It’s just after the holiday season , and I’m sure many of you received a new DSLR camera for Christmas. You were excited to get a “good” camera and take better pictures. You may have taken it out of the box now and taken a few shots. You may realize that your images look better than they did with your point and shoot, but still aren’t what you’d like for them to be. How do you get those crisp, clear, and awesome photos? I’m here to help you with that!
First of all, lets start with what a DSLR is. Digital Single Lens Reflex camera means that your camera captures light that travels through the lens and uses a mirror to reflect that light through the view finder. You can see the image that is captured on your camera’s sensor through the view finder.
I brought out “Lil Snoopy” to help demonstrate a couple of your camera’s shooting modes. Here he is, my only cherished childhood toy:
shot at 1/1250, f 3.2, iso 320, 50mm
Your camera has a dial with various shooting modes. I’ll review some of those shooting modes with you now. My ultimate goal is to get you to try them all and eventually start shooting your camera manually. For now, let’s start with basic shooting modes:
Auto – your camera sets your shutter speed, aperture, white balance, and ISO for you. It even triggers your pop up flash if you have one. Here’s an example of an image shot in auto. From this point on, all images in this blog post are SOOC (straight out of the camera with no editing).
You can see that the image is a little dark (these were taken on my back deck in the later part of the afternoon) and that the toy and the deck are all in focus. The camera automatically used these settings: 1/200, f 5.6, ISO 100 You can see how these settings do not allow for control over the low light situation and how they differ from the the first shot I took manually.
Program (P) – semi automatic setting. The camera controls most of the settings, but you control ISO, white balance, and flash.
Aperture Priority (A or Av)- you have control over setting the aperture which is the amount of light that comes through the lens and depth of field.
Shutter Priority (S or TV)- you have control over shutter speed which helps to freeze subjects on the move.
Manual (M)- you have complete control over all of your camera settings and can adjust your settings according to lighting factors. Here is a SOOC image I shot manually:
camera settings: 1/4000, f 2.2, ISO 400
and here is a side by side comparison of the image shot in AUTO and the image shot in MANUAL so that you can see what you are missing by shooting only in AUTO mode.
I’d love to answer any of your questions, so please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll try to answer them all and may use one of them for a future article. Be sure to like my Facebook page by clicking HERE.
To celebrate my first Photography Tips blog post, everyone (local the Douglasville/metro Atlanta area) who either likes my facebook page or emails me after reading this blog post, or comments below (include your email) will will receive a HALF OFF session!
Until next month, read your camera’s manual and go have fun taking pictures! Practice makes perfect!