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Tutorial Darman's Phantastic Photo Guide

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In preparation for something I have brewing, I present Darman's Phantastic Photo Guide.


Getting to Know Your Camera


The first rule of photography is, the best camera is the camera you have with you. From there knowing that camera and it's capabilities are very important. Anyone can set a camera to auto and go to town, just look at Instagram. If you want to go beyond that step and capture not just a photo, but an audience or a point, the first step is learning how to maximize what your camera can do.


Manuals are boring and dry with lots of technical terms. I am all about the "wing it" method of just taking a device out to the field and figuring things out as I go, BUT this can lead to frustration and lack of preparedness for capturing a fleeting moment.

Take the time and look at your manual, you won't regret it, I promise. Here's links to some of the top camera brands to download your manuals or simply Google your model number.








How to Hold Your Camera


Seems like a simple idea, but you would be amazed at how many people (including myself) don't handle their camera well when they first begin their journey into photography. If you don't hold your camera correctly, you risk unnecessary blurring from subtle shakes.

The best way to avoid any blurring from camera shake is a tripod. Tripods can be a game changer especially in low light situations, but are also handy if you have large or heavy lenses like my buddy in the photo below.



If you don't have access to a tripod or at in a situation where you are unable to use a tripod, but sure to use BOTH hands to keep the camera steady. I promise it will make a difference in the long run.




Image Quality


I'll be short and sweet with this one. When in doubt ALWAYS shoot in your camera's RAW file format. This gives you the most information to work with in regards to adjustments while in post-processing. The only downside is the file size is much larger, but worth the extra storage space the end. If your camera does not have a RAW file format (ie: basic point and shoot cameras) use the highest quality JPEG you can.





Exposure is one of the first keys to jumping into the world of photography. Understanding how the different elements of exposure work will help you achieve better photos.




Think about the aperture like your eyelids. When your eyelid is almost closed, very little light passes through, but the more you open your eyelids, the more light you are letting in. The Aperture on your camera works the same way. The wider the aperture the more light you allow to hit the camera's sensor.


Aperture is measured in f-stops, and is referred to by its f/number, e.g. f/2.8, f/5.6, f/22, etc. Depending on your camera and lens will depend on how far in either direction you can go with the f-stop.





This is how aperture affects exposure. Without the right balance of speed and light you can take away the quality of a photo and make it over or under exposed.




Shutter Speed


Now that you have a better understanding on how light gets through your camera's lens, it's time to decide how much light you will allow to get to the camera's sensor. You do this with the shutter (the clicky sound you hear when you take a photo.)


Different shutter speeds are used for different reasons. This usually controls the amount of motion blur or lack there of a photo has. For sports photography you would want a VERY fast shutter speed like 1/4000 of a second vs night photography you would want VERY slow shutter speed like 30 seconds.






ISO stands for International Standards Organization.  This may have you already asking, "what's that have to do with cameras?!" Well sit back and relax while I feed you baby birds. ISO in regards to your camera is the light sensitivity rating of a digital image sensor.


Basically this is a digital way of increasing the brightness, BUT the more digital brightness you introduce to your photo the more digital noise/graininess you add along with the brightness.


ISO is handy for time that you don’t have access to more natural light like indoors or at night, but basically useless on a bright sunny day outside.


Exposure Summery


Exposure is all about creating the right balance of the elements above to capture the image you intend. You can have the most perfectly framed photo ever, but without the right exposure, it may fall short of the desired image. This is why exposure is the most important thing to learn first.



More lessons to come:

  • Metering
  • Shooting Modes
  • Depth of Field
  • White Balance
  • Focal Length
  • Crop Factor
  • Composition
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Thank you thank you thank youuu. Seriously.


I have a camera of my own and I'm still fairly new to photography so I've been trying to learn and it can get realllly confusing. This helps a lot and I also love seeing the pictures you post too 😃 

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21 minutes ago, Sami said:

Thank you thank you thank youuu. Seriously.


I have a camera of my own and I'm still fairly new to photography so I've been trying to learn and it can get realllly confusing. This helps a lot and I also love seeing the pictures you post too 😃 


Good to know, I still have a lot more to add as I did not expect to start this today, but it's a good jumping off point. Let me know if you have any questions or topics you would like covered here. 😊

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