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New camera for Christmas? #photography

If you had a new camera for Christmas you might want to get the most out of it by learning a little about photography. It takes some time to learn all the settings especially on a DSLR but just understanding the basic settings can help you take better pictures. You can go from just taking snaps to creating images.

New camera


The aperture is how far the shutter on the camera opens when you take a picture. For this shot that I took on Christmas day, I set the aperture wide to let in a lot of light. I was shooting on aperture priority. It actually looked darker than it looks in this picture and I needed to capture what was going on. It turned out to be a false alarm, the firefighters looked around and left. The image looks like it has a pattern on it. That’s noise, the invisible light that we wouldn’t normally see being translated into visible light by a really responsive sensor. If you switch your camera to portrait it will give you a wide aperture but not quite as much control. A wide aperture is good for portraits and good in low light. If I was taking this photo in daylight I would want a wider depth of field to bring distant objects into focus and so would use a narrow aperture or a landscape mode.


New camera

You will probably start your photography with landscapes. This shot looks OK, but it would have been more in focus with a narrower aperture. You can go too narrow in poor light but I didn’t change my camera settings at all. You can’t judge how dark it is because the pupils of your eyes dilate to let in more light. The camera can use a wide aperture or a slow shutter speed to let in more light too. If you want to play with the manual settings on your new camera try setting the scene mode dial on A for aperture priority. You set the aperture and the camera will set a suitable shutter speed. Use high numbers such as F16 for landscape (narrow aperture) and low numbers for portraits and pictures of things close up.

If you’re getting blurred pictures with your new camera then you should first check to see if you’re holding the camera really still. Have your feet apart so you’re steady on your feet. If your camera has a viewfinder, use it. I press the camera against my nose and use the viewfinder to keep it still! Try a wide aperture (the lowest number) in poor light to get a fast shutter speed to freeze movement.

I’ll end with some pictures I have taken in 2016. Click one to bring up a carousel:

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