Photography Basics

Camera 1

A mildly interesting fact about my life: my mom is a photographer, and her boyfriend is a photographer professor at the local community college. Yet, up until recently I had zero knowledge about photography!

As a kid, I didn’t have much interest in the subject, and I think it’s one of those things where you have to be intrinsically motivated to learn.

So, I decided to take the plunge and teach myself.

I utilized my resources. I found a DSLR camera, and I asked my mom’s boyfriend for his class lectures and assignments. I googled, and I read, and I absorbed as much knowledge as I could.

And because I’d love to save you some time and spread the knowledge I acquired, here’s a high level overview of what I’ve learned so far!

Exposure
Exposure is the basically the brightness and darkness of a photo. It’s determined by three factors: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Aperture is the set of blades in the lens that control light entering camera. Shutter speed determines how fast a curtain rolls over the image sensor. ISO controls exposure using software.

Large aperture = brighter, shallow depth, low f-stop (F/3.5)
Small aperture = darker, full depth, high f-stop (F/22)

Fast speed = darker, less blur, small fraction (1/1000)
Slow speed = brighter, more blur, large fraction (1/60)

High ISO = brighter, more noise, high number (3200)
Low ISO = darker, less noise, low number (100)

Camera Modes
Icon modes don’t work for professional quality photos. Does anyone actually know what those icons stand for? Because I don’t. You’re better off without them.

The money shots come from creative modes. Aperture priority is probably the most useful, at least in my experience, since it helps you control the depth of field.

Program mode: set aperture and shutter speed, manual ISO
Aperture priority: set shutter speed, manual aperture and ISO
Shutter priority: set aperture, manual shutter speed and ISO
Manual mode: manual aperture, shutter speed, and ISO

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