Basics of Photography

Some basic settings of your camera, like file format, ISO, white balance, shutter speed, aperture every photograph should know, whether he takes architectural photos or landscaphe photos, especially for owners of a new camera and beginners they could be helpful.

File Formats

File formats, one of the first things you need to do before you can take photos with a digital camera is to decide a file format. A file format is a language used by digital devices to read, write and transmit image data. The format you choose will impact the quality of your image, how many images will fit onto your memory cards and how fast your camera will process images. There are JPEG, TIFF and RAW. The most widely used is JPEG, however TIFF file format provides a high image quality because it doesn’t compress the file. The only problem with TIFF is that it takes up more memory space. RAW is the best quality, it doesn’t change your photo to any degree.

ISO

ISO speed setting. The higher the ISO number the more sensitive it is to light. With most digital camera’s you can adjust the ISO setting to increase or decrease the sensor’s response to light. Digital cameras are set on ISO 100 through the manufacturer. Quality-wise, ISO 100 will provide the best photo quality. When indoors without a flash or in dim daylight you will want to increase your ISO setting. Digital cameras have a range from ISO 100-800.

White balance

White balance settings are made to give you correct color. However, you can also use them creatively to change the color of a scene. All light sources have their own color temperature. As the temperature of light goes up the light becomes bluish. Most digital cameras have an auto white balance feature that measures the light around you and automatically sets. More advanced cameras have a setting for white balance: The Preset or Manual mode. It helps you create an exact match for the existing light.

Shutter speed

Shutter speed determines how long the sensor will be exposed to light. Usually it ranges from several seconds to several thousandths of a second. The higher the shutter speed, the more the photograph will have freezing or blurring motion. Experiment with various shutter and subject speed and study the results. The delay in the firing of the shutter is caused by a series of procedures the camera must follow in order to capture an image, this is referred to as shutter lag. To avoid this annoyance, you can pre focus on the spot you expect the action to take place. Other factors to remember that will influence how motion is recorded is subject direction, distance to the subject and the focal length of the lens being used.

Aperture

Aperture is the opening in the lens that will let light into the camera. The f-stop is a measurement used for the size of the lens opening. If a photograph is to bright you would choose a higher f-stop number, and vice versa for a photo that is to dark. The aperture also controls the depth-of-field; depth-of-field is how blurry or sharp the photograph will be. Leaving your aperture wide open will create brighter photos and a shallow depth-of-field. Leaving your aperture with only a small opening with create darker photos and a full depth-of-field.

To solidify all the information, it is good to experiment and see for yourself what happens when you begin to change the settings and take notes. A few steps to follow after preparing you camera. First, select your file format so you get the best quality photographs along with the as much storage space you need. Second, select an exposure mode to match a specific subject. Third, set the ISO to match your shooting conditions. Fourth, set the white balance to the type of lighting you are in.

Photography Gear

You can spend a lot of money for a good photography gear. For beginners it could be very difficult to choose the right camera, lenses, filter, tripod and bag. Therefore, it could be helpful to read some recommendations.

Camera

The most important piece in photography is the camera. In the photography world cameras fall in four groups: compacts, advanced compact zoom, prosumer and digital SLR cameras. The price of a camera depends on the type as the price of the camera goes up so does its technology, which in turn makes them a more technological to use. Basic Compact Cameras are an excellent entry-level, lower priced camera. Its most prominent feature is it’s small enough to fit into your pocket. Second is the Advanced Compact Zoom camera. It has compact size but its prominent feature is the higher pixel count and lens zoom abilities. Third is the Prosumer, their most prominent feature is the professional-level features. Last is the DSLR, this is a camera suited for the more serious and bigger budget photographer. They’ve many prominent features being more technological but the main feature is they have removable lenses.

Lenses and Filters

Camera lenses are made in a wide assortment of viewing angles. Normal lenses, come standard, usually being a 50 mm lens. Wide-angle lens, which is able to record views wider our peripheral vision. Usually used by landscape photographers to capture the entire scene in one shot. Telephoto lens, make far-off subjects seem closer and larger. These are mainly used by Wildlife and sports photographers, being able to keep a safe distance yet seeming as though they are standing next to their subject. Along with your lens you will need a filter. First to protect your lens you’ll want a UV filter, which is attached directly to your lens. There are many types of filters for your camera or to Photoshop a filter in later. Filters will change your photograph all together.

Tripod and Camera Bags

A good Tripod is essential to your photography gear. When a camera is attached to a tripod you will get less shaking and therefore less noise in your photograph. A good tripod should be light so it’s easy to haul but solid enough to support your camera for long periods of time. Metal is always sturdier than plastic. so be selective. Camera bags are just as important. The size and style depend on the amount of photography gear you own. If you have a DSLR than you’d want one with more individual compartments to secure your lenses. But even if all you have is a Compact Zoom camera, you’ll want a good camera bag to protect from the elements.

Memory Cards

There are many types of digital memory cards available. SD, SDHC, SDXC, Compact Flash, Micro SD, MMC and so on. The most common used is the Secure Digital High Capacity or “SDHC”. It’s about the size of a postage stamp, but has 32 GB of storage available. Pricing is reasonable for this type of card. You will want to purchase more than one memory card, so you have a backup. Or if you are willing to pay the price and do a lot of photography work a memory card reader would be an option.

Flash Units

Most cameras the flash unit is built in. It is available with the push of a button. However, it is good to take several test photos as indoor flash light can be harsh. On DSLR cameras the flash unit must be purchased separately. The flash unit slides into a feature called a hot shoe. There are many benefits to owning a flash unit. Flash units come in a variety of price and power ranges. It depends on what you would be needing the flash unit for.

Digital Editing

Almost every digital camera that is available on the market today has the capacity to edit digital images directly within the camera. However, this is a platform that is best suited for laptop and desktop computer software. Images can be altered in almost endless methods, but there are certain tasks that this software is very necessary for in photography. This software allows for retouching, cropping, image overlaying and many more effects that photographers need daily. Photographers can take a very wonderful, career altering photo with a single small problem. Retouching or removing these problems very easily with the appropriate software saves the photograph. This is important because photography captures small sections of time that cannot be repeated.

Paid Software

There are two versions of this software. There are software programs that can be purchased and there is free internet software that must be downloaded. The easiest programs to understand and operate with the greatest depth are paid versions of photo editing software. The free internet software is remarkably good for a free photo editing platform, but they are notoriously difficult to utilize. If a photographer is tech savvy, a free platform may be accessible and very handy. However, people that will have issues with teaching themselves to use these platforms should purchase a version. These will be supported by the brand’s office staff.

Free Software

Free versions require learning from internet sources. These sources are often young kids detailing how they personally have utilized free software, and the information is notoriously untrustworthy. The key to doing realistic touch ups is in the detail. Some famous retouched photos have really peculiar anomalies that signify that the photos have been retouched. This occurs along with substantial media scrutiny.