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Digital Photography Basics - Nail the Essentials With These Tips Tutorials and Definitions
With some digital photography basics under your belt you can start to take control of your camera and produce incredible photos! There's very little you need to learn actually! It's all about getting an idea for the best times to use a few very simple settings.
So I'm going to de-mystify all that jargon for you, and explain the basics of digital photography - starting from the beginning. There are also plenty of practical tips here, to help you put your new found wisdom to good use!
Basic Facts and Terms
Ok, let's get started with some articles dealing with some real beginner's basics, including a short glossary of terms and summary of the basic camera settings. These guides will be a good place to start, before moving on to the articles below.
It seems a good place to start by explaining the major categories of digital cameras available, and what they each offer.
Let's look at how cameras gather light to form an image, the role of lenses and the key facts about digital image sensors.
Now let's get to grips with autofocus, exposure modes, Live View, viewfinders and memory cards.
20 key terms and phrases, that will pop up time and again throughout Photography Art Cafe, given short sharp explanations. A handy overview of digital photography basics for jargon-phobes!
What makes photography digital? What are we actually doing when we use digital cameras? Questions answered!
Before going into more detail, here's a quick intro to some digital photography basics that will become central to your photography.
'Exposure' is about the amount of light used to create a photo, and so how bright or dark that photo turns out. But the more you learn about this, the more you'll see how it's tied up with lots of other cool effects like 'depth of field' and the appearance of motion!
A an overview of the 3 key settings used for exposing photos. The exposure triangle is where it all begins...
Ok guys, this is one of the real building blocks of taking great photos. If seems technical now, you'll wonder what the problem was after reading this brief, clear article!
Aperture controls don't just effect the exposure of a picture; they also dictate the 'depth of field'. Getting the hang of this is fun because your creative options will widen dramatically!
Shutter speed is another key building block of taking cool pictures. It's one of the digital photography basics that's so simple, but so powerful!
ISO links up with aperture and shutter speed in what's sometimes called 'the exposure triangle'. So get on top of this one and you're well on the way to nailing the basics of digital photography!
Behind the whole exposure triangle is the light meter, which itself has several possible settings. Let's find out more.
A complete beginner's guide to the shooting modes and scene modes in digital cameras, plus when/when not to use them.
Exposure compensation is a seriously handy control that gives us some manual control when not in Manual mode!
Exposure bracketing, expecially automatic exposure bracketing (AEB), is a brilliant way to get the best results in tough conditions.
The histogram is an invaluable aid for reviewing the exposure of photos. Time to learn about it if you haven't so far...
What's exposure compensation? What's the best mode to shoot in? What's the reciprocal rule? Put these questions to bed...
A complete guide to the key principles, methods and equipment of flash photography, for the totally uninitiated.
Have you found yourself wondering how your camera is able to tell you when certain settings will over/underexpose an photo? It's the light meter! Controlling it is simple and extremely useful.
A run through of the various digital camera settings available to you, from aperture priority to full manual. When are they each useful and why?
So let's finish this section by checking out the main reasons why manual controls will set your photography on fire! Why bother learning these digital photography basics?
Wouldn't it be great if there was some kind visual representation of a photographs exposure you could quickly refer to...
Taking Sharp Photos
Image Copyright: David Fleet
I love those images where every detail is captured so crisply that it almost seems more real than the original thing! You know the ones, often beautiful landscapes where everything from the textures of the foreground to the shapes of the background are rendered beautifully clearly.
Here are some guides to the techniques for producing 'pin-sharp' images:
This is a really comprehensive tutorial on all the crucial steps you need to take to ensure tack sharp results, every time.
The digital photography basics involved in learning how to create pin sharp images should be mastered by all beginners.
How does controlling the aperture help you create sharp pictures, and what are the knock-on effects for other settings and techniques?
Focus modes are amongst the most valuable digital photography basics to master. So let's see the options...
This is my attempt to clear up common questions/confusion surrounding autofocus and manual focus on DSLR's.
A Quick Guide to Cameras
You'll do yourself a big favour by getting to grips with a few simple facts about cameras. Not only will buying one be a lot easier, but you'll be able to use it more effectively too! For more detailed guides and reviews, hop over to the photography equipment section of Photography Art Cafe.
Right, starting from the beginning, what is a DSLR? Read this and you're head won't be spinning next time someone lobs a bucket of jargon your way!
'Megapixel' - the salesperson's favourite word! What does it mean and how important are the little fella's really!?
If you're staying compact for the time being, here are 10 digital photography basics you need to be aware of when buying one.
By doing these simple things to keep your camera, lenses and other accessories in good order, you could save an expensive headache.
An overview of the basic pieces of kit that photographers use regulalry. This is a useful reference article.
Controlling White Balance
'White balance' sounds a bit daunting to beginner photographers! It sounds techy; getting into 'pro' territory; an optional extra that's fine to leave out...
Way off the mark! White balance is truly simple and you'll be taking it for granted in no time. Light is not just about brightness/darkness; it's also about colour tone and mood...
Ever turned someone's skin red with a photo? Or made a beautiful Autumn day look cold and wintry blue? These things can happen when you leave white balance to the camera. It's one of the basics of digital photography, and here are 4 easy ways to control it!
My Favourite Guides
Here are a few of my suggestions on the best guides to digital photography available. I like guides that are fun to read and offer practical tips that can be put to use instantly! The resources below are packed with basic photography tips and ideas that will make you a better photographer!
My review of this Digital Photography School guide intended to show beginners how to understand and use their cameras.
I put these 2 books on my desk when I first bought them. Now, falling apart and considerably grubbier, they're in exactly the same place - reliable companions packed full of cool photography tips and ideas! You have to check these out.
I used both books and online courses to learn the basics of digital photography. The latter proved quite a revelation! These are the top 2 resources I can recommend.
Here are 18 tips for selecting great subjects and keeping the flow of project ideas fresh!