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Photography Basics for Beginners

Dan Eitreim
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February 26, 2015

Studio Photography : Beginner Photography Studio Supplies


5 Essential Photography Basics for Beginners

We’ll get to the photography basics in a moment, but first something that caught my attention lately. Most cameras out on the market today have countless auto-features which allow you to focus solely on capturing the ideal image. The sad truth to this is that these auto settings don’t always know what looks best to the human eye and that’s why so many photographers who are just starting out are disappointed and baffled because they have no idea why their photos don’t look the same as the ones seen in a magazine, for example.

With these photography basics you’re going to see that “auto” is a word you should really try to avoid if you’re looking to do photography professionally. Mess around with the manual settings to see what your camera can actually do, because many auto settings cloak the real beauty of some pictures, something you definitely don’t want. So, let’s get to those photography basics…

1. Master Manual Exposure: On most cameras, you can simply select “M” for under the camera dial to set the exposure to manual. Find an object to capture, then focus on your object until you notice a green or “correct” exposure. Take the photo and compare it to your auto settings to see the big difference it makes, it’s that easy!

2. Main Factors of the Ideal Exposure: Before you start shooting away with your “correct” manual exposure settings, you need to know that getting the perfect exposure depends on 3 things: ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed.

3. ISO: The higher the aperture settings are, the lower your ISO setting should be and vice versa. The ISO setting generally converts the light entering through your lens into a picture. So, low light, low ISO; bright light, high ISO.

4. Aperture: You’ll notice when you turn the aperture control that a few numbers appear, generally lower numbers will open the lens and let more light in, while higher numbers closes the lens and let in less light. Experiment with this during different times of day and weather conditions.

5. Shutter Speed: This controls the light volume entering through the lens which is set by the aperture setting you’ve selected to put things in basic terms. Different shutter speeds vary from photo to photo depending on which effect you’re looking for. For example: a fast shutter speed of 1 second or less is perfect for landscape photos, whereas a slower speed might be better for portraits.

In conclusion, there are no photography basics that will make you an instant expert. The secret here is to understand the photography basics, play around with them and forming the perfect formula that suits your style and overall feel of your photos. The only one that can make you a professional photographer is you. Experiment with these different settings as much as you possibly can, it’s what you love doing after all, isn’t it? Make the most of your hobby and take notes as you explore your different settings. If you take a great picture, write down the time of day, settings and anything else you’d like to include that will make your next shoot easier.

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