Sunday, August 31, 2014

3 Camera Lessons For Every New Photographer [Free Cheat Sheet]

So you just bought your first camera...now what?!

Here are three key fundamental concepts that every new photographer should understand. How your camera's shutter speed scale works, how focal length affects your composition, and how your aperture controls what's sharp in the photo.

3 Camera Lessons for Every New Photographer [Free Cheat Sheet]

Media Source: Digital Camera World

1. Shutter Speed:

Shutter speed is one of the two ways of controlling the exposure (with lens aperture being the other). Just like aperture settings and ISO's, shutter speeds go in a fixed sequence. The longer your shutter is open, the further your moving subject will travel during the exposure (causing blur).

To freeze your subject, you use a faster shutter speed. Or you can become a bit artistic, by setting a slower shutter speed and 'pan' the shot. That is, follow the subject in the viewfinder, as you press the shutter. This keeps the subject sharp but blurs the background.

2. Focal Length:

Lenses are grouped according to their 'focal length'. The shorter the focal length, the wider the angle of view. These are commonly called wide-angle lenses.

When you shoot with a wide-angle lens (such as a 20mm), you get more in the frame but objects appear smaller.

The longer the focal length, the narrower the angle of view. These lenses provide a photograph with less in the frame, but the subject is magnified (such as a 300mm). This is commonly referred to as a 'telephoto' lens.

3. Focusing & Aperture:

Lens aperture is one of the controls used to get exposure right in photographs. Aperture controls the amount of light hitting the camera sensor, while the shutter speed controls the length of the time that the sensor is exposed.

The size of the lens aperture affects the depth of field in the picture. For example, shallow depth of field is where the main subject is sharp in the foreground, while the background is out of focus. You can achieve this affect by using wide lens apertures, such as f/4.

You can also increase the depth of field by using a narrower lens aperture such as f/16 or f/22 which makes objects at all distances look sharper.

Lens aperture is important if you wan to blur backgrounds to draw attention to your main subject or make your shots perfectly tack sharp, from foreground to background.


We hope this cheat sheet will help reinforce these three fundamental photography concepts. Most importantly, it gives you a reason to pick up your camera and get behind that lens!

Join us on Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ , Twitter, or sneak a peek at our photography on Dakota Visions Photography, LLC. Until next time, we'll see you behind the lens...


Shutterfly Photo Books

Subscribe to See You Behind the Lens...
by Richard S - Dakota Visions Photography, LLC

References: Digital Camera World