Digital Photography Lessons – The 3 Elements of WOW in Digital Photography
By: Dan Eitreim
We all see the photographer with tons of gadgets, constantly fiddling with settings and so on – and it makes us think that photography is hard, and expensive! It doesn’t have to be… here is the first of your digital SLR photography lessons that will help you get better photos – fast!
Frequently we’ll see a person walking around with enough camera gear slung around his neck to open a camera store. These people make it seem as though photography is complex and impossible to understand. Not so. Digital SLR photography lessons all boil down to 3 simple elements.
1. – The aperture.
The aperture is nothing more than a hole in the camera that lets in light. That’s it, nothing more. All those confusing numbers like f 2.8, f 4, f 5.6, f11, f 16 and so on are simply the way we write down what the size of the hole is.
The “f” means focal length. The number is a mathematical calculation that the geeks understand. We don’t need to understand it. All we need to know is that it is a fraction.
So, like any other fraction, the smaller the denominator (the number on the bottom) the bigger the number. For example, 1/2 is a larger number than 1/8.
Therefore, f 2.8 is a bigger hole in the camera (and lets in more light) than f 16.
2. – Shutter speed.
Shutter speed is nothing more than the amount of time the aperture is open…letting in light to the film or digital sensor.
Of course there are bunches of combinations of shutter speed and aperture – but the basics are pretty simple wouldn’t you agree?
3. – Creative input.
Creative input is the real magic to creating amazing photographs – ones that have that elusive “WOW” factor. In creative we are concerned with things like lighting, posing, composition, and so on.
So, there you have it…photography in a nutshell. It consists of aperture size and shutter speed which are mechanical operations of digital SLR photography. That’s why cameras are able to have settings like aperture priority, shutter priority and full automatic.
The amount of light needed can be easily calculated by the cameras internal computer.
What can’t be automatically computed and where we find the true artistry in photography, is in the creative decisions that go into each photo.
No camera could ever automatically make these sorts of creative decisions.