Know Your Camera

Learn how to use your camera. I still feel that creeping guilt over this. I feel it every time I sit down to watch ‘House Hunters’. But with the help of the Tiny Reminder philosophy, I too am learning to Let It Go and you can, too. Little bit by little bit, you will learn your camera because you’ll be using it more. Heck, you can turn it on, right? It’s just photography, Mom. You’ll get there.

For those of you who are willing to give up an episode of 'House Hunters' and sit down with your camera manual in hand, read on…here's a simple tutorial about Camera Settings 101 even I can understand.

ISO :: The ISO of a digital camera measures the sensitivity of the image sensor or how your camera reacts to light.

The LOWER the ISO number the LESS sensitive your camera is to light. Tip! You'll need to provide more sunlight or flash to compensate for a lower ISO. The LOWER the ISO number the MORE sensitive your camera is to light. Tip! This makes it easier to shoot in low-light settings.

Aperture or F-Stop :: This is the cool setting that produces that elusive blurry background that makes professional photographers' photos looks so awesome.

To get the blurry effect you use a SHALLOW depth of field – the opposite of that is a deep depth of field where everything from the foreground to background is in focus. This is controlled by your camera's aperture or f-stop. Tip! "LOWER f-stop=BLURRY" The lower your f-stop number the more out of focus your background will be.

Shutter Speed :: This is the speed at which your camera's shutter opens and closes.

The LOWER shut number on your shutter speed dial means a SLOWER shutter speed. Tip! "Lower Shutter=Slower Shutter" I never use this setting! But I have noticed that my camera's shutter speed is slower in low light when set to its auto mode so the reverse is true when there's lots of light. The HIGHER number on your shutter speed dial means a FASTER shutter speed. Tip! "Higher Shutter=Faster Shutter" Use this for action shots and minimize the blur.

Whew! And that's about all you need to know. As Mom always said, "Practice makes perfect."

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