Photography for beginners: Introduction

I started getting into photography a couple of years ago, and I have been helped along the way by a colleague and various books and websites. I’ve been learning about cameras continuously, and a few months after I got interested, my brother took an interest too.

I made some notes about basic camera settings for him, which he says he found very useful. So I’ve decided to try and write them up a bit more formally for my blog, in the hope that they will be useful for someone.

I wrote this guide mainly using my Fuji Finepix S9600, with the intention that my brother would use it with his Fuji Finepix S5800. Some of the numbers may vary, but pretty much all of the advice is transferable between digital cameras and even 35mm film cameras.

For someone who has never used manual settings on a camera before, there are a few terms you need to be familiar with.

Aperture Also known as F-stop. This is the size of the hole behind the main lens of the camera. It can be adjusted in size to let in more or less light.
Shutter speed Also known as the exposure. This is simply the amount of time that the camera exposes for. Long exposures mean blurry photos while short exposures can freeze action shots in time.
ISO This is the sensitivity of your camera to light.

In the next post, I’ll talk about the modes on your camera, and how they come into play with the three concepts I’ve just explained.

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