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It’s nice that you’re here. Because that means you want to get closer to your camera and are ready for the basics of photography. Here you will find a compact overview of the most important functions of your camera.
If we were to deal intensively with every single subject here, it would be a far too long article and it could probably be printed as a book.
If you feel like learning more and you like our way of learning, then our 22places photo course is definitely something for you.
Because in that you learn online in the zero-point nothing to take beautiful photos.
For the post, we recommend that you have your camera and manual with you and always try everything out directly.
The aperture controls how far the lens is open and thus how much light falls on your camera’s sensor. You can recognize the number of apertures by the fact that there is a f/ in front of it.
The following note should be burned in:
The smaller the number of apertures, the larger the aperture, the more light hits your camera’s sensor, i.e. small number, lots of light and large number, little light.
Aperture Priority – Mode A (Av)
Your camera has a mode A (or Av) where you can determine your aperture count yourself. Accordingly, you decide how much light hits your lens’s sensor and your camera is so nice and sets the appropriate shutter speed for you.
The aperture and depth of field
With different aperture stun, you not only determine how much light falls on your sensor, but also how much depth of field your image has
The smaller the number of apertures, the less depth of field your image has. This means that with an aperture of f/1.8 the background is very blurred and with an aperture of f/13 the complete image is very sharp.
The shutter speed
The shutter speed, often called exposure time, determines how long your camera’s shutter stays open while you take a photo. The shutter speed is expressed in seconds.
The locking curtains are usually only a fraction of a second open. If your camera display has a shutter speed of 1000, then light only falls on your camera’s sensor for 1/1000 seconds.
Shot Time Priority – Mode S (Tv)
When you set your camera to Mode S, you can determine the time when light falls on your camera’s sensor. Your camera then adjusts the appropriate aperture.
This works like this:
Shutter speed decreases (less light), the aperture opens, so the aperture number becomes smaller (more light is passed through) Shutter speed increases (more light), the aperture closes, so the aperture number increases (less light comes through)
How the shutter speed affects your subject
There are two fundamental effects of shutter speed on the representation of your subject:
1 A short shutter speed freezes your subject.
Why? If the shutter speed is currently open for .B only for 1/4000 seconds, then the camera can capture any little detail in the exact moment.
2 A long shutter speed gives your subject motion blur.
Why? If the shutter is open for .B for 2 seconds, everything that moves on your picture is blurred, because your subject has put a certain path behind you in time.
The focal length
The focal length has something to do with your camera’s lens and is
Here’s what you need to know about the focal length:
With a short focal length you have to get close to your subject in order to get it completely on the picture. With a long focal length you can be relatively far away and still photograph your subject clearly visible. With a zoom lens, you can adjust your focal length variably. With a fixed focal length, as the name suggests, you have a fixed focal length.
What are the different focal lengths?
Depending on the focal length of a lens, it is designated differently. Common detoisions are these:
Wide-angle lenses – up to approx. 25 mm
Normal lenses – approx. 25 to 50 mm
Telephoto lenses – from 50 mm
Don’t be surprised if you find different focal length data in other sources. There is no very clear definition for this. By the way, these values apply to cameras with an APS-C sensor. Professional cameras often have a full-frame sensor where you need to multiply these values by 1.5.
You can also use your camera’s exposure compensation to influence the exposure of your image. Sometimes this is necessary, because not always your camera exposes correctly by itself.
Each image can be exposed under, over or even correctly. This shows you your exposure meter. In The Auto, P, A and S modes, your camera decides for yourself which is the right exposure.
Dynamic range: Your camera can’t always see what your eye sees. At sunset, there is a big contrast difference between the background and the background.
Your eye can see both, your camera unfortunately can’t. It chooses either the foreground or the background and adjusts the exposure accordingly. Unfortunately, however, it is not always right.
Read Also: 10 tips for photography beginners
Your camera often doesn’t get along with it if your picture contains a lot of white or a lot of black.
Solution: We simply correct ourselves with the exposure correction.
The ISO describes the light sensitivity of your camera sensor and stands for “International Standard Organization”.
The common scale for ISO values is this:
Scale ISO values
Small number: The sensor absorbs little light
Large number: The sensor absorbs a lot of light
What does the ISO bring you?
When you increase your ISO value, your camera’s sensor can pick up more light. Your camera’s sensor is therefore more sensitive to light. You have more light available and therefore more leeway when setting the shutter speed.
Where is the hook?
Just always raise the ISO, if you have little light at your disposal, sounds dreamlike of course.
The catch: image noise! The higher the ISO value, the more your image rushes. When your photos start to rustle depends very much on the camera. Really good cameras hardly rustle even at ISO 6400, but very cheap cameras start to rustle already at ISO 800.
But you can also use this as a stylistic tool.
The white balance
The temperature of light is a very complex subject and incredibly interesting. You often take pictures in a wide variety of light situations: indoors, outdoors, in the sun, in cloudy skies.
Each time, the light has a different color. Your eye doesn’t care, but your camera perceives the colors in a completely different way.
What do you have to consider when taking pictures?
Your camera can often assess the color situation of the light itself, so that you usually get along well with the automatic white balance.
However, it becomes difficult with Mischlicht, so if you have two different light sources. Then you may need to experiment and try out different white balance settings.
If you are working on your pictures afterwards, we recommend that you take pictures in RAW mode. In this way, you can change the white balance later. For JPG files, this is very limited.
The exposure measurement method
There are several ways in which part of the image your camera measures the incoming light.
- Matrix measurement
Here, your camera’s exposure meter measures everything that hits the camera sensor in terms of light.
Matrix measurement is the correct setting in most situations. So actually with every image where it is important to you that all parts of the image are exposed correctly.
Here, your camera interprets only the incoming light in an area of the camera that you have specified.
There are situations where you want your camera to expose only a certain part correctly, when taking portraits.
- Spot measurement
Spot measurement is similar to the center-emphasized measurement. Here, however, the camera measures only a single point.
This can be helpful, for example, if your subject is relatively far away from you, but you still want to expose a particular person or detail correctly.
It can also help you if you want to take a photo where your camera exposes a subject with a very extreme contrast difference.
The basics of photography
That was quite a lot of basics at once, weren’t they? Of course, the presentation in this article is extremely compact.
We explain the basics of photography in much more detail. Do you have any questions?
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