Photography for Beginners - DSLR Photography

u003ch2 class=u0022header-6 u-small-title u-text-golden-poppy title titleu002du002dwith-logou0022u003eWritten by: Will Hall, Wildlife Presenter and Photographeru003c/h2u003ernu003ch4u003ePhotography for Beginners Series – DSLR Photographyu003c/h4u003ernDSLR is a little more complicated than u003ca href=u0022 photographyu003c/au003e but can lead to some fantastic shots when you have full control over the settings. I’ll try not to get too bogged down with technical jargon but in this article I’ll try and outline some tips and tricks to get you started. There are hundreds of authors who have written hundreds of books on the subject of photography and it would be a foolish notion to think I could condense it all down to just a few hundred words but I’ll try my best…rnu003ch4u003eCamera Basicsu003c/h4u003ernBefore we go any further, it might be worth briefly describing the make up of a camera as it makes the rest a lot simpler. A camera is essentially a box with a hole in it. Behind the box is a sensor. When light enters through the hole, it creates an image. We can control how much light hits the sensor in three ways…rnu003colu003ern tu003cliu003eWe can make the hole bigger or smaller (aperture)u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eWe can open the hole for longer or shorter (shutter speed)u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eWe can make the sensor more sensitive to light (ISO)u003c/liu003ernu003c/olu003ernAdjusting these settings will depend massively on what it is we’re photographing and so it’s best to plan ahead and think about what your priority is each time. The combination of aperture, shutter speed and ISO is also known as “the light triangle” and it’s what photographers are constantly balancing to create a pleasing and well exposed image.

u003ch4u003eApertureu003c/h4u003ernThe hole of the camera or lens is called the aperture. This hole can be made bigger or smaller either manually on the lens or electronically through the camera. As the hole gets bigger, more light is allowed onto the sensor. This does a few things:rnu003colu003ern tu003cliu003eIt makes the focal u003ca href=u0022 get narroweru003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eIt makes the background more blurryu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eIt makes the image brighteru003c/liu003ernu003c/olu003ernThe aperture is denoted by an F-number; the smaller the F-number, the bigger the hole.rnrnu003cimg class=u0022wp-image-4713 u0022 src=u0022×200.jpegu0022 alt=u0022Photography for Beginners – Apertureu0022 width=u0022431u0022 height=u0022287u0022 /u003e A wide aperture here allows a soft background and removes distraction from the subject.rnu003ch5u003eUses:u003c/h5u003ernu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eWhen you’re taking a photo of person or group of people using a low F-number will allow you to achieve a really smooth background and a very standout image.u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eWhen you’re photographing a landscape you can use a larger F-number to have a deep depth of focus to get lots of detail throughout the image.u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eWhen there’s not much light, use a lower F-number to allow as much light as possible onto the sensor.u003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003e

u003ch4u003eShutter Speedu003c/h4u003ernThe shutter speed is the amount of time which the hole is open to allow light onto the sensor. This is usually denoted by seconds or fractions of seconds. It might look like 1” (1 second) or 1/250 (a two hundred and fiftieth of a second). In order to freeze and capture a fast moment, you need a fast shutter speed; if you want a blurry image then you use a longer shutter speed. It’s worth remembering though that having the shutter open for less time allows less light onto the sensor and so you’d need to compensate with either the aperture or the ISO to get a correctly exposed image.rnrnu003cimg class=u0022wp-image-4714u0022 src=u0022×196.jpegu0022 alt=u0022Photography for Beginners – Shutter Speedu0022 width=u0022431u0022 height=u0022281u0022 /u003e The flapping of a kingfisher’s wings need a very fast shutter speed of around 1/5000rnu003ch5u003eUsesu003c/h5u003ernu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eWhen trying to capture fast movement like a running child or a flying bird.u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eIn a low light environment when there’s not much movement, use a slow shutter to allow more light onto the sensor.u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eIf you’re trying to create an interesting image through movement, use a slow shutter speed to deliberately create blur in an object – for example a flying football or a crashing wave.u003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003e

u003ch4u003eISOu003c/h4u003ernIn the old days of film cameras, people could buy films of different u003ca href=u0022 The ISO is essentially the camera’s sensitivity to light. A lower ISO is used in bright light, and a high ISO is used in low light. Generally it’s best to leave ISO to “auto” and let the camera work it out. However, it’s worth remembering that a high ISO value will bring in u003ca href=u0022 to your image so if possible, you want a low ISO in your images. To be honest though, this doesn’t matter so much unless you’re planning on printing an image; Instagram uploads don’t really show noise!rnu003ch5u003eUses:u003c/h5u003ernu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eWhen it’s a very bright day or there’s lots of light, use a low ISO to create a clean image.u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eWhen it’s quite dark or there’s not much light, use a higher ISO to create a usable image.u003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eUse AUTO-ISO to allow the camera to work out the best settings.u003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003e

