How to Make Your Camera Settings Work for You

Purchasing your first DSLR camera is perhaps the most monumental milestone in becoming a professional photographer, but familiarizing yourself with the settings can seem like quite the hassle. For instance, determining what shutter speed you can use may be a bit tricky considering it differs from subject to subject. Slower shutter speeds are not always ideal when shooting human subjects since the human body cannot always stay completely still for a total of sixty seconds.

Key Takeaways:

  • When your f-stop is a low number, that means the lens is open wide and letting in lots of the available light. In contrast, the higher the number, the smaller the opening.
  • The amount of light and movement of your subject determines the shutter speed you should use.
  • In underexposed images, the shadows are too dark and details in those areas are lost. Overexposed images will have highlight areas that are too bright where detail is lost.

“Your ISO setting should be chosen based on available light. Remember taking photos on film twenty years ago? Images taken in low light would sometimes look really grainy and icky. That’s because the ISO was set too high for the amount of light that was available.”

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