Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Getting to Know Your Camera 101

I wanted to sign up for a class that teaches photo composition. Instead, I signed up for this class called Getting to Know Your Digital Camera and the Basics of Adobe Photoshop. 

Why? The price was right, the scheduling worked for my family and the description said it would cover some basic photo composition stuff.

After the first class last night, I'm so very glad I started with the basics! I learned more about my camera in two hours than I have in two years. Yay! Plus, I learned several tips for taking better pictures.

Now comes the fun part.

I'll be experimenting and posting lots of photos. Here's a shot of one of the four pages of notes I took. The teacher encouraged us to play with our cameras as he was talking. My subject matter was pretty much limited to my notebook and the computer in front of me, least I look like a stalker taking pictures of the other students.

It's no work of art, but I learned something about apertures and shutter speeds. You have to snap those notebooks quick before they move around on you, you know.

Here are a few tips I learned for those of you that are at a preschool level of photography, like me.

1. Problem: The camera seems to move a bit when you snap a photo leaving you with blurry pictures. 

Solution: Keep the arm holding the camera against your body for stability and hold your breath when you snap the photo.

2. Problem: Lighting seems to be off in all your photos.

Solution: Play with the white balance settings on your camera. Most digital cameras have settings for different light situations: fluorescent, incandescent, sunny, cloudy, and flash.

3. Problem: You can't figure out where the white balance setting or anything else is on your camera.

Solution: Read the manual. I know, this seems obvious. But, honestly, I was intimidated by my manual, partly because I didn't know what any of the terms meant. What's an aperture? What's shutter speed? Now that I have a basic understanding, the manual will be helpful. Don't feel too embarrassed about not understanding your manual. It was a common complaint amongst the students last night. Some of us are hands-on learners.

Your turn:

Is photography a struggle for you? Are you afraid of your camera's manual? What has been your biggest hurdle regarding photography? Keep the comments rolling! I love comments!  


  1. I always have my digital camera on automatic setting I think and then enhance the picture when I download it on my computer. I don't know that I have a manual, but perhaps there is one on line.

  2. Do you have a point and shoot or an SLR? Mine is a point and shoot, but it has a surprising number of things to adjust in manual mode. It's fun to play with now that I know what the settings are. I bet you could find your manual on-line.