Photography 101: The Camera

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Ken Johnson and I created a photography group at Radiant Church. We welcome photographers from all levels of experience. I created a business card sized cheat sheet to break down how a camera works in manual mode, to hand out to our group. I’ve met so many photographers over the years that are afraid to use their camera in manual mode because they don’t understand how it works. I decided to break it down the simplest way I could think of and have found it to be a great tool to teach or learn how to use a camera in manual mode.

Side One:

Think of a camera like your eye:

Aperture or F-Stop: is like your pupil. It controls the amount of light entering the camera. When dilated the pupil allows more light in, same as the aperture.

Shutter Speed or Exposure Time: is like your eye lid. It controls how long the light is let in, or how long the sensor is exposed to light. When you open your eyes for longer periods they collect more information (light).

ISO: is like your eye’s personal sensitivity to light, except in camera you can control it.

Side Two:

Aperture or F-Stop: wider is brighter

Smaller #= wider aperture
lets in more light : creates shallow focus
Use in dark  situations or for less image in focus

Larger # = tighter
lets in less light : creates deep focus
Use in bright  situations or for more image in focus

Shutter Speed: lower is slower

Lower # = longer time open
more motion blur & more light
Use in dark  situations or for more  motion blur

Higher # = less time open
less motion blur & less light
Use in bright situations or for less motion blur

ISO: light sensitivity

Lower # = less light & grain
Use in bright  situations

Higher # = more light & grain
Use in dark situations

click here to download the pdf camera_101_cards

This is an over simplification I will post a more in-depth tutorial later. I hope this proves useful to you as well.

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