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Learn the basics of
photography components

The most important task to become a better photographer is to learn the basics of photography. How a photograph is captured and to connect with your subject the first necessary step. The basic elements of photography will be covered in this article. If you are just starting out this article offers some insights you may find helpful to expand your knowledge.. This information will help to address technique, creativity and composition.
So let's dig in!

 3 basic photography Components

The 3 most important and essential photography basics to learn as a beginner photographer are; Exposure (Shutter Speed), ISO and Aperture. When you analyze photograph, these are the basic elements photographers use when capturing images. All three of these elements play an important rule together. They work together in unison to create a dynamic and creatively captured photo that will attract interest of a viewer using this element.
Lets start!

1. Understanding Exposure

What is Exposure or in other words Shutter Speed?

t is a built in component of a camera's shutter. It depends on the speed of the shutter timing to open and close. When you take a photo the camera's shutter will open expose the sensor then closes.  It will do that a matter of variable speed according to your specific setting.

Example: If you shutter speed is set for 1/60 seconds, it means the shutter will open for a 60th of second to reveal the sensor to allow light in then closes. The longer the shutter is open the more light hits the sensor. So if the shutter is open 1/15 seconds it will allow more light in compare to 1/60 second. I know it may seem confusing that if the shutter speed number is less it will close faster. Think of it this way, how long will it takes you to count to 15 compare to 60. You get to 15 before you get the count to 60? Right?

What are the effects of the shutter speed?

The first effect is the brightness or darkness of your image. Just Imagine, the longer the shutter is open the more light reaches the sensor. Therefore your image appears to be brighter.

Clarity preset Shutter speed

Slower shutter speed
to allow more light in

Faster shutter speed
decreasing the amount of light 

Original Image


The second effect is sharpness or blurriness.  This is the reason why photographers are using a tripod. Using a slower shutter speed the camera needs to stabilized to avoid the unnecessary movement, otherwise the image will be blurry. If you need to shoot  hand-held without a tripod there is a rule of thumb can help you to achieve a sharp image. 

Your shutter speed should be at least 2x of the focal length of your lens. For an example let's assume you are zooming in for 200 mm then your shutter speed is recommended to be at 1/400s. The minimum shutter speed at 50 mm should be about 1/100s.
If you taking photos of a moving subject like a car in motion or a runner than you may want to choose a faster shutter speed in order to freeze the motion. Unlike in an example of shooting a waterfall to make the water blur so it seems the water cascading over like a light veil.

The difference between the two image below is the shutter speed. On the left with a faster shutter speed I was able to show the fast moving water. The image on the right was taken with a much slower shutter speed to create a a silky flowing water. However, in this case you may want to use a tripod to eliminate motion blur so the entire image is sharp.

Shutter Speed: 1/250 second

Warmer days Preset

Warmer days Preset

Shutter Speed: 1/5 second

Water Flow Preset

Water Flow Preset

Stops and Shutter speed

For example, by changing the shutter speed by 1 stop means you are doubling or halving the amount of light entering the camera. Actually you are changing how long the shutter stays open. The diagram below showing the stops most cameras can be changed. Of course there are more setting depending on your make and model.

Exposure-shutter speed


1. Understanding Aperture or f/stop

What is Aperture or f/stop?

The aperture controls the brightness or darkness of an image. Aperture is the opening in a photography lens to allow the light to pass through the lens and capture it by the sensor. It is measured by f/stops. The larger the f/stop number, smaller the opening. The smaller the f/stop number the smaller the opening. The depth of field is the distance between the foreground and background.

The aperture also controls the depth of field (DOF), for the purpose of creating a sharp or blurry backgrounds. Some images with a "shallow" depth of field shows an out of focus, blurry background. Unlike, images with a "large" depth of field appear sharp from front all the way to the background.

....Read more about f/stop and when and how to use it here

f-stop
ISO

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