This essay is for amateurs who have been shooting a while and feel the desire to push the envelope by going to manual mode. For those who are dedicated auto shooters and never want to change, I respect and endorse your choice, and wish you all the good shooting in the world. But this essay is not for you, so you need not read any further. Why go manual mode? Well, there are some very good reasons to do so. I believe that all the fun is in manual shooting, and I also believe that you can unleash your creativity by shooting manual.
One of the three pillars of photography is camera ISO, along with shutter speed and aperture. Like those two settings, ISO controls the brightness of your photos, and it is a crucial setting to use properly if you want to take the best possible images. In this chapter of Photography Basics article, we will explain ISO using simple language and examples so that you can make the most of it for your own photography.
When you’re out taking nighttime landscape photos — Milky Way photography, or photos of the Aurora Borealis — one of the most difficult tasks is to compose your photos exactly how you want. The reason? It’s simply too dark to see anything. Looking through the viewfinder on a DSLR, it can be tough to make out any of the scene’s important features. Live view might be even worse, often showing absolutely no detail at all. The most common solution is to guess at your composition, wait 20 or 30 seconds for the exposure to finish, and adjust afterwards via trial and error. It’s a slow process — but there’s another method. This is one of the few times when the best option is to use your camera’s highest ISO.
Many beginner photographers often wonder what camera settings they should use to get the best possible results with their current camera gear. While there is no set rule for camera settings that work well in every shooting environment, I noticed that there are some settings that I personally set on every camera I use, which are universal across all brands of cameras on the market. These are the “base” settings I set initially – once they are done, I rarely ever revisit them. In addition, there are particular camera modes that make the process of capturing images easier or quicker, especially for someone who is just starting out. Let’s go through these common camera settings in more detail!
It’s common to think that most professional photographers, or all professional photographers, shoot in manual mode, for the simple reason that it offers the greatest possible control over a photo. Why would you leave your camera to make important decisions without your input? However, as valuable as manual mode is, you may not need to use it 100% of the time — even as an advanced photographer. In this article, I’ll explain semi-automatic modes and cover some cases where they can be the quickest option available, without sacrificing any control over your settings.
ISO invariance is one of the most talked-about topics in photography today, yet most people don’t really understand what it is. That isn’t a surprise; ISO invariance can be very technical and counter-intuitive, and it doesn’t fit well with many photographers’ general understanding of ISO. However, ISO invariance is an important topic, especially since many cameras today are close to being ISO invariant. If you want to maximize your camera’s dynamic range and avoid using “useless” ISO values, this topic is directly relevant to your photos. So, what is ISO invariance, and how can you use it to your advantage in your own photography?
When taking pictures, one of the biggest frustrations one can experience is camera shake, which often happens as a result of the way the camera is held at lower shutter speeds. Properly hand-holding a camera can drastically reduce human-induced camera shake and result in many more sharp images and keepers. In this article, we will discuss a few different ways to hold a camera, which will hopefully reduce and potentially even eliminate unwanted blurry images when you are shooting in the field.
For landscape photography, most of the time, you’ll end up using your camera’s base ISO. That’s the power of a tripod; it lets you set long enough shutter speeds to capture a bright photo, even in dark environments at low ISO values. However, settings like this do not work for all images. Sometimes, depending upon the landscape, you’ll need to raise your ISO in order to capture a successful photograph. This article dives into the most common of those situations.
Exposure isn’t an easy part of photography, especially if you’re just starting to learn about it. Your camera has dozens of buttons and hundreds of menu options — how do you even begin to set everything correctly? But it’s not as bad as you might think. There are only two camera settings that affect exposure: shutter speed and aperture. These are also the two most important settings in all of photography. In this article, I’ll introduce shutter speed and aperture (as well as a third variable, ISO) and explain in depth how to use them properly. Once you master exposure, your photos will skyrocket in quality.
There are many combinations of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO that will correctly expose an image. With all those combinations, which one is the right one? If you leave your camera in full program mode, your camera will pick a combination for you. However, letting your camera have complete control is not why you bought an expensive DSLR or mirrorless camera! Learning how to adjust the settings and modes on your camera before you click the shutter will give you the upper hand. You will end up capturing images creatively, rather than by chance. Read on to find out how aperture, shutter speed, and ISO affect the look and feel of a photograph and how to choose the best camera settings to take creative control of your images.