Photography made easy-beginner`s tips

For all those photography enthusiasts out there.. this one is exclusively for u.. here is a proud owner of Nikon D5100 sharing his experiences of dealing with the key things of photography..

Firstly let me make few things clear to you guys.. photography is truly about perceptions, passion and zeal..  A click which I like, u may not.. and strictly stick to your own areas of photography (different areas being wildlife, birding, portraits, sports etc etc).. Ultimately focus on your own satisfaction not somebody else’s..  once you start trying to impress someone else, that’s where your entire show is ruined.. yes opinions and reviews do count and add to your passion to boast you up but don’t let them take over you.. by that u will lose yourself and allow somebody else back of your mind to tune your photography.. DON’T ALLOW THAT..

So lets get into the learning part.. remember even I was a beginner (infact I still feel I am one) some time ago and I understand what you actually expect from a photography related article.. I will not bore you with too lengthy stuff on each thing.. but I assure, you will have better understanding of various basic settings compared to what you had before.. so lets begin!! J

The photographers clan keep experimenting with these three things- aperture, shutter speed and ISO.. these are together called the “Golden Triangle of Photography”.. lets get into each thing independently and the correlation among them..

1)    Aperture:  in true terms, it is the size of the lens hole which opens for the amount to be focused in a frame. This is called “depth of field”.. shallow the depth of field, fewer things are in focus.. this is specially used in portrait, wildlife, birding and most other photography..  shallow depth of field gives a blurred background which dominates the subject in focus.. (more domination of the subject can be made by manual focusing).. aperture settings can be comfortably accessed through “aperture priority” mode where only aperture(hole) size can be varied..ISO is any way independent in both Aperture Priority mode and Shutter Priority mode (discussed next)..

For beginners, I would advice to get well acquainted with individual aperture and shutter priority modes and then move to the full fledged manual mode.. this enhances your chances of better photography than directly jumping to the manual mode and scratching your head.. 😛

Now when to go for aperture priority mode??

Blindly go for it when the subject you are focusing isn’t moving.. best mode for still photography.. you can make the subject dominant in the frame and blur the background to a great extent..

How to vary aperture?

Aperture size is varied using f-stop numbers.. don’t worry it is simple.. blindly remember  that smaller the number (f-stop number) on your screen, shallow is the depth of field.. f-stop numbers look something like these- f/1.2, f/3.4, f/5.6, f/8 and so on depending on the range of your lens.. now the blind rule says f/1.2 gives shallow depth of field.. don’t confuse yourself by anything.. blindly go with this assumption..

You might have seen portraits where the background is all blurred out and the person is so dominant in the picture.. for this you need shallow depth of field and this is achieved by small number after “f”.. don’t bother about the “/” symbol after f.. this got the shit out of me for quite long and I am making it easy for you.

ISO doesn’t have any direct interaction with aperture.. I will get into what it is and how it impacts further..

So this is all about aperture and how to use it.. (manual usage of aperture will be explained later).

2)    Shutter speed: as the name itself says, it is the speed at which the image is captured.. yes you can control the speed of your camera also.. this has a wide range depending on the camera..  my camera (Nikon d5100) offers shutter speeds of 1/4000 to 30 sec..

How to vary shutter speed and when to use it?

As I already told you, first get acquainted to the individual priority modes. So lets talk about “shutter priority” mode..

Adjust your camera`s dial to shutter priority mode.. now you can access the wide range of shutter speed.. but how does it matter on the quality of your image? Let me tell you..

Blindly use this mode for considerably fast moving objects (like birds, animals, sports etc).. let me take an example of a fast moving bike.. if you want to capture it as a still bike without including its motion into the picture, go for high shutter speed.. the fastest your camera can go.. now remember bigger the denominator of your shutter speed, the faster your camera`s capturing ability is.. (I know this sounds dumb to most of you but yeah specifying these minute things are very essential :P).. now if you want to add some motion into the picture, try reducing your shutter speed and allow it to take some time to capture the image.. the more time you allow your camera to capture, the more motion is captured.. but remember here that if the shutter speed crosses the barrier of human stability level, blurring of the image takes place.. here comes the use of a tripod..  fix it to a tripod and leave it to have a blur free image.. slower shutter speeds yield much clear images because the camera takes enough time   to analyse the entire situation at hand and takes the snap..

So, faster moving objects-set to shutter priority mode-set fastest possible shutter speed-click.. J

Now let me tell you what happens when these priority modes are used.. when you use aperture priority mode, the camera analyses the situation at hand and sets the ideal shutter speed for that aperture level set by you to have a stunning image.. same is the case with shutter priority mode.. once you set the speed, the camera sets the aperture size ideal to that shutter speed..

3)    ISO:  unable to recollect its full form but its fine if we know what it does than know the full form.. right??!! 😛 So let me get into what it means and does..

It is the sensitivity of your camera to light.. and again blind rule here is more light in your frame, low ISO used.. getting to darker sides, ISO increases light sensitivity and grabs even the slightest of light available in your shot and at much higher levels enlightens it with the internal mechanism of the camera.. but only lack with this is lot of noise in the picture when used at high ISO.. (noise is the dots in an image when taken at high ISO).. ISO ranges from 100 to 6400 (in my camera) and can go upto bigger ranges depending on the camera.

So as-far-as possible, get to the lowest ISO possible.. keep taking photos at different ISO ranges and keep it.. you never know what u may like on a big screen when viewed later..


Now, since we are done with the three main settings of photography, lets get into their correlation..

1)    Aperture and ISO are truly independent.. sure of it.. blindly remember..

2)    Aperture and shutter speed are related..  catch the logic here.. when you want shallow depth of field (small number after f) you allow the camera to take less time to snap the shot.. hence, high shutter speed.. so low f-number, high shutter speed.. and when you want more depth of field, you allow the camera to take more time to analyse the situation at hand perfectly and then take a shot.. got the catch?? (now these are mutually changed only in “manual mode” and cannot be done in individual priority modes.. remember what happens in individual priority modes right?? The camera takes its own decision of the other setting).

3)    ISO and shutter speed are also linked.. if the shutter speed is high, bump up your ISO also.. the logic behind is since the camera has less time to gulp all the light, ISO plays the role to compensate for it and gets natural look to the photo.. if you use shutter priority mode and set the speed to the highest possible without bumping up the ISO, you will dark images with very low light.. and vice-versa.. slow shutter speed-low ISO since shutter speed grabs all the light available..

My personal suggestion would be keep experimenting on all the settings and get a grip on each of them… and this is not all.. there are so many other additional settings and post processing which makes a stunning image.. these are just the basic requirements for beginners..

So all the best.. go for it.. post some good images of yours.. comment if u r stuck with something.. cheers \m/


7 thoughts on “Photography made easy-beginner`s tips

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