OK back to some photography basics.
So you have a camera and are staring at the dials, buttons, menu screens and are like “Why did I listen to Jesse? I need a book on photography basics or something.” Haha well thats probably a good start. However what I notice, when someone gets a good camera, is they get very intimidated, and decide to flip everything to auto and never try to expand their knowledge. There is SO much your camera can do! Lets figure how to use this thing!
To really get to know your camera, you are really going to need to start using it… I know it can be a bit daunting so I will try to explain some photography basics. So pull out your camera and turn that scary looking dial to M or Manual mode. Manual mode will allow YOU to control both F-Stops and Shutter Speed. The other dials LIMIT your camera to a certain scene, but if you REALLY want to move past just photography basics, turn the dial to M.
1. F-stops (aperture). F-stops is a number that tells you how how open or closed your “Aperture” is. Aperture is like the pupil of your eye, the wider it is, the more light it lets in. The smaller it is allows less light into the camera. So if a scene is darker you are going to open up your aperture. To open it up the F-Stop number will be SMALL, I know that is confusing but thats how it works. Small number means it is open, allowing lots of light, the larger the number the LESS light you will capture.
2. Shutter Speed. Another way to allow light in (Or keep it out) is to control your shutter speed. Shutter Speed is how fast your camera “blinks”. The faster it blinks LESS light is allowed into the camera, slower blink allows MORE light. But shutter speed is involved more in that. Lets say you are taking photos of sports, fast motion that you want to ‘freeze’ in your photo, you will need a FAST shutter speed. A slow shutter speed in that scenario will produce “Motion Blur”. Motion blur is exactly what it sounds like, the shutter is open too long and everything that moves will be blurry. Now at night you will NEED longer shutter speeds, thus causing you to NEED a tripod! A tripod holds your camera steady while you take a slow photo.
3. ISO. ISO was for film originally. The higher the number the MORE light it would receive. It works the same today, just digitally. Now be careful with ISO, a HIGH number (above 800) will start to produce significant “Grain” in your photos, and that can be very bad… Grain can somewhat be removed in editing these days, but you still don’t want to go crazy with it!
PLEASE don’t let these photography basics deter you, I know they don’t seem basic at this point but in time it will make perfect sense! Search Youtube for your specific camera, there will be lots! And start testing these photography basics for yourself. Check out what happens when you dial the F-Stop to max and take a photo of the sun (It’s cool). Head out at night with a low F-Stop and a 30 second exposure on a tripod(that’s even cooler!). Shoot constantly and explore your camera. I would spend hours reading every setting in the camera, it takes a bit of time, but you can do it!
Read Photography Basics Part 1 HERE
And Photography Basics Part 2 HERE