Basics of Photography
There is a myth that good photographs can only be clicked by SLR. This is wrong perception. A person with a compact point and shoot camera or a mobile phone can also click good pictures. To get good pictures you just need to know your camera and start experimenting with available options. This article is for those who want to try their hands in photography with compact camera like me.
First we will understand how a picture is clicked by camera and how you can control it manually to get the results you want. AISE make a photo. Thise AISE is Aperture, ISO, Shutter Speed, Exposure Value. When a picture is clicked on auto mode, camera calculates the scene as per light condition and adjusts the settings such as Aperture, Exposure, ISO and Shutter Speed automatically. These are the basic things which make a picture. To get results as per your requirement you need to know how to tweak these settings and get wanted results.
Let’s understand first what these terms are and how it affects the lighting and effect of a picture:
Aperture: The aperture is the diameter of a camera lens opening when you click. Aperture is denoted by f stop. Aperture value varies between f1.0 – f32 as per my knowledge. In SLR lenses come with dedicated aperture values for specific things. In compact cameras f stops available are less. In my camera it is f2.8 – f8.0, in some compact cameras it is only f3.2-f5.7 or f5.7-f6.3 or f2.7-f9. When you are buying a camera you can check f stops (aperture value) available. You can check this in brochure or website. Getting maximum f stops will help in getting better results manually.
Bigger aperture is always denoted by smaller value. F2.8 is bigger aperture than F8.0. Bigger aperture allows more light to enter in camera lens but allows. Aperture value is required for depth of field in picture. For shallow depth of field you need bigger aperture, for sharp DOF you need small aperture. Remember lesser value of aperture means bigger aperture and higher value of aperture means small aperture.
Shutter Speed: The time shutter will be opened is called shutter speed. Again in auto mode camera calculates the speed. But you can also set the shutter speed manually. You must have seen on your camera LCD some figures like 2” or 1/60 or 1/ 400 etc. while clicking. These figures denotes the time shutter will be open, like 2” means shutter will be open for 2 seconds, 1/60 means shutter will be open for 60th part of 1 second which is 0.16 seconds. Higher shutter speed like 1/100 or 1/1000 allows less light to enter in camera. Slow shutter speed like 2 second or more will allow more light to enter in camera.
Shutter speed you can decide as per requirement. For fast moving things or to click quickly you need higher shutter speed, to click in night you need slow shutter speed.
ISO: Sensitivity of image sensor is denoted by ISO. Lesser the number of ISO, lesser your camera will be less sensitive to the light. Higher ISO will increase the light but add grains also. In low light you can increase the ISO to get the perfect light, but remember higher the ISO means more grains in the picture.
Exposure: Aperture, shutter speed and ISO together make exposure triangle. But when you are not clicking in complete manual mode like program, Aperture priority mode or shutter speed mode then you have to decide the Exposure value manually. You need to decide that you need balance exposure, underexpose or overexposure. Exposure value varies between +2 to -2 in compact camera’s and most of the SLR. With these Exposure Value you can control the amount of light entering in your camera during photography.. If the EV is in + figures it will make the subject brighter by allowing more light or overexposed, – figures makes the subject darker or underexpose. You can control it as per your requirement. I repeat again, if you are using Manual settings then exposure will be set by combination of your ISO, aperture and shutter speed settings. In semi-manual modes like shutter priority or aperture priority you can decide what exposure value you want to keep.
These basic things mix & work together to make a photograph better. Better you will control these things, better picture you will get.
In next article we will discuss about modes in your compact camera, its working & when to use them. We will discuss about all these modes separately like Aperture priority or Shutter speed priority or program mode.