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Photography 101

Are you still set on Auto Mode? We have all been there, but it’s is time to tap into all of your wonderful talents and get to know your DSLR.

First things first, you need to know some classroom terms when it comes to photography.

1. Rule of Thirds: It is the first thing you’ll learn as a beginner photographer and it is necessary to understand in order to capture balanced and interesting shots. Here is how the rule of thirds works:

As you look into your lens, you need to have this grid in mind. This grid will remind you of the balance that is needed for your photo. Take your object of focus and align it with an intersection. This helps your viewer interact naturally with the photo. It is important that as we take pictures, we are mindful of the way they will be perceived.

2. Aperture: This is the opening inside the camera and how light is coming in. Also known as the “pulpit.” Your F/stop is what controls the light passing. Your lens will also determine how low/high your F/stop is able to go.

Larger Aperture = wide opening

  • Brighter image and a blurrier background ex) f/1.8

  • Helps the viewer be more aware of the focus of the picture ex) cocktail shots

Smaller Aperture = small opening

  • Darker image and a less blurred background ex) f/5.6

  • Helps the viewer see as much detail as possible in the background ex) interior picture

3. White Balance: This camera setting allows you to choose a correct color or balance to keep the picture as natural as possible. There are options such as daylight or shade. We recommend keeping it on AWB (auto white balance) because your camera typically picks up how it needs to be set.

4. ISO Speed: This setting alters your cameras sensitive to light. The higher the ISO, the brighter the image. You have to be careful with setting your ISO too high, it will reduce the overall quality of the image.

5. Shutter Speed: The time it takes for the shutter to open and close. The better the camera, the faster you are able to set the speed. If you are shooting a moving object or any picture that you would like to be crisp and precise shoot with a higher speed such as 1/1000. I always begin at 1/200 and work my way into my settings.

The best thing you can do after switching to Manual Mode is to practice. It is important to use all of these settings in order for your photo to stand out! Take your camera and do fun shoots around the office, getting used to different angels, lights and backgrounds. You’ll eventually get comfortable with your DSLR, it just takes time, trial and error.

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