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Knowing how to use your SLR is not as difficult as you would think. Think of the digital camera as a box that lets in daylight. On that box is a sequence of various controls. These various controls allow you to let a large amount of or a little amount of light in. The amount of lighting coming in may determine how you capture your shot.
Let\’s begin with the auto function. The auto function enables the camera to make the options for you. This enables you to just concentrate on shooting the photo rather than stressing about the settings. The auto mode is straightforward however it is not ideal.
The basics of digital SLR photography are painless to learn when you comprehend how the camera has control over the lighting. Camera has control over the light two key ways; Aperture and shutter speed. Your aperture is the opening in which you allow your light in. Your shutter speed is how you organize the speed at which the light is coming in. You need them both to be able to manipulate the light.
Think of the camera as a human eye. Your aperture is the iris that opens and closes. The shutter speed is like the eyelid. Your aperture is also identified as F stop. F-stop is a numeric value that tells you how much the iris is open. If the aperture is pretty open then we say that it is a substantial aperture. A large aperture is a small number. For example F2 .8 is a very wide aperture. It means the aperture is open very wide. It is comparable to how the iris operates in soft light. The iris will open more to let supplementary light in so that we can distinguish things in the dark. Your digital camera is the same.
Aperture not only has control over how large the iris is but it plays an important role to play in depth of field. Depth of field just means what part of the photo is in focus. If everything is in focus then we call that a extended (or long) depth of field. If there is just a small part of the photo that is in focus we call this a short depth of field.
When you have a large aperture, F2 .8 for example, your depth of field can be short. If you have a little aperture such as F 22, then everything in image is in focus. (Light allowing of course.) I will teach this in another lesson.
Shutter speed is directly linked to seconds. Shutter speed is calculated in fractions of a second, seconds and then minutes. A number of cameras have a function called \”Bulb\”. This will mean that the shutter stays open for as long as you hold it open. You can attach a particular cable to the camera and press it once. The shutter will open up. It will shut only when you depress the remote cable button. This will mean that you could have the shutter right open for an hour if your camera allowed it.
Let\’s take for example the evening sky. There is not much light at the human eye can notice. In this instance we may want to keep the shutter open for 10 seconds or more. On the other hand if we want to take a photo of something that is fast moving and \”stop\” the action, then we want to have a very rapid shutter speed. This is where we get into fractions of a second. I have a Canon 5D Mark II and the shutter speed can go as high as 1/8000 of a second. This is tremendously fast! I use a fast shutter speed when I want to capture the effect of water floating in midair for example.
You will see different shooting modes on your camera dial. Not only do you have the automatic function but you have aperture priority, shutter priority, manual and possibly more. Aperture priority sets the aperture for you. It means the camera selects what f-stop to use and you select the shutter speed. Shutter priority works the other way round. This will mean that that the camera picks the shutter speed and you do the rest These two shooting modes are okay but you still won\’t get the best result. The best mode to use is manual.
When you employ the manual setting you have essentially the most control over your digital camera. You can set the shutter speed and the aperture concurrently. Once you become comfortable with how manual works then you can start to have more influence over light. Once you have most control over the light that is when your pictures begin to look beautiful.
Learning how to use your SLR is not a heavy or hard course. It actually a lot of enjoyment and quite simple when you get the hang of it. The basics of digital SLR photography simply depend on your camera\’s ability to interpret light. This of course means that you have to understand light as well! Once you appreciate how light works through your camera you can then choose the shutter speed and aperture that produces the photographs that you desire.
Once you master the basics of digital SLR photography you can then move on to shooting with tools to improve your light. These accessories can improve and have influence over the appearance of light in your shots. Using the flash is one such example of this. But I will leave this to an additional tutorial.
Your onboard light meter is a very vital part of understanding light. Your internal light meter is a little scale that you observe when you look through the camera. When you put your dial on manual then the indicator will be more to the left or the right.
Based on what camera model you have the indicator means there is not enough or too much light. When the indicator is sitting in the center of the scale it means the camera believes there is just the precise amount of light and you may confidently take the photo. To be able to master light effectively just begin photographing in automatic and write down the aperture and shutter speed that the camera has recommended. Then change your dial to manual and pick those same aperture and shutter speed settings. You will see that those settings may not be the perfect ones that you once thought. At times at those settings can make the photo under exposed. This is why it is imperative to take photos using manual.
Learning how to use your SLR takes a bit practice. The great thing about photography is you can always remove the photos you don\’t like. Do not be fearful of making mistakes. Mistakes are catalysts for discovering new things. Once you learn how your camera interprets light then you will be free to become the skilled photographer you\’ve always dreamed about.
Amy Renfrey is a professional photography teacher. She shows you how to take stunning photos every single time, even if you have never used a digital camera before. To discover how to master the basics of slr photography/ better than ever before visit her website today.