Anyone that has two hands and a finger can take a picture. It’s definitely not the most complicated thing in the world. The hard part comes with everything else (i.e. the lighting, exposure, setting, subjects, foreground, etc). Basically, everything has to work together. Now-a-days, to get started, the main thing you need is a DSLR camera (Digital Single Lens Reflex). The film camera is still a wonderful piece of technology and produces amazing photographs, but today’s time, people want everything instant, which the digital world provides. We’ll get to flashes and lights later. Right now, lets take a look at the inner workings of how to work your camera.
Let’s go over a few terms and how the work:
ISO: This is the sensitivity to light. If you remember from film, the roll would say “ISO 200,” “ISO 400” and so on. The higher the number the more sensitive it is. So ISO 100 would be ideal in bright sunlight, like a desert. ISO 400 would serve you better indoors.
F/Stop: This can also be known as the aperture. Inside the camera is a little diaphragm which opens and closes to allow a certain amount of light to pass through. The measurement is works the same way that ear gauges does, the lower the number, the larger the opening. f/3.5 will let more light in than f/16. If you are in a dark room, you would want more light, so using a lower f/stop (closer to 3.5) and visa versa.
Shutter Speed: The shutter speed is the amount of time the shutter is open. This is often a very short time so it is measured in fractions of a second, such as 1/125. In this sense, the more light you have the less time you need (and the number will be higher).
This all tends to be a bit confusing when putting it all together. So if you have any questions feel free to ask!
All three of these things work together. When you change the f/stop, you’ll have to adjust the shutter speed. Luckily, the camera comes equip with a meter so it can give you an idea of what your adjustments are doing. Depending how you want the end result to look will determine what your f/stop and shutter speed will be. Next definition!
Depth of Field: This is the amount of space within the photograph that is in focus. So picture a guitar laying flat on the ground, the head closest to you. If you just want the machine head and tuning knobs in focus, the rest blurred out, you would use a large f/stop (closer to 3.5). If you wanted the whole guitar to be in focus, raise the f/stop (going closer to f/32).
Large depth of field means more of the photo is in focus, small or shallow depth of field means less is in focus.
Before going any further, do you have any questions? Don’t hesitate to ask, this can get very tricky to understand!