Foundation is the most important thing when it comes to any major project or field. A great foundation helps to build great skill and knowledge in the future. In this article, we will be discussing just a few Essential Camera Settings to pay attention to as a beginner or even as a professional. I often find myself forgetting some of these settings while shooting because I become so consumed in getting the correct composition, lighting and more. These settings are key elements that will determine the outcome of each photo as if it will be amazing or maybe not your best. Let’s begin!
The first essential setting in your camera will be your shutter speed. It’s a pretty simple or rather easy concept to grasp as it can be related to many things. For example, one could describe the shutter speed as for how your eye blink. The faster your eyes close and reopen to blink could be compared to how fast a camera’s shutter closes and reopen. In photographers terms, your shutter speed is pretty much how long the sensor on your camera is exposed to light. So the slower your shutter speed is, the more light you let into the sensor. The faster your shutter speed is, the less light you let into the sensor and so on.
Your shutter speed will obviously vary depending on what it is exactly you’re shooting. I sometimes personally love low light photography which will sometime require a slow shutter speed, wide open aperture and a relatively high ISO. All of these things combined help to produce great quality low light images. As opposed to shooting wildlife or doing sports photography, it would be almost the complete opposite depending on the lighting around you. So if you’re a beginner I would say this is one of your most important but easiest essential setting to pay attention to.
This is where things getting just a little complicated, just kidding. Your aperture setting is pretty much that f-stop value you see on your DSLR or mirrorless camera. This number pretty much dictates also as to how much light is brought into the camera through a hole inside the lens. The higher the value on your aperture is the smaller this hole gets and the lower the value dictates how big this hole gets. I could use more photography terms to describe this hole but now let just leave it at that.
As you progress in photography you will learn that each lens has its limitations as to how wide or how small hole can get. You often see these values in the title of the lens such as “Canon 24mm f/2.8”. That pretty much means that the lowest aperture value on that lens is f/2.8 and no more. Aperture values also affect the depth of field in your images. If you look on some pretty amazing shots in photography you notice a nice soft, blurred background that looks so seamless and pleasing. Your aperture and distance from your subject have a huge role to play in achieving that.
The abbreviation funny enough isn’t really related as to what an ISO actually is which a lot of photographers are not aware of. The abbreviation basically means “International Standards Organization”. This organization basically stipulates that different industries such as Canon and Nikon must uphold the same standards. Therefore the ISO level on Canon when at 200 must be same as a Nikon when at the same value. This keeps a very level playing field in the market but it the abbreviation has no direct relation as to what an ISO actual does. Your ISO is also an essential setting as it indicates how sensitive you make your sensor to light. Therefore, the higher the ISO value, the more sensitive you senor becomes to the light being taken into the camera and when the ISO is low then its the complete opposite. I always advise photographers to keep your ISO as low as possible when shooting one major reason. When shooting with a high ISO, you will notice in post-production that you’re plagued with a lot of grain which can sometimes ruin the quality of your shot. As opposed to shooting at a low ISO you find your images have a soft finish that is very appealing to the eye.
So I must admit when I started photography, learning this essential setting wasn’t exactly my favorite because I felt like I was always getting it wrong. I later found out how important it is in your day to day shooting especially indoors while using flash and more. Like ISO levels I mentioned earlier, the white balance pretty much acts the same in regards to the sensor sensitivity. In addition to that, however, it pays more attention to the color of the lights than to light itself. Naturally, when shooting indoors, each bulb usually has a different color from the others which then gives off a different kind of light.
The white balance option gives you the opportunity to even out these colors and tones to make them more appealing in a photo. White balance is why settings such as temperature exist in post-production.
I hope this article helped you a lot in learning more about your essential camera settings and how they can be of great benefit in your day to day photography. Until next time, thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon!