws)? The laws “vary by state” (are different in each state). In thirteen states, hidden cameras are illegal in places where people have a “reasonable” (logical and fair) expectation of “privacy” (doing things without being observed), such as bathrooms and “dressing rooms” (small rooms in stores where people try on clothes to know whether they fit). In other states, hidden cameras are allowed in these and other places.

Some employers want to install hidden cameras in the “workplace” (offices and other places where people work) so that they can know what their employees are doing “on the job” (while they are being paid to work). Often the employers try to get legal “permission” (the right or ability to do something) to install hidden cameras, so that if they record any unlawful activities, those “tapes” (recorded video) will be “admissible” (allowed to be seen and used) in “court” (where legal decisions are made).

Comprehension Answers
1 - c

2 - a