Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Photography for Beginners

Everybody is a photographer these days.  The digital age has made capturing images incredibly easy, and sharing them even easier.  More and more people are now becoming interested in capturing higher quality pictures, so I've put together a little guide to the basics of photography.

Depending on your camera you may not have the option to control all of these settings, but even most of the cheap point and shoot cameras I've come across have had at least some of these controls.

This is going to be very basic.  I'm not going to explain why this works, I'm just going to give a simple cause and effect for each setting.  Click on any of the images to expand them so you can see what I'm talking about better.

Shutter Speed - Measured in Seconds, ie. 1/25

Bigger Number - More light, More blur

Small Number - Darker, Less blur

On a tripod, a long shutter speed can allow much more
light than even the naked eye can detect.

If your shooting handheld or a scene with a lot of movement, you will probably want shutter speed to be set to a lower number (remember this is a fraction, so the denominator is actually higher).  If you have a tripod you can get away with a longer shutter speed to capture more light.

Apature - Measured in F-Stops, ie. f3.5

Bigger Number - Less light, Bigger Depth of Field (More is in focus)
Smaller Number - More light, Shallower Depth of Field (Less is in focus)

Notice the thin line of carpet that is in focus.
This is the result of a very narrow depth of field.
The Apature is one of those things you probably don't have a lot of control of if you have a cheap point and shoot, but there are still many consumer cameras that have a least some control over Apature.  

If you can set your Apature to something like f2.8 or below, you can usually get a really shallow depth of field.  This means that only a very narrow area of your image is actually in focus, which gives you those nice really blurred out backgrounds.  The obvious disadvantage is that it's harder to get your image in focus.

ISO - Measure in hundreds, ie. 200

There is a lot of noise visible in the dark blue sky in
the upper left hand corner
Bigger Number - Brighter, Noisier image

Smaller Number - Darker, Less noisy image

ISO is simply the sensitivity of the sensor.  The higher the ISO, the more sensitive to light the sensor is, but also the more junk you will see in your image.  Some cameras can handle higher ISO values than others, so this one requires a little experimenting to figure out.

So there you have it.  Hopefully this makes sense to everybody.  If something I said doesn't make since,  or is glaringly incorrect leave a comment and I'll fix it before the lies spread.

1 comment:

Sheldon said...

I just want the dog chuck.