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  • Writer's pictureJedah Mcgee

The Camera

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

Exploring The DSLR and how it works.


Learning how to use a camera is not easy. Even once you have been taught all of the functions and what each button is used for, there is still the possibility that you will not take a decent picture. The thing about cameras is several things have to work perfectly together in order for it to work the way you want. But the main element for any good picture is light. Light for a camera is sort of like a power button and even when you turn something on there are certain adjustments that have to make. High or low, warm or cool, fast or slow. For a camera its a little bit more complicated than high and low but essentially it works all the same.


I have been taught how to use a camera many times. Either for Video or photography. Some things work the same and others do not. But the complexity of its use has always been a challenge for me. It's one of those things they say practice makes perfect, or the more you use it the easier it gets. Which is very true, the more you use it in different types of situations the easier it will be to figure out the best course of action.


The main functions on a DSLR that control light are referred to as Shutter speed, ISO, and F-STOP. Each contributes to the amount of light let into the camera but in their own way. When you know each of the ways that they contribute to light you will know what needs to be adjusted and how to get the perfect results.


Shutter speed in DSLRs with mirrors like the one I have controls the speed at which the mirror opens and closes.The slower the shutter speed the longer light is getting into the lens. The faster the shutter speed, the light has less time to get into the lens. Shutter speed contributes to more than just light it also can determine the blurriness of the motion within an image. The slower it is the blurrier things can become with motion. The faster the shutter the clearer the moving image will be. An example of that is pictured above. I utilised the shutter speed on my camera to capture motion blur while the subject of my image remained in focus, and other variations of where the shutter speed contributed to motion.


ISO is another feature on the DSLR that controls light, only this feature controls a camera's sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO the more sensitive to light your image will be. Usually for outdoor settings your ISO would be on the lower end, more specifically during the day. Reason being When the sun is your main light source you wouldn't want high sensitivity towards the sun, you would probably want less sensitivity. The ISO is sort of like your manual ND Filter or sunglasses for the lens. In an indoor setting where usually fluorescent lights are your main source of light it'd be likely you'd want for your ISO to be a lot more sensitive to the light as to allow as much light to reach the sensor as possible.


The thing with ISO and Shutter Speed and as I have gotten a little bit more familiar with my camera, they sort of work opposite one another. For example if I were outside and I set my ISO to 200 but there is still too much light then I would prefer I can speed up my shutter so as to diminish some of the light coming into the camera. Vise Versa.


The other Feature on my DSLR that helps control light is F-STOP or aperture. Imagine Blinds for your lens. It opens and closes at different points as to allow a certain amount of light to enter the lens. The smaller the F-STOP the larger the opening. The Larger the F-STOP the smaller the opening. Sort of like when you open and close blinds.


Overall these elements will give you a start to a great picture. Once you figure these things out the rest should fall into place. At that point it's all up to the photographer and what perspective they want the world to see.


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