Basic Digital Photography Guide – Easy to Understand

Today is digital era. Digital cameras are now being more produced than analogue cameras. With its easiness and low cost in developing, many people buy digital cameras.

Compact cameras are mostly used by traveler. It is fully automatic. Just press the shutter and you have the picture.

Well, if you want to start learning photography, it is better to use a camera that is not fully automatic (at least there are P, A(or Av), S(or Tv), M shooting mode).

A or Av is the Aperture priority mode, here you could set the aperture.
S or Tv is the Shutter Speed priority mode.
In the Manual mode (M), you can adjust both Aperture and Shutter Speed.
So, these are the basic: Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO (also known as ASA).

  1. Basic Digital Photography Guide: Aperture

The aperture or blend opening has the same function as pupil in our eyes. The bigger the opening, the more light you will get.

In the front side of the lenses, there are numbers such as f/2.8-f/3.2. This number refers to the blend opening. Small number represents big opening (example: f/2,8 or smaller number) and big number represents small opening (example: f/8 or bigger number).

The big opening gives you more light and vice versa. It is very useful to own a lens with big opening especially in low light situation.

Beside the light exposure, the aperture also determines the Depth of Field (DOF). Wait a minute… DOF? What is that? Deep of Field determine the sharp area in a photo. The sharp area is in front and back of the focus area.

  1. Basic Digital Photography Guide: Shutter Speed:

Shutter speed determines how long is the light exposure. Logically, the longer the exposure, the more light the sensor will receive.

If we want to shoot an object that moving pretty fast, use the high shutter speed, e.g: 1/200 second. Using low shutter speed in such case will not guarantee you to take sharp images of the moving object. The long exposure time normally used to take picture at night or low light condition.

A small but fascinating tip: If you shoot streets where many cars passing by at night, you will get a fantastic picture. Try it by yourself.

If you want to use the low shutter speed, especially when you take pictures of buildings or steady objects, use a tripod or put the camera on platform that is stable.

  1. Basic Digital Photograph Guide: ISO/ASA:

ISO is a term which is used for the films (analogue cameras), and today the digital cameras use sensor. But this term “ISO” is also used in digital photography which determines the light sensitivity of the sensor.

High ISO speed (e.g: 400 or 800) gives you more possibility to take photos in low-light condition, because the light sensor is more sensitive than the low ISO speed (e.g: 100)

In digital camera, the ISO speed can be set manually and automatically.

The disadvantage using high ISO speed is noise. It also depends on the size of the camera sensor. The smaller the sensor, the more noise will appear. That is why when you take pictures with DSLR, the pictures seemed to be less noisy than if you use a digital pocket camera.