Photography #1 : What I wish I knew earlier about photography basics

Photography is easy! right? Just take a smartphone or camera and get going. Hit the road, just be attentive and with a keen eye, you can capture great moments. Yes, I firmly believe that the equipment is secondary. Think of the photographers from twenty to fifty years in the past. Photography and photojournalism existed then also. Even if they did not have all the latest and glamorized gadgets they still did their jobs well.

I think it is arrogance and ego of people speaking when they judge a picture not for what it represents but through the medium it was captured on. A photograph is a medium to express, not to show off your gears, always remember that. Latest equipment does not necessarily mean more creativity and vice versa. However, time has changed and it is true that with even latest smartphones you have certain limitations. If you are really interested in photography, I would advise you to plan to get a DSLR in the long term. A DSLR in manual mode provides you with a lot more freedom and flexibility. It allows you to express your creativity way better than any smartphone.

A DSLR in manual mode provides you with a lot more freedom and flexibility. It allows you to express your creativity way better than any smartphone but it is also very intimidating. Perhaps this is why a lot of people just leave their DSLR in auto mode (I am guilty of doing this too in the beginning) and it is kind of sad. So let us break down the three main components that will allow you to take a picture with any DSLR namely ISO, Shutter speed, and Aperture.

 

ISO

Every DSLR has an image sensor. The ISO is used to regulate the sensitivity of your camera to light. Less light will probably mean a higher ISO number and similarly, a bright environment will likely need a lower ISO number. higher ISO will make any picture grainier while lower ISO will make it smoother.

*Higher ISO will make any picture grainier while lower ISO will make it smoother.

 

Shutter speed

Your camera is a mechanical device. I would have liked to go into the physics of it but for readability’s sake let us not. So the shutter opens and closes to let light in. One of the advantages of a DSLR is that you have control over that shutter so you can decide to let more or less light in. You can let the shutter open for seconds or for even as quick as 1/2000 of a second making it ideal for capturing a fast moving object.

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*Longer shutter speed is more appropriate when both subject and camera is static.

 

Aperture

Aperture is helpful when trying to decide what you want to put in focus. Is it the subject only or the background as well? If you have ever wondered how in some movies or photographs you get that faded (bokeh) background then aperture is part of that answer. The higher the f number, the clearer the background and vice versa.

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Is that it? that simple? well yes. For a start, this is all it takes, finding the right balance between these three. It is like an equation. Even if you do not own a DSLR, you can play around and train yourself with this interactive map. You will be able to visualize the result immediately and understand better how those three mentioned functions work together.

Recently a few greats things occurred, I will focus on just 2 of them (for now)…
1. I received an email from Unsplash
Of course, I always get emails from them, but this one is special. I am now a privileged photographer on the platform a.k.a there is no restriction on a number of pictures I can upload. I will admit, along with being flattering, it is super helpful. Especially for personal projects. Anyone who photographs and record videos can surely relate to the struggle we face with storage.
2. I was surprised by the support of the online community. The stats on my Unsplash profile is literally going bonkers!

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If you are reading this, I want you to know that I am very grateful and thank you from my heart. It feels good when one’s work is appreciated.

 

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