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Starting to use a DSLR #photography

When you first start to use a DSLR all the settings can be confusing and you have to get used to them slowly so you set the camera quickly without thinking too much about it. The first thing to learn is how to arrange your shot to get a nicely composed shot with lots of interest and depth.

TIPTON CUT - shot with a DSLR

Perspective

In this shot I have the canal going away from us and the tree provides some perspective when compared to the building in the background.

Choosing your subject

SUNSAT (2)

In this shot, I have a clear subject with a nice backdrop to it. It was very bright sunshine in the early afternoon. This shot would have been better  later in the afternoon for a warmer light. I often prefer a white cloudy sky for a diffused light with fewer shadows.

Why choose a DSLR?

BOOM BOX - shot with a Nikon DSLR

One reason to choose a DSLR is quality. This shot is with a wide aperture and you can see the text clearly and the grid pattern. You can even see the dust on the top of the boom box. Wide apertures bring the subject into sharp focus with the background and sometimes foreground out of focus. Narrow apertures are used for landscapes when you want the whole pictures more in focus.

Why use the manual settings?

You can start off using the ‘scene’ modes such as landscape and portrait and they will give you good pictures. However to get sharp images with a wide aperture it is a better idea to select a lens with a wide aperture and set the aperture manually. The widest aperture on a lens is usually printed on the lens itself. The widest aperture changes as you zoom in on zoom lenses but is fixed on a prime lens.

saladwith exif

This image was shot with an aperture of F 3.2  and this side of the plate is more in focus than the far side. Wide apertures are good for food photography and macro photography generally. I shot this with a 35 mm prime lens.

Low light

Using manual settings can also help you in low light. Try using shutter priority   and set your shutter speed on 1/100 of a second and allow the camera to set the aperture. If the aperture is really wide, say wider than F8 then you can compensate for the low light by increasing your ISO.

It can be fun learning to use a DSLR and they are the cameras favoured by professionals.

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