Getting Started on Photography?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Getting Started on Photography?

In our Photography Challenge released yesterday, we’ve actually mentioned a few points about photography that we thought of sharing more with you guys through this article.

Because, as much as we hope it would be, taking great photos or shooting a video isn’t as simple as just tapping the screen to focus, and then pressing the shutter to take the photo or video. If taking photos or videos that way creates good productions, then we will all be watching shows and movies filmed on handphone cameras all this while. And, you probably won’t need apps like Mei Tu, or Instagram filters if photos taken just like that does not need any additional touch ups.

Comparing a handphone camera to a full-fledged digital camera is definitely unfair, because the digital camera is definitely going to take much better photos simply due to the difference in the hardware capabilities itself. However, a handphone camera is also capable of taking some impressive photos if you know what you’re doing. And this is what we will be looking at today.
 

Exposure

Have you heard of the term “over-exposed” or “under-exposed”? They are typically used to describe the exposure rate of a photo, here are the examples of a over and under-exposed photo.

 

Under-exposed

 
Over-exposed

 

In simpler terms, exposure is the amount of light you let in during the instant that you snap a photo. Having too little light, results in an under-exposed photo, and having too much, you’ll get over-exposed photos. Fortunately, with electronic viewfinders found in cameras these days, and live previews on the screens on your phones, it is a situation that is typically quite easy to avoid.
 

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is essentially the amount of time you want your camera to snap a photo. The longer it takes to snap a photo, the higher amount of light that your camera will be taking in, and also the more movement your camera will be able to capture. As such, if you find yourself trying to take photos in a dimmer light setting, and you can lower your shutter speed such that you can capture the photo you want in its original lighting, instead of increasing the exposure which will light up everything across the image. Also, one thing to take note when lowering your shutter speed, is that it will be incredibly sensitive to motion, as such, it is recommended for you to use a tripod or have incredibly stable hands when taking photos with a long (low) shutter speed.
 

Aperture

Aperture or f-stops, are a little tricky to explain. Imagine the camera’s shutter as a hole. Shutter speed determines how long it takes for the “hole” to close, while aperture determines how big that hole is in the first place. In handphone cameras, you typically don’t get a choice as to what aperture you’re using as it’s all fixed, but if you’re using a digital camera, especially ones with interchangeable lenses, it is important for you to be aware of what are the lenses capable of. While it is easy to just opt for a higher aperture as common sense will say having a larger “hole” to let in more light at once allows you to take a sufficiently exposed photo even in low light conditions, but the aperture is critical in determining the depth of field of the photo you will be taking. At bigger aperture settings, or bigger f-stops (f/2, f/4, for example), the focal length tend to be shorter, resulting in a small depth of field, where only a small area of the image will be in focus, blurring out the rest of the image. This is good if you’re trying to take macro shots or achieve a bokeh effect. But not necessarily so if you’re trying to take a landscape photo of a scenery, for example.

 

Only the head of the figurine is in focus on the left, whereas the whole figurine is in focus on the right                    Source: https://photographylife.com/landscapes/aperture-and-f-stop-explained-for-beginners

 

As such, when you are planning to invest in a camera and lenses, it is important for you to first be aware of what kind of photos will you be taking, and thus, spend on the most appropriate lenses for your cause.

While it is simple to take a photo, the amount of knowledge, and technical expertise professional photographers have under their belt definitely did not come by easily, and the above 3 points are really the most basic things when it comes to photography as these are the things you need to know just to handle a camera. Do let us know in the comments below what do you want us to cover, and we will try to do so in a future article!

Meanwhile, if you are keen to read more in depth, you can check out this useful article!: https://photographylife.com/landscapes/aperture-and-f-stop-explained-for-beginners

Keen in photography, but don’t have a camera to experiment with? Watch our video below and take part in the giveaway! We will be giving our Fujifilm’s latest camera, the X-T100!