4 Crucial Setting Tricks to Know About Your Camera
Cameras can be tricky to learn how to use. There are several moving parts and a lot of capabilities. With big words like aperture, shutter speed and ISO, its no wonder many people settle for an automatic setting. While cameras are smart enough to capture beautiful photos automatically, there is so much more potential in the standard camera. The only trick is knowing how to use them properly. Here are four crucial setting tricks to know about your camera.
Shooting in Low Light
Most cameras have no trouble shooting when there is an ample amount of light to be harnessed. During periods of dim lighting however, most cameras need special settings to perform optimally. All of the settings in a camera revolve around lighting. These settings determine how much light is allowed in, for how long its allowed in and how the light will be used. Shooting in low light poses a unique problem as there isn’t an ample amount of light to be used. One of the ways to counter this is with the ISO function. ISO can be explained as the camera’s built-in solution to a lack of lighting. When this ISO is higher, the better the camera will perform in lower-lit settings. Some cameras have higher ISO capacities than others. Those with higher capabilities will inevitably do better in night time photography.
Capturing a Long Exposure
Long exposure is a fancy expression for slowing down the shutter speed of a shot. As the shutter speed is open for an extended period of time, stationary elements remain still while moving elements are given a blurred effect. This is the effect often seen in photos of waterfalls or star trails, where the movement is captured in a still photo. The objects that aren’t in motion remain still in the shot, offering a great contrast to those with movement. This effect is achieved by prolonging the shutter speed from anywhere between about 5 seconds to 30 or over. The length of shutter depends on how prominent you want the effect to be. As the shutter is open for a long time, too much light is being let in for the camera to handle. In order to fix this, the ISO levels must be dropped and a neutral density filter to block out the light must be affixed.
Aperture Priority/Portrait Shots
Cameras aren’t only designed for capturing broad landscapes, long exposures or nighttime photos. Portraits are still an important capability in the arsenal of most high-end cameras. One of the most popular portrait effects sees the subject in clear focus while the background is blurred out. This helps to focus all attention on the subject, without distractions in the back. This effect is also great when filming videos. In order to achieve this look, the aperture setting will be used. The higher the aperture number is, the more will be in focus. To achieve focus on our foreground subject, we will turn the aperture number down very low. This will blur out the background, while the foreground remains clear. The same settings apply when achieving this setting in film. It is important to make sure that the camera is focused on the subject after messing with the aperture settings.
Shooting in RAW
Many photographers throw around the term RAW without truly understanding what it means. Most cameras have the ability to capture photographs in multiple different file types. Some of the most common include JPG, TIFF AND RAW. RAW is the largest file type and takes up the most room on memory cards. This also means that this setting captures the most from a photo. In other words, there is more information in the form of pixels on a RAW file than on a JPEG. This means higher quality and greater editing capabilities. Because RAW files contain more information, photos can be edited to a greater degree when shot in this format. Another great advantage is found when blowing photos up to great sizes. RAW files will retain clarity in greater sizes than other file types. This setting can be adjusted in the main menu of most cameras. Make sure to invest in a large memory card as these files take up a considerable amount of room.
Cameras are capable of capturing stunning photos and videos. The trick is knowing how to utilize the effects that are available. These four settings are crucial to learning how to use a camera properly.