Photography Basics improve your photos

More people are taking photographs today than ever before. Good photos can be done with any camera. The most common basics are applying both to DSLR cameras, and point and shoot cameras like compact cameras, phone cameras and so on. Here are just a few of photography basics. Some of the basics here can apply only for DSLR cameras, because of the limitations that normal cameras have, in certain situations.

COMPOSITION

One of the most important rules is composition. So called the rule of thirds. It’s the general rule of composition both in photography and film. Imagine your frame divided in nine squares or two lines vertically, and two lines horizontally. Allying  your subject, in one of the intersections of this lines, gives your photograph more interest than your subject being in the center of the frame.

Some cameras have a rule of third grid that you can activate. It can help you compose the image better. As in this example image, the grass hopper is located at the intersection of the lines, while the flower pistil is on the other intersection.

Photography Basics - improve your photos

LEARN YOUR CAMERA

Learning how and what the camera settings do will make you understand better what is going on in your camera, when you press the shutter release. I stay away from auto mode, I like to have the full control of the camera, that’s how you can learn.

ISO determinate the sensor sensitivity of your camera. A high ISO will allow you to take photos in low light conditions. Depending on the camera and how high you set the ISO, you can get more light but with the cost of NOISE or GRAIN in your pictures.

SHUTTER SPEED determinate, how long the shutter of the camera stays open. The shutter speed is calculated in seconds. The time that the shutter stays open, determinate the amount of light the camera sensor will receive. If the camera shutter speed is set to be fast, the less light you let in your camera. As you go to slower shutter speeds, the more light you let in the camera. This also determinate if your subject will be ”freezed” in the image or motion blurred. If you want to capture someone jumping in the air for example, you will need to use fast shutter speeds. The achieve the opposite, you lower the shutter speed.

APERTURE is the opening of the lens. Aperture determinate how much light you let in your camera and also affects how sharp or blurred the image will be and the shutter speed. If the aperture number, described with the F number is low, f/1.8 for example this will give you more exposure to light. High F numbers will give you less exposure, for example f/22. So lower F number means large aperture and high F number means smaller aperture. The aperture also determinate how sharp or blurry  the background of your subject will be, the depth of field. The lower the F number the blurrier the background, a higher F number the sharper the background. Aperture also affects the shutter speed. If the camera is set to a low F number, that means that the lens lets more light into the camera and therefore the shutter doesn’t needs to stay open for longer time. And in reverse the same if the F number is high, the shutter will need to stay open longer  ( slow shutter speed ) so you can have a correct exposure. Using ISO shutter speed and aperture  in different settings combinations, will determinate the exposure and the effect that the image will have. Understanding how this 3 elements work and how they affect one another is important.

GET OUT OF AUTO MODE

All photo cameras have an auto mode button. You set the camera on auto mode and you think that the camera will be smart enough to get the best shoot. While in some situations camera auto mode setting can do very good, in other cases it will just ruin your shoot. In a sunset scenario most of the time the camera sensor gets fooled on auto mode. The camera will try to expose everything ” Correctly ”, which is not always what you want your image to look like. The camera will decide what aperture, ISO and shutter speed will use to capture the image, and that is not always what you want to do.

So instead of a nice sunset where you can see the shape of the sun and the color that is casting, you will get a blown up bright sky. So using the camera in manual mode where you have the control of it, it’s another important aspect. Learning how to expose the image will improve your photos. This is just a few of many photography basics that can help you out improving your images.

If you shoot the images in JPEG format be sure to set the correct White Balance. Its more difficult to correct the white balance in JPEG in post processing than if you will shoot the images in RAW format. When you shoot in raw format is more easy to set the white balance, shooting in RAW will give no importance what white balance you set in the camera. You will choose the white balance that you want, when processing the image in editing software.

Tudor
Tudor Catalin Gheorghe

As a photographer, my goal is to create beautiful imagery. I discovered that I can’t stop learning. It’s always something new that you can learn in photography. In my journey, I hope that I can teach others a few little things about photography and photo editing. I’m the author and the creator of this website.

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