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Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO, & Light Explained-Understanding Exposure & Camera Settings

Dan Eitreim
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February 23, 2015

Photography may seem to involve highly complex and technical details but you cannot deny that some of the best photographs that have won international awards are those that are spontaneously ‘clicked in the moment’ bringing out the essence of the subject and let the pictures speak for themselves.

Of course, it helps to have the latest equipment and accessories in hand, but all that you require is that moment before each shot when your thought flow is in sync with the image you are capturing.

There are no doubt many guides and animated tutorials that can take you through the entire process; in general there are a few useful tips to keep in mind that can make an ordinary photograph a better one. Here, it should be understand that these tips are suitable mostly for beginners and non-technical camera people who like to take pictures to keep a travelogue or record images of vacations, family occasions and trips etc.

The basic premise of shooting photographs is to:

• Preserve pleasant memories of travels and vacations,
• Compile albums of family, friends, colleagues and pets,
• Get that adrenaline rushing through on seeing a well-taken photograph, and
• Just enjoy the feel of the camera in hand.

1. The first and foremost tip is to ‘be as close to the subject as possible’: often we see a photograph of a sunset which is the original intended subject, but because the distance was too much or the reach of the camera was too far, other objects appear in the frame that were not intended to be there. Finer details are more important as compared to overall views and the subject of the photograph must fill the frame as much as possible.

2. Speed and ‘quick to the draw’: “Shoot first ask questions later” is an oft repeated motto. That applies very well to photographing live subjects. Children, pets, wildlife and many others can get fidgety and dart around or not be interested in posing for that “perfect shot”. Sometimes candid shots like a laughing, pouting, somersaulting child or a leaping pet make beautiful memories and the best tip for someone choosing to shoot photographs in situations like these is always being ready and prepared to click at a moment’s notice.

3. Get the composition right: Nothing is more balanced than a picture in which all the elements are in place. Composition involves following the eye along the lines and contours of the subject and background, keeping a level horizon and taking out the extra elements that can skew the balance and symmetry.

4. Being selective: it may not always be possible to get the best shot in terms of symmetry and focus; in which case, the best option is to use the main subject as the pivot in the picture and blur out anything from the frame that doesn’t need to be there.

5. Focus and depth-of-field: some basic knowledge about different apertures helps to get good results. For example, pictures of people, children and pets stand out clearly against a blurred background using smaller depth-of-field whereas landscapes and outdoors turn out better when greater depth-of-field puts everything from the closest tree to the farthest one in the frame focused clearly.

6. Shutter Speed: Shutter speeds help take photographs of moving subjects by helping slow down time or catch split-second motions.

7. Be aware of the light conditions – direct or blazing light go well if bold colors and subject are in sync, indirect or subdued light provide soft and warm glows, side lights give silhouettes and provide dramatic relief.

8. The weather plays an important role: deep blue skies puffed with white fluffy clouds are always a delight as the colors turn out perfectly, so do rainy days in a black and white detail.

9. Keeping camera settings simple: If you are shooting mostly outdoors, tweak settings and keep them as simple as possible. Here’s where semi-automatic programs that allow aperture control and shooting.

10. Be bold and experimental: photography guides can only teach you so many things. Being imaginative, creative and playing around often brings more joy than just shooting perfect pictures.

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Article Source: EzineArticles.com

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For a bit of fun check out – Trick Photography

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