Basic photography tips

There are three technical elements that "make" an image
• • •

Aperture Shutter speed ISO speed (sensitivity of the digital sensor)

1. Aperture

The aperture determines the amount of light that gets to the digital sensor. A SMALL number indicates a LARGE aperture, good lenses start with a maximum aperture of 2, better and more expensive lenses start at 1.1! Apart from the quantity of light that is allowed to get through, the aperture also determines the DOF (depth of field). The numbers you see on the side of a lens usually look like this: F 22 | 16 | 11 | 8 | 5.6 | 4 | 2.4 At F 22, the lens lets in a very small amount of light, it is at minimum aperture. At F 2.4, the lens lets in the maximum amount of light that it has been designed for. Each number represents a double increase (or decrease) of the quantity of light that is allowed through the lens. For example: at aperture 5.6 you allow 2 times more light than at aperture 8, and 2 times less light than at aperture 4 On "point and shoot" digital cameras you do not see this numbers on the side of the lens, the process of opening and closing the aperture is controlled electronically and has also increments like: 5.9 or 8.2

Aperture Priority | Shutter Speed 1/25 | Aperture Value 8 | ISO Speed 50 . use a short exposure. exposure time. and 2 times less than at 1/125 sec.) will "freeze" the water droplets in mid air. or a long one. At 1/250 sec. and goes up to 30 sec. You have two options. the shutter will let in 2 times more light than at 1/500 sec. A short exposure (of 1/2000 sec.2. A long exposure time (of 1 sec. The exposure time usually begins at 1/2000 sec.) will create a special effect where the falling droplets traces unite to create streams of water. Shutter speed The shutter is the device that controls the exposure time of the photo. The exposure time determines how a photo will look. if it will be "shaken" or crystal clear. For example: you want to take a picture of a water fountain. the detail of every droplet will be clearly visible in the photo.

a large number.Aperture Priority | Shutter Speed 1/1000 | Aperture Value 3. so use the low ISO speed as much as possible. 400. shutter speed and ISO speed are used TOGHETHER to "make" an image. ISO speed ISO speed is the third element that "makes" a photo. while the 200 and 400 ISO is used in low light conditions (like interiors or at night) There is also a problem with the image quality regarding the ISO speed. can be created using the following settings: . The same image*. But things are relative in using the right ISO setting. At large numbers. It is usually expressed with the following numbers: 50 | 100 | 200 | 400 | 800 | 1600 | 3200 These numbers tell you how "fast" does the digital sensor react to the light sent through the aperture and shutter. the image will contain "noise". On an average digital camera. I'll give a theoretical example of how this three indicators work together: At ISO speed 100 you select an aperture of 8 and the shutter speed is calculated by the camera at 1/250 sec.2 | ISO Speed 50 3. the ISO goes from 50 to 400. Here is a table that will further explain how the aperture. mathematically speaking. 800. a very short time. A small number means that it takes a relatively long time to take a photo. The ISO speed 50 is usually used on bright sunny days.

6 4 Shutter speed 1/60 1/125 1/250 1/500 1/1000 same image* . the aperture and exposure time increase or decrease in connection with each other. if the aperture allows more light into the camera. or you can modify the shutter speed.the same in theory but with different effects on the final.ISO speed 100 100 100 100 100 Aperture 16 11 8 5. with the ISO speed constant. But what happens to these theoretical numbers if you set the ISO speed at 50? Take a look: ISO speed 50 50 50 50 50 Aperture 11 8 5. keeping the shutter speed constant. the shutter speed decreases to compensate and give the perfect exposure. while keeping the aperture values constant: ISO speed 50 50 50 50 50 Aperture 16 11 8 5.6 4 2. real image As you can see.6 4 Shutter speed 1/125 1/250 1/500 1/1000 1/1250 .8 Shutter speed 1/60 1/125 1/250 1/500 1/1000 You can modify the aperture.

This way.Aperture Priority Mode It is a setting on most digital cameras that allows the user to choose the aperture. you might obtain the strange image of a branch sticking out of your friend's head! However. If you want to make a portrait of someone. Aperture Priority | Shutter Speed 1/400 | Aperture Value 2. the shallow the depth of field. The need for using this shooting mode arises from the need to control the depth of field (how much of the image will be in focus). the trees and the subject are all going to be clear and in focus. like 8 or 16. In this case. using a small aperture is very useful in dealing with landscape photography. a large aperture of 2 or 3 will be the one to use. the larger the aperture. you usually create an image of a large space and showing every detail of the landscape becomes paramount. using a small aperture will give you a full clear image. In this case. If you use a smaller aperture. while the camera calculates the shutter speed for a good exposure. with trees in the background. This mode is useful when you need to separate the subject from its background.5 .

6 .Aperture Priority | Shutter Speed 1/125 | Aperture Value 3.2 Aperture Priority | Shutter Speed 1/100 | Aperture Value 5.

Aperture Priority | Shutter Speed 1/400 | Aperture Value 5 .

you will obtain an image with background. For example. in the best case you might get a trail of the shadow of the car… What you need to do is to freeze the action. the shutter can also be set for a long exposure time. So. particularly useful for night photography. Shutter Priority | Shutter Speed 1/13 | Aperture Value 2. So. These long exposures always require the use of a tripod to steady the camera. To "make" the car appear to be still. if you use a shutter speed of 1 sec.! If not. the car has moved about 7 mm… not a very clear picture.8 m/sec. if your camera allows it. you'll have to use a shutter speed of 1/2000 sec.5 . but no subject! At this shutter speed (1 sec. wait for the car to stop. However.) the car has moved almost 14 m. This allows for the very useful effects. Even at this shutter speed. you'll have to push the limits of the shutter to 1/4000 sec. a car traveling at a speed of 50 km/h is doing about 13.Shutter priority mode This shooting mode is very useful when dealing with the problem of a moving subject.

