These basic photography tips will give you a 5 minute crash course to learn your DSLR camera. Learn beginner photography basics with this tutorial for a crash course in photography.
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A 5 Minute Crash Course to Learn Your DSLR Camera
Starting to learn photography can be a very daunting and confusing task. It’s difficult to take decent images without having the basic knowledge as a solid base to build and learn from. There are a few terms that are essential to photographers, no matter the skill level. I will be using these terms through the remaining posts in the series. I will only be providing an over view of each term and how they apply. As we advance through the series I will be spending more time with the main sections to help provide you a deeper knowledge of the subject.
One of the first things you must learn is the complete ins and outs of your camera. Spend time reading your manual or researching the many and varies options, and buttons that come with your model type. Many camera have similar dial Icons. The icons help to show you what setting your camera is on. I personally shoot with a Canon 6D, so I’ve provided a break down of what each icon on my camera’s dial means.
How do I change my DSLR settings?
B:Bulb: The shutter stays open while the shutter button is pressed.
M: Manual: You’re able to manually change all of your settings like shutter speed, ISO, and aperture.
Av:Aperture Priority: (Canon is AV/ Nikon is A) You choose the aperture (f-stop value) and the camera provides the shutter speed needed to properly expose the image.
Tv: Shutter Priority: (Canon is TV/ Nikon is S) You choose the shutter speed and the camera provides the aperture (f-stop value) needed to properly expose the image.
P: Programmed Auto Exposure: The cameras system chooses the aperture and shutter speed to the correct exposure, but you can shift the exposure to change the aperture & shutter speed combination.
These next few may vary from camera model to camera model!
DSLR Beginner Course
A+: Scene Intelligent Auto: The camera
CA: Creative Auto: The camera chooses the shutter speed and aperture, while you are able to control the style,brightness,image format,and depth of field.
SCN: You have the following scene modes from which to choose: Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene, HDR Backlight Control.
C1 & C2: You’re able to apply your own custom settings
Along with learning your camera gear in and out, you will also need to learn some key terms to help you understand how each images is created within the camera body.
Shutter Speed: The length of time that your shutter stays open to expose light into the camera.
Shutter speed plays an important roll in the focus of each images. Longer shutter speeds allow for more movement and light into the image. Faster shutter speeds let in less light and will freeze the subject better allowing less movement to be shown.
How Do You Use Aperture on a DSLR?
Aperture: A hole within a lens through which light passes into the camera body.
Aperture has many rolls within photography, while it’s main function is how much it allows light into the cameras body, it also controls the depth of field. [Depth of field: The sections of the images that appears in focus or sharp]. Aperture is expressed in F stops. F stops range from F/1.2 to F/22. Low numbers = large aperture and high numbers = low aperture. I think of it an eye on my camera and the aperture as the pupil. Small pupil less light will get in, large pupil more light. (We will be going over aperture more further on in the series. If you have questions please ask in the comments below and well get them answered.)
ISO: The camera’s sensitivity to light .
ISO is measured in numbers ranging from 100 to 256,00. The smaller the number the less sensitive the camera will be, the higher the number the more sensitive the camera will be. As you increase your ISO you have to be mindful of the amount of grain/noise your images will display. Low ISO yields less grain/noise, High ISO yields more grain/noise.
These three terms are known as the Exposure Triangle. To get a properly exposed, in focus image all three need to work together. In the next post we will dive deeper into ISO, Shutter speed and aperture and how the triangle works together to create images.
RAW vs JPEG: RAW files are large files that contain all the information about your images. Raw images require special programs to open the images. When you shoot in RAW, you have more flexibility in manipulating the images without loosing any of the data. Jpeg is a more widely known format, readable by any image program. When shooting Jpeg, you have less flexibility in manipulating the images, you loose data from each edit made
When looking at the RAW image, you will see that it is dull, a dim. The Jpeg images have some sort of processing done in camera, so they, in theory, come out ready to print. The easiest way to understand the difference is to compare them to a coloring page. The RAW image is like a blank page, with only the black outline of the image. You have the ability to add whatever colors and any additional features you may want to add to the page, without loosing any part of the original image. The Jpeg images, are like a coloring page that is already pre-colored. You still have the ability to add the colors you want and new features, but you will loose some of the original image. It limits the edits you can do.
If you have any questions or thoughts your own, please feel free to share them in the comments! I would be over the moon to hear from you! Thank you endlessly for spending this time with me here on Sixth Bloom’s blog.