Photography is an expansive field, but the great thing is that there is such a wide array of cameras that it’s easy to go as deep into photography as you want. So, I thought I would cover the basics of how photography works and things to be mindful of when taking that perfect picture.
A camera gathers light through the lens and exposes the film. Now-a-days the film has been replaced by an image sensor which collects the light turns it into a digital photo. The principles are still the same, even though the technology has changed over the years. When a photo is exposed to light there are 4 things you can control to adapt to your situation. Those things are: shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.
Shutter speed is how long the shutter stays open to collect light. You should also be mindful that the longer the shutter is open so you’re capturing more information as its open. This can lead to blur if you’re camera is not steady. A faster shutter speed will freeze the action in a scene.
The aperture is actually located in the lens. It is an opening that can be adjusted to let in more or less light. The opening is measured in “f-stops.” A f-stop of f2.8 actually has a wider opening than a f-stop of f11. The aperture also has an effect on the depth of field in a photo. The wider the opening (The lower the f-stop number) the more shallow the depth of field.
ISO, which is also known as film speed, controls the sensors sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO number the more sensitive the sensor is to light. Back in ye olden days of yore the film was made at a particular sensitivity so you would buy one speed and have to use that for the entire roll. Now, with digital technology, we’re able to adjust it on the fly over a wide range. The drawback to ISO is that as you make the sensor more sensitive to light, you’re increasing the noise of the photo as the sensor is trying to pick up any minute amount of light.
Along with those camera operations, the composition of the photograph should be taken into consideration. How you compose the photo makes a huge difference in the overall feel of it. The rule of thirds is typically a good rule to follow. The rule of thirds states that you should divide your picture evenly with 2 vertical lines and 2 horizontal lines. The most important subjects should be placed on these lines or intersections. This helps to create tension and interest in the photo.
This is all just a start but hopefully it sheds some light on a lot of the things that go into taking a photo.