Camera body

GETTING TO KNOW YOUR CAMERA

There are two main functions that make a camera operate; aperture and shutter speed. These are proportional and control the duration of light reaching the camera's image sensor. This can determine how bright, dark, or just right a picture may turn out. Aperture can determine how much of the picture will be in focus. Shutter speed can control how fast or slow movement is recorded on the image.

APERTURE

Aperture is the small opening in the camera where light is let in. You can control how large or how small this opening can be. The smaller the opening, the more of the picture will be in focus. Aperture is measured by F-stops, and commonly range from f2.8 - f22. The larger the number of the f-stop, the smaller the opening will be and vice versa. Aperture also can control what is termed as depth of field, where you can control how much of the picture is in focus. Wider apertures are generally used for portraits and macro photography, where the subject is in focus and the background is blurred. Smaller apertures are generally used for landscape pictures, where the whole picture is in focus.

SHUTTER SPEED

Shutter speed is the length of time a camera's shutter is open. Typically, these are measure by seconds. Speeds can range from bulb (open shutter) to 1/2000 of a second. The faster shutter speeds are used to stop fast motion. In this tutorial we will be using slower shutter speeds to record motion as it goes by.

EXPOSURE

As discussed before, aperture and shutter speed are proportional. The larger the aperture, the more light is let in and must be compensated with a faster shutter speed. In cases of using slower shutter speeds, one must compensate by using smaller f-stops (larger numbers). When shooting at night, usually one must use both larger apertures and slower shutter speeds. The only problem with using slower shutter speeds is that more camera shake is recorded and blurring may occur; holding it at lower shutter speeds can cause a blurry picture when not using a tripod or stable surface.

ISO or GAIN

ISO (gain) is another helpful function a camera has. ISO determines how sensitive the camera sensor is to light. Some cameras can range anywhere from 100 to 6400. For example, in lower light when only slower shutter speeds can be used, one can raise the ISO and the camera becomes more sensitive to light. Faster shutter speeds can then be used. Watch out though, a higher ISO can cause what photographers call "digital noise." Digital noise is referred to the unwanted variations of color "dots" or specks seen in images taken with high ISOs.

WHITE BALANCE

White balance is the adjustment of the intensities of colors in an image. By changing the white balance, one can change the overall mixture of colors to either correct the coloration of the image or produce a warmer or cooler effect. Most of the time you can leave the camera on auto white balance (AWB) and the picture will look as seen. Other times under certain conditions, (i.e. indoors, cloudy, shade, fluorescent light) this setting might need to be changed to attain the proper color temperature of light.


Get started on the basic tutorial, Click here.