How To Use A Digital Camera – Wrapping Your Head Around The Basics

There are many great advantages of learning how to use a digital camera, even a point and shoot, or compact digital camera. Simply because you don’t have an slr doesn’t mean you won’t be able enough to take beautiful pictures. The elegance about compact digital cameras is that you can take them any where, fit them in your bag and if you see something worth photographing, you can straightforwardly point and shoot. When you realize a few handy techniques, you can subsequently start getting beautiful photos.

In order to photograph beautiful photos you need to take a few methods into consideration before pressing the shutter. As much as the camera has some  marvelous technology, it can only prove as a rough road map for you, instead of taking the photo for you. It’s you who takes a superb shot due to creative  and technological skills, not the camera.

On the days when you have a few moments to examine what result you are going will get you will be grateful that you didn’t rush and really looked closely at what you are shooting. It is constantly through this assessment and understanding that takes you to the next degree in your photography.

To begin, let’s look at the essential mechanical foundations of your camera. Shutter speed and aperture. Every photo consists of a mixture of shutter speed and f stop. To appreciate this fully think of your shutter speed as the measurement of time the light has to enter the sensor and then be shut out again. The fstop is the quantity of light that the shutter lets inside. Shutter is about shooting at the right moment and aperture is about the amount of light.

When you have a lens aperture that is quite large, you will find you have a quicker shutter speed time. This is so that not too much light floods the sensor and provides you with overly bright photos. (Photos with too much light can ruin your image). Fstop and shutter speed continually work at the same time. Once you feel more confident in your camera and your skills and competencies, you will be able to work out the ideal combination of both.  Once you get the perfect combination you will be able to progress your photography ten fold.

What about the modes on the compact ? There are a a small number of work modes you can use on your digital camera. Most of the time you will most likely shoot in automatic. I suggest to aim to use out the other controls if you can.

“SP” is shutter priority mode. It means that the camera will decide on what it thinks the best shutter speed is for your photo. “AP” means aperture priority. The camera will pick the aperture for you as you decide the shutter speed. You may also find a range of other scene shooting modes such as Portrait, Landscape, Night and Sport.  When you position your camera dial on any of these modes it will mean that the compact  will try to hit upon the best combination of shutter and aperture for these conditions you have chosen.

These diverse settings bring about distinct things to take place within the camera itself. Portrait mode sets the camera to have a blurry background. Landscape sets the digital camera to be able to get sharp focus in the distance. Night Time function sets the camera to have a very long-drawn-out shutter speed and Sports function tells the digital camera to have a very fast shutter speed. Within all of these shooting modes you are unable to manipulate the light sensitivity (called ISO), and at times won’t be able to use the flash. (Based on what digital camera you have.)

Working to get the best image sharpness you can is the ideal way to take pictures.  It’s important to be on familiar terms with what type of subjects needs what kind of focusing. For example, a close up picture of someone’s face needs sharp, close focusing. A mountain range will require sharp focusing all the way in the distance. (This span of focusing is called depth of field.)

To make sure that your shots are in focus at the point you want them to be, you will see a small circle come up in your view finder or the screen. When the picture is in focus the little circle will present. Some digital cameras don’t have a green small dot but may beep quietly when the shot is in focus and it’s time to take the shot.

It’s important not to be careless with the focus. Sometimes it’s hard to keep everything in your head at once which is why digital camera making companies created a useful little mode called “Auto Focus Lock”. This mode allows you hold the focus on your subject while you get the best position, then you can photograph and still keep clear focus.

Otherwise you can point the camera, keep the button down half way (don’t compress it yet) wait for the camera to beep, then take the image. By doing this you will also be holding the focus. This has great advantages because you don’t have to recall to take the auto focus lock off. You can just move on to the next image.

Always keep in mind to observe your light, before taking the shot. Choose which mode you love photographing in and take the photo accordingly. Happy shooting!


2 comments on “How To Use A Digital Camera – Wrapping Your Head Around The Basics

  1. Pingback: Larry

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