Photography Basics

Photography Basics

If you are reading this, that probably means you are interested in photography but need a bit of aid.  But don’t worry, getting into photography does not have to be difficult.  Here we will break down the few basics for manual photography that will help kick-start your interest in the art.  We have also created a photography cheat sheet that will be available below for your own reference.


Aperture is what controls the opening size of the lens.  This ultimately decides the amount of light that is being let into the camera controlling the overall depth of field.  The smaller the fraction, the less light is let in resulting in a greater depth of field.  This means that more is in focus and is better suited for landscapes.


Shutter Speed

Shutter Speed is the length of time that the shutter on your camera stays open for.  This, similar to the aperture, controls the amount of light let in.  The slower your shutter speed, the longer it stays open therefore capturing a greater range of motion.  This is good for night photography as it enables the camera to capture the scenery for a longer period of time as well as when you want to blur motion. This is also how you can achieve those long exposure photos that many people take.  On the other hand, the faster your shutter speed gets (the smaller the fraction), the shorter the shutter remains open for which allows for the camera to capture the motion as if freezing time.   This helps you achieve photos in which the moving object is frozen, for example, sharp photos of athletes in motion.


ISO stands for International Standards Organization which represents the standardized industry scale for the measurement of light sensitivity.  In regards to the camera, it measures the sensitivity of light to the digital image sensor.  The lower you set your camera’s ISO to be, the lower its light sensitivity is which makes it good for bright settings or outdoor photography.  The higher you set the light sensitivity, the better the camera is set for low lights and nights.


Exposure on a camera determines how bright or dark an image will be by controlling the amount of light per unit area targeting the film.    Therefore, the higher you make the exposure, the brighter the image will appear while the lower you make the exposure, the darker the photo will be.  In regular photography, the ideal setting is 0 yet, this may not be suitable for all photography, therefore, we recommend a range from -1 to 1 for the ideal exposure settings.

Here is our printable cheat sheet

Photography Cheat Sheet


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