u003ch4u003eCamera MODESu003c/h4u003ernAll modern DSLR cameras come with the same in built settings but each one can have profound impact on how an image looks or the story it tells.rnu003ch5u003eAUTOu003c/h5u003ernIn this mode the camera decides all the settings. This is usually a correct balance of all the variables but it also opens up the camera to making a mistake. If you’re in a rush, AUTO can be very useful but if you’re confident and competent then try and use an alternative setting to avoid disappointment.rnu003ch5u003eAperture Priorityu003c/h5u003ernAs the name suggests, AP allows you to only change the aperture and tells the camera to work everything else out. It’s can be very useful for beginners who may not know their system well. It allows you to have some control of the image but without risking ruining an entire shot.rnu003ch5u003eShutter Priorityu003c/h5u003ernSimilarly, shutter priority allows you to only change the shutter speed and tells the camera to sort the rest out. This is great if you’re photographing something fast moving and don’t have time to set up the entire image. In a pinch Shutter Priority is very useful and can save a rushed shot but again, it means that you don’t have complete control over what the camera is doing.rnu003ch5u003eScene Modesu003c/h5u003ernThese vary from camera to camera. Some can be very accurate and useful but from my experience you’re better off learning the light triangle and setting up your camera for yourself.rnu003ch5u003eManual Modeu003c/h5u003ernOnce you’re confident with the light triangle and using your camera you should try and shoot in Manual. I think a lot of novice photographers are scared of the idea of complete control of an image but this is by far and away the best way to capture the image you want. The camera doesn’t do anything for you and you have the ability to manage everything. A caveat to this is that I tend to shoot in manual but with my ISO set to AUTO. This way I can control the shutter speed and aperture but if the environment is a little too dark, I can trust the camera to kick in and boost the ISO for me. This way I can use the ISO as a sort of speedometer; I keep an eye on it and make sure it’s not auto-adjusting too high. Changing my parameters to the shutter speed and aperture to compensate. Setting the ISO as auto should be in your camera’s manual.rnrnu003cimg class=u0022wp-image-4716u0022 src=u0022×214.jpegu0022 alt=u0022Photography for Beginners – Digital – Modesu0022 width=u0022431u0022 height=u0022308u0022 /u003e This was shot in manual mode. That allowed me to have some softness in the snowflakes and background but also freezing the subject.

u003ch5u003eIn Conclusionu003c/h5u003ernPhotography with a manual camera is far more complicated than a simple point a shoot mobile phone or digital camera. However, it can offer much more flexibility for style and skill; giving you better control over the stories you want to tell with your images. It is worth learning the basics of shutter speed, aperture and ISO before you go out on your adventures – the last thing you want to be doing is fiddling with settings and missing that perfect shot. The way I like to think about it is by asking myself “what is the priority?” Is it more important that I freeze a moment using a high shutter speed, or that I have a lovely blurry background by having a wider aperture? As always, practice is best. So make sure you go out with your camera in a range of different environments before you depart!

u003cp style=u0022text-align: left;u0022u003eu003cstrongu003eDefinitions and Meaningsu003c/strongu003eu003c/pu003ernrnu003colu003ern tu003cliu003ePlane – the part of the image which is in focusu003c/liu003ern tu003cli style=u0022text-align: left;u0022u003eISO – International Organization for Standardisationu003c/liu003ern tu003cli style=u0022text-align: left;u0022u003eNoise – is when an image looks grainy or dirtyu003c/liu003ernu003c/olu003e

u003ch4u003eAbout Will Hallu003c/h4u003ernu003ca href=u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003eWill Hall – Wildlife Presenter and Photographeru003c/au003e. Will is an animal biologist from Hampshire, UK. He has a passion for bushcraft, wildlife and tracking which has lead him to pursue a career in outdoor education and adventure. His videography work has been seen on BBC and ITV while his photography has been featured in the Times, Telegraph and Mail. Will is currently living in Scotland where he works as a bushcraft instructor and wildlife guide in the highlands; teaching young people about nature, conservation and bushcraft – often through the medium of photography.rnrnWhy not visit u003ca href=u0022 target=u0022_blanku0022 rel=u0022noopeneru0022u003eWill’s Instagramu003c/au003e for more inspiration.

More Articles in the u0022u003cstrongu003ePhotography for Beginners Seriesu003c/strongu003eu0022 by Will Hallrnu003culu003ern tu003cliu003eu003cstrongu003ePhone Photography u003c/strongu003e- u003ca href=u0022 Nowu003c/au003eu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eu003cstrongu003eEasy Photography Techniques u003c/strongu003e- u003ca href=u0022 Nowu003c/au003eu003c/liu003ern tu003cliu003eu003cstrongu003eEditing u003c/strongu003e- u003ca href=u0022 Nowu003c/au003eu003c/liu003ernu003c/ulu003e

u003cp style=u0022text-align: center;u0022u003eu003cstrongu003ePractised and mastered your DSLR photography techniques?  We can’t wait to see you use your photography skills on expedition.u003c/strongu003eu003c/pu003e

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