Category: Tutorials

Illustration of a digital camera mode dial

How to Take a Picture With a Digital Camera

How to Take a Picture With a Digital Camera Many years ago, I still recall the day when I attempted to take photos using a borrowed “good film camera.” Heading outdoors with high hopes and enthusiasm, I figured out how to turn the camera on. That was easy! I figured out how to turn the camera on. That was easy.  And next, how to press the shutter release button and capture my subject. That was easy. And then everything went downhill from there! I didn’t realize that the mode dial was set to manual mode, and I had no clue what to do about that or even what M meant.  After several...

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What Does Fast SLR Camera Lenses Mean?

What Does Fast SLR Camera Lenses Mean? What does fast SLR camera lenses mean, and how do you know if you have one? What types of situations require a fast lens? Are you considering a new lens, but you’re not sure what to buy? Whether a lens is fast or not relates to how much light a lens can admit through the opening or closing of the overlapping lens blades, called a diaphragm. What is the advantage? What does this mean for you? Understanding the numbers on a lens is the first part. The second part is learning how to adjust the camera to take advantage of the light. In other words,...

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What is Aperture?

What is aperture? Aperture is the amount of light being admitted through the lens as you capture your subject. How can you tell how much light that is? In the example image, the aperture, also known as the f-stop, is the number 4.5 (F4.5). Adjusting the aperture allows you to get creative. Think of a crisp, focused image (foreground and background), compared to a focused foreground subject but with a blurred-out background. Using an aperture of f/4.5 compared to f/16 helps create the blurred background effect. Dialing in f/16 gives you more of the postcard type creation. What is going on? Your...

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What Does Shutter Speed Control?

What does shutter speed control? Shutter speed controls the amount of time your camera takes to capture your subject, or in other words, to take the picture.  How can you tell how long that is? In the example image, my shutter speed is revealed by the number 90. Ninety by itself may not appear to give you enough information; instead, consider it a fraction. Therefore, the shutter speed is actually 1/90 of a second. Depending on the camera model you have, your shutter speed may already display as a fraction. If you were to compare a crisp action sports photo to a feathery-looking waterfall,...

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Shutter Speed for Slow Motion

Shutter Speed for Slow Motion Nature is stunning in Jasper National Park, and the drive towards the Columbia Icefields from Jasper is exceptional for photography. The landforms and history of the region have always intrigued me. My attraction to Tangle Creek Falls began a few years before when I took the time to play by the waterfall with my camera. While reading the book A Hunter of Peace recounting Mary Schaffer’s expedition to Maligne Lake in 1911, I was captivated. Her journey on horseback covered many miles, including emerging from the dense forest at Tangle Creek Falls. Moving water...

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