Camera basics: Get to know your DSLR settings.
Learn more about the three pillars of photography as you develop your skills as a photographer and gain the confidence to switch from auto to manual shooting.
Whether you’ve recently picked up a camera for the first time or are looking to hone your skills, getting to know your camera is an important step. Switching from automatic to manual shooting will help you step up your game and try more technical or creative shots. Read on to learn some basic DSLR settings every photographer should know.
The pillars of photography.
Not only does shooting in manual mode help you get a wider variety of shots, it also helps you better understand the inner workings of your DSLR camera.
Three of the most important settings are shutter speed, ISO, and aperture — otherwise known as the exposure triangle, or the three pillars of photography.
- Shutter speed: As its name suggests, shutter speed is how quickly the shutter closes. A fast shutter speed lets in less light, while a slower one lets in more. Shutter speed also affects motion. A quick shutter speed captures crisp, clear images — such as in sports photography — and a slower shutter speed can introduce blur (intentional or otherwise).
- ISO: This setting adjusts light sensitivity to help you achieve the right exposure. Less light is let in with lower ISO settings, while the reverse is true for higher settings.
- Aperture: This setting also controls how much light the camera allows in. Smaller apertures let in less light, while larger ones let in more. Because aperture affects depth of field, it is the key to getting a wide variety of specialized effects, such as bokeh or macro shots.
Hone your DSLR photography skills.
At times, it can feel like a delicate balancing act to manage these three pillars, but with a little practice (and some trial and error) you’ll become more comfortable with your DSLR camera’s settings and its capabilities. Discover more photo tips as you continue to practice.