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Photography Basics-Understanding the Best Way to Use a Camera

Updated on February 19, 2011

If you have been thinking about getting into the world of photography for some time now, you may have wondered how the best way to approach it all is. You do not want to go out there and just buy a camera off the shelf because it was on sale and the saleman told you it was a great product. You want to know what the photography terms are, what features matter when looking for the perfect camera, what tools you will need to take specific shots, and the techniques you can use for lighting, sitting, and staging scenes for your cameras eye. All of this takes time, patience and a little bit of education before you will be ready to put things into practice.

Choosing a Quality Camera

If you are looking to take professional looking photos, you will not want to use cameras like the disposable kinds that seem only good for shots on the run or for younger children who would like to get the feel for taking photos without the care or want of learning more.

Often times beginners will see a tourist or camera geek walking around with enough equipment on his neck to launch a space shuttle and get the misconception that cameras and photography is a lot more complex than it really is. But if you have ever watched a professional photographer at work, you will more than likely see him/her using a portable, sleek, easy to operate camera with maybe a telephoto zoom lens for landscape shots. The reason for this is is because the basics of running a camera come down to shutter speed and aperture.

Learning the Terminolgy and What It All Means

No need to be getting flustered with the fancy terms. Aperture is the term used for how wide your camera lens is open to allow the light in. Shutter speed is the amount of time you let that light come in to affect the picture. For example: if you wanted to take a photo of a moving train, you would want a wide aperture to let in a lot of light but a short shutter speed so you can capture the train quickly and close the window so the picture is caught before more light is allowed in to hurt the quality.

Essentially, photography is really all about light. You will also spend some time learning and getting to know about lenses, flash photography, and other ways to turn the control over the lighting of a shot to you. If you want to become an excellent photographer, you should make it a commitment to keep on learning what you can as you go. The better and more confident you get in your ability to work with the equipment, the more you will learn and the more you will want to keep learning.

One of the best ways to learn important basic controls over the camera in regards to aperture and shutter speed is to switch from automatic settings to manual settings. The automatic settings are for those people who just want to take a quick photo and are not so concerned with the outcome or learning the basics of good photography. The automatic settings give you some basic settings like landscape, portrait and sports settings. When you switch to manual settings, you can really learn what settings work best in different situations.

Continuous Practice Makes Perfect

Practice is the most important of the photography basics you can learn. Spend some time with your camera every day and play with it. Take it to different situations and surroundings and take photos with different aperture and shutter speed settings,explore indoors and outside scenerios, as well as times and places with different light orientations. If some shots don't work,chalk it up to a lesson learned and try something new. It is all part of the learning curve.

You learn by doing, you practice taking new shots with different settings in various ways with a variety of scenes and people and eventually your confidence will grow and you will soon find yourself a great photographer. If you would like more tips and tricks for bettering your skills you can visit Photos By Bridget. Don't get too cocky because there is always more to learn and that is just one of the reasons why learning photography basics can be fun!


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