Understanding Your Camera

With a title like “Understanding Your Camera”, it’s pretty obvious that I am writing to those of you who have an interest in taking your own pictures. Chances are good that you have a camera with the capability of adjusting a variety of knobs, buttons, and menu settings. And I’m going to guess that at one time or another all of those options have confused you. (Join the club.)

Here’s a little quiz for you. Can you spot the differences in these two pictures?

If you said, “the wheel is moving in the second picture”, I’ll give you partial credit. Actually, the wheel was moving when I took both pictures. The first one just froze the motion. 

You may have also noticed that the background is different in both of the images. Which do you prefer? Do you know what setting to change in your camera to move from one look to the other?

If you had taken these pictures with your cell phone, or with your fancy camera in the automatic mode, the camera would have decided about the speed of the wheel and focus of the background for you. It would have determined how bright, or dark the picture should be. It would have set the contrast and the color saturation. And it probably would have looked pretty good. But it would have robbed you of the opportunity to make the picture as you saw it.

In the end, I settled on a different option.

understanding your camera's shutter speed and aperture settings

The wheel is moving, but it’s not a blur. The movement of the smaller wheels or spools is more obvious. The background is slightly out of focus. You may prefer one of the others and that’s the point: having full control of my camera allows me to make the choices that I want in order to produce the image as I see it.

If you’re interested in understanding your camera so that you can use it to its full capabilities, then I hope you will join me for an enjoyable morning of practical instruction on Saturday morning, April 10 in the Mallard Creek area of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Class size is limited in order to allow for social distancing and to ensure that every student gets the personal attention that he or she might need throughout this hands-on session. All you need is a DSLR, mirrorless, or advanced point-and-shoot camera.

To join us, just click the button below and choose the time (9:30) on April 10, then follow the prompts. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.

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