A Beginner’s Photography Guide*

I first learnt about photography in 2015 at college. Things like aperture, shallow depth of field and shutter speed all went over my head but after research, assignments and a lot of practice I like to say that I can confidently use my DSLR on fully manual settings. This guide will bring to you information and advice on all of the different technical aspects/controls on your camera in helping you become familiar to all those different terms.

The Camera

The first thing to a guide about photography is of course the camera. There are an array of cameras on the market for all different professions and budgets. If you’re a professional filmmaker or someone who has the budget for a 4k (ultra high definition) camera, Panasonic has sponsored this post to bring to you what is a good 4k camera technical aspects of their 4k Lumix range. I personally opt for a DSLR but there are also generic point and shoots as well as bridge cameras!

Shutter Speed

The shutter speed, as you guessed, controls how fast the shutter of the camera works and how long it’s open for. There’s a range of different speeds like 30 seconds, 1/60, 1/200 and over 1/2000. All have their different uses in accordance to what you want out of your image. For an everyday situation you probably don’t want to go any slower than 1/60. This is because anything slow with introduce camera shake to the image and it’s best to use a tripod for anything slower. A slower shutter speed might be used when it’s darker and an even slower speed might be used for creative photography- think light trails or blurred motion images.

IMG_2988

IMG_2976

This is a bad example but you get the idea!

Aperture (F-stop)

The aperture of a photo/camera is a little more confusing to understand, in my opinion. I think of the aperture (which is measured in f-stop) as either blurry background or none blurry background. A low f-stop of around f/1.8 will give you an image with an extremely focused foreground and a very blurred background which can give off some gorgeous final images. An f-stop of around f/11 tends to give an image where all subjects/products in frame are in focus. The aperture of a camera is the hole in which the light travels through so the important thing to remember is that the lower the f-stop, the bigger the hole is.

IMG_5300

Shallow depth of field with an aperture of around f/2.8

ISO

No, this isn’t that Apple software. The ISO is basically the sensitivity of the image sensor so the higher you increase the ISO (100 is low and 3200 is high) the brighter the image gets. However, if you shoot on a high ISO the image reduces in quality and produces noise on the image which means that the photo becomes grainy. I like to set my ISO accordingly after i’ve set the aperture and the shutter speed.

Conclusion

All of these settings come together to create the perfect image and it takes a lot of practice to be able to know the perfect combination. After years of practice I know certain standard settings for different situation/lightings but I know there’s still a lot more learning to do! I don’t claim to be an expert but I just wanted to share with you an easy explanation of these aspects which can get really technical!

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*This blog post is sponsored by Panasonic, however all opinions are my own and are in no way biased*

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50 thoughts on “A Beginner’s Photography Guide*

  1. Bee says:

    I love learning about Photography as it helps me to work on improving my content as a blogger. I just use my iPad and my Samsung Galaxy at the moment but I will look into Panasonic when I finally make a purchase. Thanks for the guide.

    Bee | makeeatrepeat.co.uk

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Simply Michelle says:

    such great images! my brother is always telling me i should be a photographer but i just take my photos with my iphone, this post really made me want to get more into photographer it really covers all the basics! wonderful post x

    mich / simplymich.com

    Liked by 1 person

  3. glowsteady says:

    This post has just reminded me how much I really really really realllyyyy want a new camera. There’s nothing wrong with the one I have, but…you know…
    I use my camera auto a lot of the time for recipe pictures because it’s quicker and eating lukewarm food all the time gets boring really quickly. But I tend to go manual for my other photos. I think you just need to play around and practise to figure out the style you like. The technical stuff is a little confusing sometimes x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

    Liked by 1 person

  4. foundationsandfairytales says:

    I think I need to take lessons from you about how to programme my DSLR properly! I’m lucky enough that mine has a ‘guide’ mode where you can press what kind of image you want to take and it will alter the settings for you but I’d love to know how to do it all myself! This was so helpful so thanks for sharing!

    Jess // foundationsandfairytales.wordpress.com
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bexa says:

    This is such a useful guide Ellie! I’ve been using auto mode ever since I got my DSLR camera at Christmas 🙈. I would love to learn how to use all the manual settings and this is the perfect place to start. I’m definitely going to have to have a practise soon. Thank you for sharing, your photography is always so gorgeous and professional ❤ xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Rumsthereader says:

    Such a great and informative post! I like how you went into the technical side so its really helpful. I tend to use my phone for a lot of my photos since its easier but I need to get back to a proper camera! I love film photography though, I’m always snapping away on my 35mm x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. aimsysantics says:

    I would love to be better at manual photography, but I always forget the various settings and what they need to be! Your explanation has really helped with this, so I guess I need to go out and practice.
    I currently use just a standard point and shoot camera, but luckily you can change the settings to use more manually 😁

    Great post and thanks for sharing!

    Aimsy xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. thebreakofdawn says:

    Hey! Thank you for this post – it’s gonna be really useful for me 🙂
    Can I ask though, do you think it would be worth it to do photography a level despite the fact I have little photography skills/experience? I really want to give it a go, but I’m scared I’d be the most inexperienced! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. marychronicles says:

    I FREAKING LOVE THIS POST! This is super helpful. And to be honest, I’ve never known what are those camera settings for until I’ve read this one. I’ve never own a camera before but I really do love photography, I just do it with my phone. Thank you so much for sharing this!!! xx

    Mary | marychronicles.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  10. blacktulipbeauty says:

    This is a really helpful post, Ellie! I studied photography at A level and went through the process of learning all of this but it was 6 years ago now so to be honest I’ve completely forgotten it all, haha! I need to get back into the swing of using manual settings, fab post!
    Alice Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. hudapervez says:

    I don’t know much about cameras and photography ahah! I always use my iPhone to take blog photos but I really want to start learning more about it and invest in a good camera! This one sounds really good! Thanks for sharing!
    Beaulife.org

    Liked by 1 person

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