This is not me trying to teach you everything you need to know about taking photos with your DSLR, but this it’s the start of it. There are 4 main settings I’m going to tall about here. The 4 most importent things you need to understand when your taking a picture.
1. White balance (WB)
Many cameraes, most cameraes, have white balance options. Your camera does sometimes get tricked by the different lightning in its sorroundings. This makes your camera believe that the colour white is more blue, than it really is, or more yellow. If you use auto white balance, you belevie that you don’t have to deal with these problems, but sometimes you do. Taking pictures indoors, in the sun, the shaddow, it can be harder then you think. Try to use the different WB-modes and get familiar with it. What makes the colour warmer (more yellow) and what makes the colours colder (more blue). If you do this you will know right away how to fix a picture taken with auto WB that makes you believe you have to go to the doctor because your so pale.. Just saying.. Get the hang of it! If you shoot raw you can just forget about all this. In RAW photos you can change the white balance when your uploading the photos on to your computer. So therefore many does like Jared Polin. Like his t-shirts saying: “I shoot RAW”. I’m going to talk more about raw images later!
2. ISO (or ISO-speed)
This is a term that seems so hard to understand, but actually are really easy. ISO is a term taken from the analog cameraes that had films where you choosed ISO. Now you can change it all the time from picture to picture. Don’t think about why it’s called speed, you simply don’t have to care. The only thing you need to remembet is this. The greater number, the more sensitive the camera gets to lightning. So is it dark you use high ISO and is it allot of light you use low ISO. Try to go as low as your camera manage. Why? Here’s the deal. You can’t allways go as high or low that you want to. The higher ISO the more noisy (the more pricky or dotty) your image will get.. It can actually ruin everything. Try to go no higher than 1600/3200, but try to go as low as 200/100/50. Sometimes you need to have a higher ISO so you can take photos in low light conditions and freeze the image. To freeze a image, so it doesn’t get blurry, you need a high shutter speed. And a high shutter speed needs enough light. And enough light you’ll get by adjusting your ISO higher. Find out what you want. Do you want a blurry photo or pricky freezed photo?
3. Shutter speed
Maybe you just thougt: “he mentioned shutter speed under ISO, but I dont know what that means. Is it a fish?” Now I will tell you what it is.
It’s not a fish. It’s adjusting on your camera. The shutter speed teels you how long your camera will be “open to light”. Where not talking about Jesus Christ walking into your camera, but the actual lightning in your sourrondings. The longer the shutter is open, the more light gets in! Easy? Yes! The shorter the shutter is, the less light can get into your camera. So….. why would you want to adjust this? First of all you want it to be adjusted so the picture dont get to bright or to dark. You also eant it to be adjusted so the picture dont get blurry or that it gets blurry. We talked about freezing an image. To do so you need to have a shutter speed that’s so fast that the object your taking picture of isn’t moving while the shutter is open. Taken photos of humans this can be from 1/320 (1/250) of a second to allot more. It depends on the activity. Taking portaits of adults, it can be lower. A fast shutter needs more light. And when your taking photos of flying birds or so, you might want a shutter thats 1/1000 or maybe 1/2500 of a sencond, and that requires allot of light, or a lot of noise (high ISO). You want to adjust the ISO so that you can chose shutter speed you need. If it’s low lightning, you need higher ISO so the camera is more sensitive to the little light there is. But the rule is, keep your ISO down to the minimum of what you need. Taking pictures you might sometimes want your Shutter to be really slow. Like 5 seconds slow. Why? Well if you want to keep your ISO down at 100 in low light conditions, this is actually the only way to do it, but you will need something steady to have your camera on, like a nice tripod. Or your image will get blurry. This is best taking pictures of still standing object. Like when your taking landscape pictures. You can also make an effect out of it thats really cool. Meke shure the shutter is 2″ or higher, and take a photo of a river. The sourroubdibgs will be feezed, but the rover is alive in the photo! Cool? Oh yeah!!
Aperture is gives as a number. Like 1.4, 2.8, 5.6 or even 28 or 0.95 (but that last number I mentioned is a really expensive number). Aperture tells how much light the lens lets the camera get. It’s the excact same thing as your pupils. If the pupil is big, more light comes trough your eyes (lens) and into your brain (camera body). Low numbers is big openings with allot of light entering the lens, and a huge number is a really small opening with less light entering. So why do we have this option? It’s to either give you an effect on your image or to just give you more or less light so that the image will look better. More light, low aperture number, can make you change the ISO to lower, and then you’ll get less noise. Brilliant? Yeah.. It is! But! That’s not all. A big number, often used in landscape photographing, every part og your picture will be as sharp as your focus point. But when the number is low the front and background will become more blurred out ( this is a nice blurry thing) and make the object your photographing stabd out. At really low numbers you can make only the eyes of a face sharp while the rest og the face will get blurry. This is a really cool effect that really helps you put a professional look to your images. You can take a picture of a boy at the footballfeield and everything else will be unfocused, you can also photo a lion in the wild and make it the focus so that the stunning nature does’nt ruin it for you. So low number means much light little depth in your image, and a huge number means less light and allot of depth.
One mast thing about the aperture. It can give the effect bokeh at low aperture, onmy a name of the blurryness in the background, but som lenses make this blurry part more beautifull or more “bokehlicious” – like Kai Man Wong, from DigitalRev, would have said.
Check out Digital Rev at youtube! Lot of fun for photo enthusiasts!
Please comment if you want to and if you have any questions. My English needs some refreshing, but bare with me!