Getting To Know Your Digital Camera

When was the last time you took a picture? Was it this weekend at your best friend’s wedding? Was it this morning, to post either a selfie or your breakfast on social media?

Nowadays, with everyone having a smart phone, pretty much every single person fancies themselves as a bit of an amateur photographer. And that’s great! Photography is one of the most important art forms in the world! Without it, there’d be no visual documentation of memories, or inspiration for travel, or evidence at trials. But what do we really know about it?

There are many types of photography; all of them requiring a different set of expertise. A food photographer might not be the best aerial photographer and vice versa. Knowing a few basics will make you understand the field better.

Know your camera

This one seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a common mistake amateurs make. After all, how many of us read the instruction manuals for our electronics? If taking pictures is just a hobby, it’s not a big deal if you don’t understand what every function is for; but if you want to take better photos than the average person, you have to become familiar with every single thing your camera can do.

For example, everyone knows that the little lighting symbol is for the flash. What about the tulip? That little flower icon is to set your camera to macro mode. It’s the setting you’ll want when taking a close-up of an object. The focus will be sharper. You’ll see this type of photography more often in science books or nature photography, where there are often close-up shots of flowers or insects. If you’re taking a close-up picture of a smaller object, use this camera setting for best results.

You’ll also want to understand shutter speed basics and what this feature can do for your pictures. When the shutter speed is fast, your picture will look like a moment frozen in time. When the shutter speed is slow, there’ll be a blur behind a person or object, signifying movement or speed. Depending on what you intend your photo to look like, this nifty little feature will give you options.

Understand ISO. This has to do with your camera’s sensitivity to light. The higher the number, the higher the light sensitivity. If there’s lower light, a higher ISO will help in capturing the picture. This is a helpful feature if you’re taking an indoors picture without a flash.

The above examples only begin to scrape the surface of what your digital camera can do; but they are first steps towards helping you take better photographs. Read that manual. If you really don’t want to, look up your camera’s make and model on YouTube and watch videos on how to use its features. Regardless of the method you choose, get to know it. Once you start seeing your quality photos, you’ll be glad you did.