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  • Basic Photography Article

    Welcome to the Basic Photography Knowledge article.

    The Basic Photography article consists of 2 Parts, Information About Different Brands , Basic Knowledge Of Shooting. The article uses a straight forward approach to make newbies to understand what their cameras can do and how to do it.

    First thing that you got to have before you start reading this article is that you will have to get your camera somewhere near you for easy access to grab on it and do some experiment with it as you read this article.

    1. Information About Different Brands

    As you know there are lots of brands that make cameras. In this article we will focus on the DSLR types. However even if you do not have a DSLR, there is no need to find another book or article about it as the content here still applies to other kinds of camera.

    As we know the Top 3 brands for cameras are Nikon, Canon and Sony. There is no saying which one is the best as each has it's own advantage.

    For Nikon, they are good at processing JPG images, their noise reduction is considered the best amongst the 3 brands and Nikon is the first brand to have the video function on a DSLR itself. Just a side note for Nikon bought their sensor from Sony.

    For Canon, They are most well known for their wide variety of lenses. Their Auto Focus speed is considered the best. Canon is also the first brand to have ISO sensitivity up to 25600.

    For Sony, as they are consider newbie in the industry, consumers regard them as lousy. The famous brand Konica Minolta was bought over by Sony. Sony has the best Liveview amongst the 3 brands. They have Carl Zesis lenses for their Pro series lenses. What i would say is that Sony is the Black horse in the industry.

    You might be wondering if the article is going to talk about all the buttons on your camera and how it works? What I would say is that you will have to read your manual that comes with your camera. It provides all the information that you need in order to function the camera.

    So after reading the manual what to do next?..

    What's next is to learn the Basic knowledge and Techniques on shooting.

    2. Basic Knowledge Of Shooting

    So Before you start snapping off your camera. You would have know that there is this knob that has quite an amount of letters and on it. What you are going to learn now is how to use the mode M, A, S and P. For Canon users it would be M, Av, Tv, P.
    M --> Manual Mode. What you can do here is change aperture and shutterspeed manually the camera will not interfere with your settings.

    A or Av --> Aperture Priority mode . You choose the aperture, the camera decide the shutter speed.

    S or Tv --> Shutter Speed Priority mode. You choose the shutter speed, the camera decide the aperture.

    P --> Program mode. The camera decides everything for you, however you can change aperture or shutter speed to suit your needs the camera will decide to that settings.

    For newbies I would suggest to you that you play around with Program mode for a while after that move on to other modes. As the Program mode is to cater people upgrading from compact to DSLR. It helps a lot for them to adapt to the DSLR system.

    You must be wondering what is Shutter Speed and Aperture right?

    To say is frankly both Shutter speed and aperture allows a adjust the amount of light going into the sensor itself.

    What is the difference then?

    The difference is that the Aperture has this extra thing call the Depth-Of-Field. What the depth-of-field does is it makes the background blurred.


    Do you see the Blur background behind? Yup that is what the Depth-of-field does. the thinner the depth-of-field the more "blur" the background is.

    How does the depth-of-field related to Aperture?

    The answer is simple, The smaller the F-number the thinner the depth-of-field is. The common misunderstanding about Aperture is the F-number and the aperture hole. The Bigger the aperture hole, the smaller the F-number.

    What special feature can the shutter speed do then?

    What people usually play with shutter speed is to do the silky water effect.


    Do you see that the water isn't droplets in the picture itself ? Instead it looks very long and silky. thats one of the effects that you can do using shutter speed. Of course there are other factors that will do this effect too.

    What do I need to do in order to shoot nicely?

    What you need is to be able to coordinate ISO, shutter speed and aperture, As different settings is used in different surroundings.

    There are 2 kinds off surroundings. Indoors and Outdoors.

    For indoors usually the lightings stays the same. However for Outdoors the lighting is the sun itself, so you might need to change the settings to suit the surroundings.

    Thats the reason why I suggest for newbies to use Program mode for awhile before going into A/Av mode or S/Tv mode. As you will be able to know roughly what settings to use in what kind of surroundings.

    And thats the end of the Basic Photography Knowledge article. The next article will be more on the practical part about how to shoot different kinds of photos.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Basic Photography Article started by bolgash View original post
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. Ares's Avatar
      Brilliant Article, definitely a MUST-read for newbies!
    1. Poseidon's Avatar
      Great writeup, promoted as article in the home page.
    1. redfish's Avatar
      Good article!!! keep up the good work
    1. bietoff0728's Avatar
      Nice photo of the flower and the waterfall...