Shutter Priority | Shutter Speed 0.6 | Aperture Value 8 Shutter Priority | Shutter Speed 1/320 | Aperture Value 3.5 .

you can put a lot of scenery in a photo. At 50 mm equivalent. On lenses specifications you'll find something like 35-140 mm equivalent zoom. the field of view shrinks by a factor of 4. things get very tricky if explained properly. It involves a lot of technical things but I believe that you need a clear. 4x expression of zoom. First of all. you get a field of view of 45°. 10 is a larger number than 4. let's start with the 10x. From the 10x. Closing your feet even more. but there is a problem… 10x what?. it appears to be a very good standard. It simply tells you that a 10x zoom will give you a 10 x magnification of the image that you get at 1x zoom. the zoom of a particular lens is a subject of a lot of confusion. To simplify the problem. you get a 100 mm equivalent! . you have no reference point. To put things in order. 4x what? This is the big problem with this system. you get a field of view of 90°. you get the largest field of view. on this particular lens. At 25 mm equivalent. So. A camera with 10x zoom can be seen as a far better one than a 4x. At 140 mm equivalent.Zoom This feature is probably the most talked about property of a digital camera. 4x lenses to more traditional language like the "35 mm equivalent". at half of 45° (22. But how large is the field of view at 1x? Big question! You practically cannot compare two digital cameras this way because of the lack of a reference point. it is an effort of imagination. I mean. you will need to take a look at your feet: As you see. At 35 mm equivalent.5°). 12x. how about the "35mm equivalent" system? Well. with this system. simple answer! The explanation starts with the understanding of the field of view.

cooled down by a gentle breeze. a small aperture also means a long exposure time. There are two ways of taking a good landscape photo: use the aperture priority mode. Aperture Priority | Shutter Speed 1/320 | Aperture Value 5. It may feel good to be in the middle of nature. To do this you need a full clear picture. It would be very simple to set your digital camera on a full automatic landscape mode. point your camera in a particular direction and take a picture! But there are also some things you need to know before taking a picture. the picture will be ruined by small but visible movements of your "scenery". you will probably try to "get in" as much as possible. set your camera to a small aperture. with a landscape photo. You have to check your surroundings.Landscape Photography It is the most common form of photography. which can be obtained using a small aperture (smaller than 8). The wind can cause the movement of flowers and tree branches. but there is a better way.6 . in the case of a windy day. In the case of a clear day with no wind. However. with exposure time of less than 1/400 to "freeze" any movement. or the shutter priority mode. in windy conditions. select the shutter priority mode. Generally. particularly for wind conditions. but that is not a very good thing for your photos. All you need to do is to be surrounded by beautiful scenery.

5 .Shutter Priority | Shutter Speed 1/400 | Aperture Value 3.

Take a look at the image below: Shutter Priority | Shutter Speed 1/13 | Aperture Value 2. o Aperture Value 2. like 5 or 10 sec. 5 or 10 sec.the camera is set on shutter priority mode because the most important setting you need to control during night photography is the exposure time o Shutter Speed 1/13 .5. This type of photography requires good knowledge of what is ISO speed and how steady is a camera at different shutter speeds. which requires good technical knowledge of the capabilities of a digital camera and a tripod.5 . The poorly light scenery can be captured as an image only with long exposure times. o . exposure time.Night Photography It is a particular form of F 2. you may even get to 1. Remember the fact that for higher ISO values you get more and more noise. The challenges arise from the absence of light. the shutter speed is very slow. On various occasions. there are some indicators to help you with your images: Shutter Priority . the aperture is at the maximum I had available for my digital camera o ISO Speed 50 .at 1/13 sec. You get a lot of noise even if you are at ISO 50 using very long exposure times.5 | ISO Speed 50 As you see.I've used this ISO setting because of the low noise it generates.

the camera must be very still. if you take the picture of a butterfly and it has a wing span of 3 cm. In dealing with macro photography. So. What you must understand about macro photography is the fact it can be very satisfying. you need patience in setting the camera. Luck is required when dealing with subjects like insects. because you have a very shallow depth of field. low cost digital camera is breathtaking. witch provide extreme magnification and image detail. you need patience and luck. However.Macro Photography The photos that can be included in this category are those that depict reality at a 1:1 scale. there are specialized very expensive macro lenses. most digital cameras have a zoom lens. The amount of detail that can be captured with even a modest. They tend to move… Aperture Priority | Shutter Speed 1/100 | Aperture Value 4 | ISO Speed 50 . or the image will be out of focus. First. with built in macro capabilities. For DSLR cameras. the printed image must have a butterfly with a wing span of at least 3 cm.

8 | ISO Speed 50 Aperture Priority | Shutter Speed 1/200 | Aperture Value 5 | ISO Speed 50 .Aperture Priority | Shutter Speed 1/125 | Aperture Value 2.

Aperture Priority | Shutter Speed 1/160 | Aperture Value 3 | ISO Speed 50 .

it depends on the imagination of the photographer.8 | ISO Speed 50 Aperture Priority | Shutter Speed 1/800 | Aperture Value 5 | ISO Speed 50 . Shutter Priority | Shutter Speed 1/200 | Aperture Value 2.Nature Photography It can have any kind of subject.

8 | ISO Speed 50 Shutter Priority | Shutter Speed 1/200 | Aperture Value 3 | ISO Speed 50 .Shutter Priority | Shutter Speed 1/160 | Aperture Value 2.

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