Learn SLR Photography

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Whether or not to use that feature depends greatly on the situation. If things are happening quickly and there is a lot of movement, automatic focusing will be a great help. If taking a picture of something still however, manual focusing will offer a level of creative control otherwise not available. Steve'sDigicams Steve's Digicams. Using the Correct Film 35mm film is the light sensitive material which an SLR utilizes to capture a photograph.

Shutter Speed Shutter speed is a measurement of how quickly the shutter of the lens opens and closes while taking a picture. Canon RF 85mm F1. Check with your local Nikon Authorized Retailer for a schedule of upcoming events. From an outstanding lecture series to meet and greet events, Nikon Ambassadors and photographers of all levels connect at retailers across the country. Contact your local Nikon retailer for more information. Nikon Retail Learning Events include hands-on events in-store or during a location shooting walkabout event, launch parties for new products, "Clean and Check" events and Nikon product expert presentations on-site to demo new products and answer technical questions about Nikon gear and more.

Contact your local Nikon retailer for information. Nikon School offers classes in photography around the country Learn photography at Nikon School. Take your photography to the next level with Nikon School. Have a world-class experience at a Nikon Sponsored Workshop. Expertise is right around the corner at a Nikon Retailer Event.

Be a Better Photographer in 45 mins

If you are unclear on how these three elements, known together as the exposure triangle , work together in photography, we have a detailed guide to the exposure triangle to help you out. I also suggest reading my guide to depth of field in photography , which explains this in more detail. You may also consider signing up to my online photography course , which covers the exposure triangle and much more in great detail.

Once you understand the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, the choice of whether to shoot in manual, shutter priority, or aperture priority is up to you. It will likely come down to personal preference, and the scene you are shooting. As a rule of thumb, I find aperture priority works well for most of my photography because it lets me control depth of field, which is a key compositional technique. For portraits and landscape work, this is usually more important to me than controlling motion — except when I am doing landscapes where I want to capture movement.

For any scene involving movement, such as action photography, shutter priority often is the most useful mode. This lets me control whether I freeze the subject with a fast shutter speed, or show a bit of movement with a slower shutter speed. When a scene has particularly challenging lighting, or depth of field and movement are both key considerations for the composition, then I will shoot in manual.

This is often the case for scenarios like fireworks photography , photos of the Northern Lights or any long exposure photography. Nearly every camera out there, including smartphones, will have some form of exposure compensation feature. This lets you quickly make the image brighter or darker by either increasing or decreasing the exposure compensation. As an explanation for the name, when you take a photo, the process that camera goes through is actually known as an exposure.

This is a throwback to the days of film photography, when exposing the chemicals in the film to the light caused it to react. Whatever mode your camera is in, it will always judge the light in the scene. It uses this to calculate correct settings so as to get an image that is neither too bright nor too dark, known as a correctly exposed image. Sometimes however the camera will get it wrong, and the image will be too dark or too light.

Introduction to Digital SLR Photography

You can use exposure compensation to basically tell the camera to increase or decrease the amount of light. As you have fixed the aperture, the camera will adjust the shutter speed accordingly. Exposure compensation is a quick and handy way to adjust the overall brightness of an image without having to go into full manual mode.

If you are shooting in aperture priority or shutter priority, you will need a way to change the aperture or shutter speed. Nearly every camera has a control wheel, which you rotate to increase or decrease these settings. If you are in aperture priority mode, the control wheel will increase and decrease the aperture setting. If you are in shutter priority mode, the same wheel will increase and decrease the shutter speed.

If you are in manual, then you will need to be able to adjust both the shutter speed and the aperture. Different cameras handle this differently — some have two wheels, some offer a button that you depress to switch what you are changing. ISO is the third control you have over the exposure of an image. If you are in manual mode and set the aperture and the shutter speed and then change the ISO, you will notice the image getting brighter and darker.

As a result, ISO is usually the last thing we want to increase. However, sometimes it is just too dark to produce acceptable images without increasing the ISO. For this reason, most cameras will have a dedicated ISO button, which provides a shortcut for quickly increasing and decreasing the ISO.

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It is really important to remember to check the ISO before you take any image. If you set it to a high value manually, the camera will remember that value until you change it. I have spoken with travelers who have ruined a whole trips worth of photos because they set their ISO to a high value for an evening, and then forgot to put it back down to a lower value for the daytime. Focus is the process of ensuring the subject we are taking a picture of is sharp. An out of focus image will produce a blurry result that is not ideal.

To help with focus, DSLR cameras have a range of focus modes. Which you use will depend on what you are taking a photo of. The first option that the camera is likely to be set is the standard autofocus mode.

In this mode, the camera will default to focusing on what it thinks the subject is. You can take control of this by specify the region of the image you want the camera to focus by changing the image focal point. This will either be with a dedicated button on the camera, or perhaps by using a touchscreen interface to touch the focus point.

If your subject is moving, then the camera has a different focus mode, which might be called continuous autofocus. It is called continuous because the camera will continue to adjust the focus as the subject moves, rather than just getting focus once.

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Finally, the camera will also let you control the focus yourself manually. In this mode, you will have to adjust the focus ring, which is normally found on the cameras lens. It will be a ring all the way around the lens which you can rotate to change the focus. I have mentioned throughout the post that your camera evaluates the light in the scene you are taking a picture of in order to calculate the correct exposure.

This process, where the camera meters the light to come up with the correct exposure, is known as metering. You can change the metering mode of your camera, depending on the scene you are taking a photo of, to help ensure your subject is correctly exposed. The main control you have is over how much of the scene is used for the metering. The default mode, which will work for most photos, is known as evaluative metering on Canon cameras and matrix metering on Nikon cameras.

This mode looks at the light across nearly the whole frame of your image, to produce a balanced exposure. This will cover nearly all your photography requirements.

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How to Use Your DSLR Camera | Photography Course

Sometimes however, we are shooting a scene with challenging lighting — like a dark building against a bright sky. In this case, the default metering mode might give you an image which is technically well balanced, but the building will likely be too dark to be usable. Different cameras have different metering modes you can choose. The most common is a spot metering mode or a partial metering mode, which means that camera will just use the centre part of the scene to do its exposure calculation.

This means that bright sections of the image around the edges away from the middle will not impact the final shot, and in our example, the building would end up correctly exposed. The first one is the focus ring, which we briefly touched upon. If your camera is in manual focus mode, the focus ring is what you will use to achieve focus. On some cameras, even if the camera is set to autofocus, you can override that with the manual focus ring as well.

Changing the focal length changes the zoom, and rotating the focal length ring is what you do to change the zoom. The first thing you are going to need to do is learn how to hold your new DSLR camera properly.

Basic Equipment You'll Need

Most DSLR cameras are relatively heavy, and should always be held with two hands. This will stabilize the camera a great deal more than if you just try to operate it one handed. If you are right handed, the correct way to hold the camera is with your right hand around the hand grip and one of your fingers over the shutter button. I prefer to use my index finger for the shutter button.