      Hi everyone... i'm new to this dslr world and just bought myself a Canon 50D with Canon EF 28-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM Autofocus Lens. Going to Manchester end of this month so i hope all the guides will help me to take some nice pictures
    1. Poseidon's Avatar
      We hope that our site has been useful to you too!

      More tips and tricks can also be found here: http://www.reddotphoto.com.sg/content.php/11-tutorial

      There's one on fireworks if you're interested in that. If you have any specific questions to ask, feel free to create a thread and our members will try to help you out!

      Quote Originally Posted by bietoff0728 View Post
      Nice photo of the flower and the waterfall...

      Hi everyone... i'm new to this dslr world and just bought myself a Canon 50D with Canon EF 28-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM Autofocus Lens. Going to Manchester end of this month so i hope all the guides will help me to take some nice pictures
    1. Winson1214's Avatar
      Hi I am new here
    1. Poseidon's Avatar
      Hello! Welcome to our forums!! Feel free to ask anything and discuss about anything here!

      Quote Originally Posted by Winson1214 View Post
      Hi I am new here
    1. The Miracle's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by bietoff0728 View Post

      Hi everyone... i'm new to this dslr world and just bought myself a Canon 50D with Canon EF 28-135mm F3.5-5.6 IS USM Autofocus Lens. Going to Manchester end of this month so i hope all the guides will help me to take some nice pictures

      The 28-135 IS is a classic lens, the first generation IS and it was perhaps the best non-L lens in that zoom category. I've used it as a work horse lens for several years.

      If you'd like landscapes and architecture, consider getting a wider lens, either a
      Wide angle: Tamron 17-50 F2.8, Canon 17-40 F4 L
      Ultra wide angle: Sigma 10-20, Tokina 12-24

      Else the 28-135 is a bit too long especially on a cropped sensor.
    1. bietoff0728's Avatar
      The Miracle >>
      Thank you for the guidelines. I forget to mention that I do have another lens, EF-S 18-55 IS and EF 75-300 III USM. I think that should be sufficient enough for now. By the way, between Tamron, Canon, Sigma and Tamron, which of these are better lenses for my dslr?

      Thank You
    1. The Miracle's Avatar
      I'd suggest bringing the 18-55 along. Personally, the 75-300 is not sharp at all. Focusing is painfully slow. Abberation is terrible too. For any sports or birding, it is really lacking in all areas.

      Comparing all the 3rd party vs Canon, it'll have to depend on the focal length, and aperture needed. The 18-55 and 28-135 should suffice for your trip now and perhaps more should be spent thinking about shooting, reviewing, self-critique and shooting more before moving onto another purchase.

      You'll have to find out what you like to shoot and the choice for your next lens will narrow down easily.
    1. Poseidon's Avatar
      I always think that for a first lens, if one is undecided about what he is intending to shoot, getting a superzoom (those 18-200s or the like) is a good idea; I've went the superzoom track and never regretted it.

      Once you have used a superzoom for quite a while, you will start to realise what focal lengths you tend to use more often, and then get those lenses with better sharpness and apertures. For me, I realised I shoot people most of the time, so I went the 28-70 F2.8 Nikon and 105DC F2 later on.
    1. bietoff0728's Avatar
      Thank you for all your guidance.The informations are very useful to me. Currently i'm shooting on people ie. friends and my wife or friend's wedding events. For my wife, she loves scenic shots so that's why i bought the 28-135 thinking that it could be a 'multi-purpose' lens. In Manchester, i think i'll be shooting more on buildings, museums and the stadium. If there's sufficient time, i'll try going to London Eye and Big Ben for more shots.
    1. Poseidon's Avatar
      Feel free to drop by to ask any questions you may have!
    1. dxsibo's Avatar
      nicely writeup! will show this to my newbie frens
    1. arman007's Avatar
      Hi yes , Its a great information about Basic Photography Article making in face book and twitter.thanks for sharing .
    1. Kerr's Avatar
      Great article! I have been wondering how to get the Depth of Field effect. Now I have to go find the Aperture and Shutter function on my Panasonic Lumix fx38. Btw anyone has problems figuring out the icons and their functions in this camera? They are not listed in the manual. Had this compact camera for quite some time al and still havent figrued out those icons.

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