Category: Getting Started with Photography

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 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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