Understanding Photography Basics

Photography Basics

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Aperture is the physical size of the opening through which light passes to hit the sensor. Aperture is usually expressed in F/stop values. The smaller the value is, the bigger the opening of the lens.

Depth of field refers to how much of the photo is in focus. Deep depths of field will allow everything to be in focus, whereas a shallow depth of field will only have some objects in the frame in focus.

Exposure refers to the amount of light this is collected by the digital camera s sensor. Exposure is similar to f/stops in that it refers to the relation between shutter speed and aperture.

F/stop refers to the relationship between the aperture of the lens and the shutter speed. So as for sufficient light to reach the camera s sensor, you need to set the aperture and shutter speed properly. It is very difficult to determine which settings to apply without a meter. In most instances, it is nice to allow the camera decide these settings for you.

Shutter speed is the real time that the shutter is open to allow light to hit the sensor. Shutter speed is typically measured in seconds. A smaller number means the shorter time the shutter will be open. Longer shutter speeds are used for low light situations including capturing at night time or can give the effect of rapid movement making subjects appear blurry.

ISO is about the film speed. It refers to the sensitivity that the camera will need to light.  With a film camera, you can purchase different speeds of film for different lighting environments. A DSLR can adjust film speeds without changing your film. The lower the ISO value is, the less sensitive the camera will be. Often, better ISO speeds will generate noise that can spoil an otherwise nice photo.

Raw – Many photographers will choose to shoot their pictures in raw format. This is an unprocessed picture. Shooting in raw gives the photographer a broader range of flexibility after the shot is taken. It is nearly like an undeveloped negative. Pictures captured in JPG format have been processed. Their settings are not easy to manipulate in the post-production.

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