Photography 101: Get to Know Your Camera


Photo Courtesy of Matt Jones

Confused about all those photography settings and buttons? Here are some concepts to know for beginning photography.

If you’ve just started photography, you’ll need to know what the fixtures of a camera are. A digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR) is a digital camera that combines the optics and the mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor, as opposed to photographic film. Although the IPHONE is the most commonly used camera in the world, a DSLR would definitely beat the IPHONE in the “professional” photographing world.


 some of the basic concepts about a camera every beginner photographer should know. There is the aperture, ISO, shutter speed, and focus.

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Aperture, or F/Stop,  is a space through which light passes in an optical or photographic instrument, especially the variable opening by which light enters a camera. If you were to decrease your aperture, then the picture would come out bright and overexposed. If you were to put your aperture up, the picture would come out dark and underexposed.

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ISO measures the sensitivity of the image sensor. Usually, DSLR’s these days have an ISO range from 100 to 12,800. The lower the ISO the less sensitive the image sensor will be to light, and the finer grain. The higher ISO, the more sensitive the image sensor will be to the camera. So the picture would come out bright and overexposed. Also, there would be more pixel grain in the image, resulting in a not so sharp picture. ISO can usually be helpful when using a fast shutter speed. It can also be used when in a dark area without light. ISO can be a huge help in star photography, for it will brighten the look of the stars.

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Shutter speed is the time at which a shutter is open at a given setting. A high shutter speed such as 1/500 of a second would result in a darker image. That’s because it is letting less light in at the fast shutter speed. A higher shutter speed such as ½ seconds would result in a brighter image. That’s because it’s letting more light in at a much slower speed. You would want a faster shutter speed in a bright area to let in less light. You would want a longer shutter speed in a darker area to let in more light.

Photo courtesy-  Matt Jones /Instagram- @matt_jones_photography

Another type of shutter speed is a long exposure. A long exposure is a slow-shutter photography involves using a long-duration shutter speed to sharply capture the stationary elements of images while blurring, smearing, or obscuring the moving elements. Long exposures can make a busy freeway look like a river of light. It can make a stream look like a river of fog. It can make stars look like meteors circling the earth.

 Many lenses are in the photographing world. The focal length of a lens is the distance between the center of a lens or curved mirror and its focus. If it were a telephoto lens, for example, 300mm focal length, it would be used to capture something within a great distance from where you may be. A focal length such as 10mm would be used for a wider photographing. Some are the macro, which is for up-close photographing, for example, flowers, bugs.

 Many words describe the beauty of photography. But if I were to tell you in a more simplistic way, just get out there and shoot!