OK, so you stepped up from a point and shoot camera to a brand new with all the bells and whistles DSLR. Now what?
You can leave it on Auto and it will take good photos sometimes. In this and the post to follow, I’ll take you through turning the dial and getting you off the Auto everything mode. I’ll open you up to a whole new world of photography. Photography the way it was meant to be with some thought behind it, and not just pointing and shooting. Isn’t that why we spent all that money for a DSLR anyway?
In these tutorial’s, I'll post once or twice a week until we are actually ready to get off of the Auto setting. Then will start taking what we learn in these next few weeks and getting out there and having some fun.
Then I'll start posting bi weekly. This will give you a chance to get out there and practice the lesson before we move on to the next lesson.
I’ll start off describing the features. Then go into what it’s for and why and when to use it. I’ll also describe how changing the settings on your camera and lens will affect your picture and why.
We will work our way up to shooting in manual mode. Where we tell the camera what we want the picture to look like. Not the camera guessing what it should look like.
Before we talk about the different mode settings let me tell you the three settings that will affect your cameras exposer. Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO, all will affect you’re your final image, either by affecting the brightness, depth of field or sharpness.
Will start off with Aperture.
Aperture is the opening in your lens.
A hole opens in your cameras lens when you take a picture. This allows your cameras sensor to see a glimpse of the scene. The aperture setting you choose changes the size of the hole. The larger the hole the more light that reaches your cameras sensor. The smaller the hole the less light that reaches the sensor.
Aperture is measured in f-stops - f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/22 etc. Each f-stop doubles or halves the size of the opening in your lens, and the amount of light getting through to your cameras sensor. If you know your correct exposure, if you make a change to the stutter speed in your camera you also have to change the aperture. This is good to remember, will be using this rule a lot in my lessons to come.
One thing very important to remember is a large aperture setting that lets more light in are actually a smaller number. So f/2.8 is much larger and lets in a lot more light than f/22. This is confusing at first but after a little practice it will become second nature to you.
Aperture also affects your depth of field. This is the amount of your picture that will be in focus. A smaller aperture setting say f/2.8 (lets in more light) will give you less depth of field. And a larger aperture say f/22 (lets in less light) will give you more depth of field. Which means more of your photo will be sharp and in focus at f22 than f/2.8. All of this determines how you want your picture to look. There is no wrong or right, it’s all in what your vision for the final photo is.
If your photographing a landscape you would probably want a larger f/stop number (f/22) so all of the landscape is in focus. That is of coarse if you want all of your landscape to be in focus. It’s all in what you want your final image to look like.
If you are taking a portrait you may want to use a smaller f/stop number (f/2.8) to blur the background so all the focus is on your subject. It’s all in the way you want your final photo to look. The best way to learn all of this is to jump right in and practice, experiment and be creative.
My next post will be about shutter speed and ISO. All building up to when we can turn that dial and get off of Auto mode.