Monday, 06 May 2013 19:44

Photography Tips

I’ve been writing on this site for a while now, and I’ve put together a lot of good content, but the trouble is that a lot of it can be hard to find, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. This post will walk you through everything that a beginner in photography should learn, and in the order that they’re supposed to learn it. Welcome to my 100th post. You should know that there is now a video version of this post, and it can be viewed here. Exposure The most

basic and essential part of photography is exposure. Learning how exposure works will help you to take control of your camera, and take better photos. As you start to learn what shutter speed, aperture and ISO does, you’ll learn about the other effects that each have on your photos, which can produce creative results. If you only have time to learn one aspect of photography, then this is it, as you’ll start to move away from full auto or program modes, and learn how to use your camera properly. Aperture If we cover exposure in the order that the light enters the camera, then the aperture always comes first. The linked article will explain aperture in much more detail, but to put it into layman’s terms, the aperture is very similar to the pupil of your eye – the wider it is, the more light it will let in. There are side effects to using certain apertures, namely depth of field, but we’ll get to that in a post further down the page. I found exposure much more complicated before I learnt the aperture scale, so try to make sure that you memorize it, and understand the f-stop scale, so that you can use the knowledge to take better photos in the future. The scale is as follows: f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22. Shutter Speed After aperture, comes shutter speed. It will effectively take the amount of light that the lens has let though, and then only use a fraction of a second’s worth (usually), depending on the lighting situation. Different speeds can have different uses. You would want to use a longer speed of around 30 seconds for night photography on a tripod, but you may want a speed of around 1/1000 of a second if you’re shooting a fast moving subject. It all depends on what you’re shooting and how much light you have available. Shutter speed was the first thing I learnt when I got my SLR because I wanted to be able to freeze motion and remove any potential blur. Looking back though, I wish I’d learnt aperture first ISO Once you’ve decided how much light you’re going to let through to the sensor, it’s then time to decide how much more you need. This may sound confusing, because surely you let in as much light as you need in the first place, right? Wrong. The problem is that you have to be able to change your aperture and shutter speed to suit your shooting situation if you want to get good and un-blurred results, but unfortunately this doesn’t always provide you with enough light. This is when you can then decide to increase your ISO to make the camera more sensitive to the light. Watch out though, because the higher the ISO, the more grain the camera will produce. More about that in the full post though. Metering Modes Rather awkwardly for beginners, exposure isn’t as simple as learning about aperture, shutter speed and ISO; you also have to learn about how your camera looks at light. There are different metering modes that can be used for different lighting situations, which will better instruct your camera how you want it to expose. This is especially important if you’re not shooting on manual because you leave part of the exposure up to the camera. By using various metering modes such as ‘spot metering’ you can completely change the amount of light going into the camera. Understanding this may just be the key to understanding why your photos are coming out underexposed

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