March 18, 2023

All the Basics You Need to Know: Photography FAQs 101

By Morkven

Photography is an art form that beautifully captures moments and tells stories, making it a popular and accessible pastime for many individuals. But with so many technicalities and terminology in the field, beginners might find it overwhelming and give up easily. Here are some frequently asked questions answered to help you understand the basics of photography and start clicking better photos.

1. What is ISO?

ISO or International Organization for Standardization is the measure of your camera’s sensitivity to light. It is represented numerically, like 100, 200, 400, and so on. The higher the number, the more sensitive your camera is to light, which is why you may take brighter shots in low-light conditions. However, the downside is that high ISO can cause more noise or graininess in your photos.

2. What is aperture?

Aperture controls the amount of light that enters the camera by adjusting the size of the lens opening. It is measured in f-stops, which are represented numerically, like f/1.8, f/2.8, etc. A smaller f-stop number means a larger aperture and vice versa. A larger aperture creates a shallower depth of field, which means your subject will be in sharper focus while the background is blurred. It is a great technique for portraits, while landscapes demand a smaller aperture to maintain focus for the scene.

3. What is shutter speed?

Shutter speed is the length of time that the camera shutter remains open to let light in. It is measured in seconds or fractions of a second, like 1/100, 1/500, etc. A faster shutter speed means less time for light to enter, resulting in a darker image. On the other hand, slow shutter speed, like 1 to 10 seconds or even longer, is used to create motion blur images or capture light trails.

4. What is white balance?

White balance refers to the setting in your camera that adjusts the tone of your images to match the ambient light source. It is essential because different light sources, like sunlight, indoor light, or fluorescent light, have different color temperatures, which can change the tone of your photo. The white balance presets on your camera are a handy tool for adjusting the white balance, depending on the light source.

5. What is composition?

Composition is the art of framing your shot, arranging your subject, and controlling factors like light and color to create a particular mood or message. It includes different techniques like rule of thirds, leading lines, symmetry, and more, that guide the viewer’s eye to the main subject and create visual interest.

6. What are the different types of cameras?

There are different types of cameras, ranging from low-end point-and-shoot cameras to professional DSLRs (digital single-lens reflex) and mirrorless cameras. DSLRs and mirrorless cameras are the most powerful and versatile since they offer interchangeable lenses, manual controls, and a range of settings to tweak. Point-and-shoot cameras, on the other hand, are more affordable, portable, and easy to use for everyday shooting.

7. How important is post-processing?

Post-processing refers to editing and adjusting your images after they are taken. It can enhance the visual appeal of your images and correct errors in exposure, color balance, or sharpness. However, it is important to treat post-processing as a tool that complements your photography skills rather than a shortcut to fix weak shots. Clarity, saturation, contrast, and hue are a few of the basic settings that you can play with to breathe life into your images.

In conclusion, photography is a beautiful art form that requires patience, practice, and a willingness to learn. Understanding the basics of ISO, aperture, shutter speed, white balance, composition, types of cameras, and post-processing can go a long way in helping you take better photos. So, start experimenting with your camera and have fun discovering your unique style!