Ultimate Guide to Digital Photography Basics

January 25, 2019

Photography is a subtle art of conveying stories with pictures. For an accomplished photographer, every moment clicked on a camera is a potential story captured in a frame. Photography today has come a long way since the first cameras came to life. Today digital cameras are all the rage and why not? You can instantly see pictures on them without the costs required on developing the film and are perfectly capable for software editing as well as online uploading.

While most of us are users of the auto mode where all you need to do is switch to a preferred mode and press the shutter. But what happens when you decide to step out of your comfort zone and venture into a manual mode to click pictures. In this post, we will tell you the basics of shooting on a digital camera:


1. ISO:
ISO is short for International Standards Organization and this along with shutter speed and aperture are instrumental in determining the photographic exposure of a picture. The ISO rating is valued from 25 to 6400 (or more) and helps to indicate a specific light sensitivity within your camera surrounding. As you turn up the ISO on the camera, you increase the exposure to light but simultaneously also compromise the image quality. This is defined by digital noise.

Digital noise in a photo is visible when your photo is grainy. This is the same as taking a picture with a low-resolution phone at night which is always grainy. That happens because the camera tried compensating for the dark scene by choosing a higher ISO. A lower ISO is perfect for taking photos as it helps deliver better quality images. If you have good light in your surroundings, always choose to go for low ISO on your camera.

2. Aperture:
If you are to put this in simple words, an aperture is a hole within your camera lens through which light passes the camera body. These are a small set of blades that controls how much light enters your camera. So, if you shoot with a wider aperture, it means you allow more light into the camera in comparison to a partially closed aperture that allows less light. So what do you do if you have brighter lights in a camera frame? You choose a smaller aperture. The size of the aperture is measured with f-stops. A higher f-stop (22) meaning the aperture is considerably small for light to come in through the camera lens. A lower f-stop (3.5) indicates the aperture is wide open. Looking for new batteries for your camera? Then make sure to visit Wex Photographic and get maximum discount on all camera batteries.

3. Shutter speed:
The shutter functions the same as its name. The shutter is a small curtain that quickly rolls over the image sensor of the camera allowing light to shine on it for a fraction of second. Thus shutter speed can be defined as the duration that the shutter allows light onto the image sensor. Slow shutter speeds can help create the “motion blur” effect where all moving objects appear blurred. In the same way, many photographers leave their shutter open for a more extended period to create various special effects. It takes experience and practice to figure out various combinations of aperture and shutter speed needed for different pictures.


4. Exposure:
All the above three mentioned points conjoin together for the perfect exposure. This combination is also known as the Exposure Value (EV). Most point and shoot cameras that you get in the market today come with a simple exposure override facility allowing you to underexpose or overexpose a picture. So, if you have a dark subject that you wish to click, then experiment by overexposing. The same way, if you have a light subject, then make sure to underexpose to compensate. If your current camera doesn’t do it for you then Jessops is offering up to £170 cashback on all branded cameras.

5. White Balance:
For people looking on to switch to manual mode, white balance is something that you ought to learn first. The White balance is more or less responsible for changing the colour cast of a photo and provides overall warmth to the picture. The white balance can determine how your photo appears, ranging from orange to blue or cold to warm. There is always an auto white balance for amateurs but it always doesn’t provide with the correct configuration needed whilst taking a picture. So, the sooner you learn about the white balance, the more accurate your pictures would tend to look.

So, there we have a few basics about digital photography. There are still a lot of areas to cover if you are learning but getting the above things right that will help improve your skills over time.