Photography for Beginners: A Complete Guide

Cameras are complicated. I was with my first camera. I just couldn’t capture what I saw through my view finder. It took a ton of trial.

When I managed to work it all out. I started taking some pretty spectacular images. In this post I will share with you everything that I’ve learned.

Info graphic

As beginner photographers we tend to be visual learners. And it’s to make beginning photography as easy as possible for you.

So I thought to myself, “What better way to help beginner photographers learn how to use their cameras than by creating an info graphic.” And that’s exactly what I did.

I collaborated with an illustrator friend of mine and together we made these images. The following are something that will make understanding exposure, and how cameras work a whole lot easier!

Exposure

For those beginning photography, exposure is key to capturing a great image.

Learning how exposure works will help you to take control of your camera and take better photos. Aperture, shutter speed are the elements that combine to create an exposure.

As you’ll soon learn these elements have an effect on more than just the exposure. They also cause alterations in depth of field, motion blur, and digital.

Once you understand how each one works you can start diving into manual mode. This is where you take control back from your camera.

The exposure triangle is a great way to remember the three settings. When combined they control the amount of light captured from any given scene.

This will help you to understand that changing one setting will necessitate a change in the others. That is if you are photographing the same scene with the same exact lighting conditions.

Aperture

Exposure happens in three steps. We will start with the aperture. This is the hole inside the lens through which the light passes.

It’s similar to the pupil of your eye: the wider the aperture the more light is allowed in and vice versa.

As the aperture widens the f/number gets lower and more light is allowed into the camera. This is great for low light but be aware that it’s going to make the depth of field very shallow – not ideal when taking landscapes.

So there’s a bit of give and take and I go into full detail about that in this post. The aperture is the preferred setting to set first as it directly. how much of your scene is in focus. But if you are looking to create motion blur, then it is second to the shutter speed.

Shutter Speed

Once the light has passed through the aperture of the lens it reaches the shutter. Now you need to decide how much of that light you’re going to allow into the camera.

Ordinarily you only want a very small fraction of a second (for example 1/250) to prevent motion blur. However different shutter speeds complement different situations.

Anything from really fast (1/4000) for sports photography to really slow (30 seconds) for night photography. It all depends on what you’re shooting and how much light you have available to you.

Knowing how your shutter speed works is a key element in the basics of photography.

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