Photography, literally means – painting with light. Without light, there would be no photograph. To master taking photographs, you have to master being able to see, and balance light properly.
Inside the Camera
Light needs to go through the lens, which is a series of difference pains of glass. If the focusing is good, then the light will meet with the sensor.
The aperture is an circular opening. You can control how big or small it is, depending on how much light you want to hit the sensor. It also controls the depth of field.
The shutter is the device that controls the period of time you want light to be exposed to the sensor. It’s for the purpose of exposing your picture.
Now, as the light is being absorbed into the sensor, it transforms it into pixels. The image the sensor picks up is actually upside down, like our eyes see the world, and the processor flips it, just like our brain does.
The aperture effects a lot. Depth of field, the amount of light that’s hitting your sensor, lens speed, sharpness, vignetting…but we will just touch on the basics!
Dealing with aperture is tricky, because it seems backwards. The larger the aperture is, the smaller the number is. Example: F/1.8. Large aperture means large amounts of light. A larger aperture also means extreme/shallow depth of field. This is where you will start to notice lovely bokeh. Photographers generally use large apertures to shoot portraits.
The smaller the aperture is, the larger the number is. Example: F/20. Small aperture means small amounts of light. A smaller aperture also means no/sharp depth of field. Photographers who shoot landscapes are generally going to be shooting with smaller apertures so everything is in focus, or at least extremely sharp.
The two primary things that control the exposure of the photograph are your aperture and shutter speed. The shutter controls the length of time the sensor is being exposed to light. Sport photographers shoot with faster shutter speeds, because their subject is moving extremely fast. Shooting faster allows you to “freeze” the subject. Slowing the shutter down will allow you to capture movement of your subject. It’s especially cool when used to capture the movement of light, such as passing by cars in the city at night.
ISO, apparently stands for “International Standards Organizations” Now…that really is more confusing than it is helpful so store it in your brain, and then never think about it again!
All you really need to know as a beginner about ISO is, at 50-100ISO your camera sensor is going to pick up all the available light. It’s generally accepted as “normal” and will give you crisp, clear shots. When you start to raise your ISO, your sensor is basically becoming more sensitive to light. Higher ISO’s are only used in low light situations, where you need a faster shutter speed, such as shooting indoor sports, or inside a venue with bad lighting. However, there is a price you pay. ISO is technically your camera pre-processing the photo. It’s basically inventing the extra light you see in the photo, which can lead to noisy/grainy photographs.
When deciding what ISO to choose try to ask yourself these questions: Is my subject well lit? Do I want grain in my photo or not? Is the subject moving, or stationary?
If you have one or all of these things, chances are you can keep your ISO nice and low.