ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Instgtr's Guide To Photography

Updated on June 4, 2013
The First Known Photograph - made in 1826...
The First Known Photograph - made in 1826...

A Brief History Of Photography

While "pinhole cameras" (which would cast a temporary image on a wall or other surface) are known to have been used in China as early as 500bc, the first known "photograph" is of a view from a window taken in1826 by Joseph Niepce of France.

The photograph required 8 hours of exposure in broad daylight and is known as "View from the window - Le Gras" (Le Gras being the name of his home)

Due to the process involved in developing the photograph, which was a polished pewter plate covered with "bitumen of Judea" (an asphalt derivative of petroleum) the original image, which is on display at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin can only be seen under very low light conditions and at a specific angle.

What is "Photography" ?

The word "Photography" comes from Photo (light) and graphy (drawing) when combined, they provide the perfect description of photography, which is simply "drawing with light".

A pin-hole camera is nothing more than a box with a small hole in its side.  Light enters the hole and "paints" a picture on the opposite wall.  If you have some way of seeing inside the box, you'd see an upside down image of whatever is outside the box.  The image below helps show why the image is upside down.

A Simple "Pin-Hole" Camera
A Simple "Pin-Hole" Camera

If you place an adjustable "lens" where the pin-hole is, you can take pictures that focus on objects that are up close or far away.

A "zoom lens" allows you to take pictures from a distance appear closer (Which can come in handy if you're on safari trying to take a picture of a lion or the Space Shuttle taking off from a mile away).

The pin-hole camera becomes more Sophisticated...

By adding a few things to the pin-hole camera, it becomes capable of doing some really nice things.

If you have some way of placing something that can "record" the image being painted onto the back wall of the camera (light sensitive glass, film or a sensor that can capture the image) you can create a permanent photograph.

A High Powered Zoom Lens
A High Powered Zoom Lens

All Those Controls Can Make It Seem A Little Scary

If you add an "aperture" control to the camera, you can change the size of the hole and allow more or less light into the camera.

When you "take a picture" the image only appears on the back wall for a very short time. A camera can adjust the amount of time the image is seen (exposed) by way of a "shutter speed" control.

If the object you're trying to take a picture of is moving, the image could end up blurred. Using a faster shutter speed can "freeze" the image, allowing you to get a clear picture. The "drawback" to using a faster shutter speed is less light gets through to paint the image with.

Using a wider aperture setting will allow more light into the camera which compensates for the faster shutter speed.

Some Cameras May Seem Downright Complicated...
Some Cameras May Seem Downright Complicated...

It's Not As Bad As It Seems...

If all of these controls and settings make your camera seem too complicated to use, you don't have to worry, because amid all these controls, you'll find one or two settings that make life a whole lot easier known as the "automatic" settings.

It's kind of like climbing aboard an airplane and seeing all of the controls for the first time, they may seem complicated but once you get familiar with them, it's as easy as driving a car...


Piece of Cake...
Piece of Cake...

There are all kinds of videos available to give you tips and suggestions when it comes to shooting photographs.  Here Rick Sammon gives some excellent advice on how to make your pictures go from everyday snapshots to photos you can be proud of. 

Rick Sammon's Top Ten Digital Photography Tips

Different kinds of Photography

Photography covers a wide range of fields a photograper can specialize in. Here are just a few of the many areas to consider:

Still Life

"Specializing" in a given field (but not limiting yourself to just that field) can help you learn specialized techniques that can be used not only in your specialty, but can be incorporated into other kinds of photography.  All of the techniques and "secrets" you learn can be used over and over again in a variety of ways. 

Learn all you can from different fields of Photography

In the following video some of the top wedding photographers from around the world share some of their secrets.  While the techniques apply to "Wedding" photography, many of the techniques can be used universally.

Becoming A Master At Wedding Photography

Learning how to use the different controls

 While anyone can take good pictures with virtually any camera, learning how to properly use a camera (and all of it's capabilities) can turn your pictures into true works of art.  The following video describes what "Depth of Field" is and how you can use it.

Understanding "Depth of Field"


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Carl Hahn 7 years ago

      A good article about the advancements from a pin hole camera to a Canon digital, and everything in between.

    • profile image

      ocdentist4u 7 years ago

      I love this Canon. They make the best cameras in my opinion.

    • Instgtr profile image

      Instgtr 7 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      C'mon now GD,

      Have you ever flown a Cessna 150 (or any of the single engine planes?) After a few hours in one, they actually ARE like getting into your car... A few basic instruments to tell ya what's going on

      Piece of cake!



    • GD Nunes profile image

      GD Nunes 7 years ago from Cape Cod, USA

      Photography can be a true art form, if you know what you're doing. Unfortunately, I don't. Thanks to Photoshop, I can at least end up with some decent vacation photos, but with these tips and links, maybe I can rely on Photoshop a little less.

      Then again, if you think flying a Cessna 150 is like riding a skateboard, we may have different definitions of "easy"...

    • Instgtr profile image

      Instgtr 7 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      Lets see now, we both started within a day of each other, you have 39 hubs and I have 8... Don't tell me you "lack incentive" (I happen to think it's that technicolor hat you're wearing...) :>

    • Pcunix profile image

      Tony Lawrence 7 years ago from SE MA

      Oh, I'm sure I could, but really, I'm just not a visual person. To me, a picture is hardly ever worth a thousand words. I just lack incentive.

    • Instgtr profile image

      Instgtr 7 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      I remember the first time I climbed into a Cessna 150, I thought I'd never be able to figure it out, now a Cessna 150 is like riding a skateboard (except not NEARLY as dangerous...)

      As for the digital camera, pretty much the same thing, you just have to spend time with it.

      You might want to check out some of the videos and links on the hub, they can help clear things up.

      Later my friend!



    • Pcunix profile image

      Tony Lawrence 7 years ago from SE MA

      It IS as bad as it seems, I bought the simplest digital camera I could find and I am still baffled by most of it.

      And you aren't getting me into an airplane cockpit either!