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Introduction to DSLR Photography (1)

Forgetting the Auto Mode...


Many of you worldwide are confined at home, so why not use this time to do something you have been wanting to do for a long time put kept pushing back (because there are so many other things to do, right)?


So you have this nice DSLR camera, and it's a fancy and exciting new toy, but you don't really know how to use it (and who wants to spend hours reading a camera's instruction manual .... not me!!)?


Being able to use your Manual mode will open lots of options for your images, giving you more control and letting you unleash your creativity. You will choose the right exposure for each shot, the best depth of field, the ideal shutter speed, etc....


Did I lose some of you yet?? ;-)


Well... let's rewind a little bit shall we?

Let's start from the beginning and define some terms:


1- Exposure

2- Depth of Field

3- Shutter Speed





1- Exposure


In photography, EXPOSURE is “the intensity of light falling on a photographic film [or digital sensor] multiplied by the time for which it is exposed. It is also a combination of lens aperture and shutter speed used in taking a photograph.”

Collins English Dictionary HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003. In simple words, it's a little bit like your eyes seeing light when you're opening your eyelids, the sensor or your camera is seeing light when it's diaphragm (in front of the sensor) opens up. The Aperture represents the size of the opening, and the shutter speed the time between opening and closing again.



To have a "well exposed" (which is of course a little subjective) picture you will therefore have to balance the aperture (size of the opening) and the shutter speed. A wide open diaphragm will mean lots of light coming through at once and should be associated with fast shutter speed to avoid overexposure (picture too bright), and a small opening should be combined with a longer shutter speed to avoid underexposure (picture too dark).


The ISO will also affect the exposure by affecting the sensibility of the sensor to light, but we'll talk about that later...


That's it for today, I hope it makes sense to you (feel free to ask questions :-)).


Next time I will go more in details about Aperture, and it's effects on Depth of field, and how to change it on your camera.


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