Photography made simple


Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them as an artist. Three simple settings are the foundation to controlling your camera. Aperture (f-stop), shutter speed, and ISO. Once you learn to control your camera the rest is up to you to be creative. The camera only shoots what it can see. It’s your job to let enough light in to capture a great image.

Without getting to technical, let me explain the basics. If you’re shooting portraits you’ll probably want to shoot at your lenses smallest F number (F 1.8, 2.8, 3.5). If it’s 3 or more people you may want to start at f3.5, f5.6 The smaller the number the larger the opening in the lens and the more bokeh (background blur). Just make sure the F stop is wide enough to allow your subject(s) to be in focus.

Shutter speed will freeze the action and as a general rule should be at least the speed of your lens focal length. Example: if you’re using a 50mm lens then you should shoot at least 1/50 to avoid camera shake. I personally shoot at twice the focal length. If you’re shooting sports you’ll have to shoot faster shutter speeds to capture great shots of the subject in motion.

ISO lets more light in and you should shoot at the lowest ISO possible, but, don’t be afraid to use higher ISO when necessary. Let your eyes help you out. If you have to squint due to the sun then your ISO is going to be low. ISO 50, ISO100, ISO 200, etc. Indoors you’ll have to decide what your goal is by adjusting your Shutter and Aperture and then set your ISO to allow enough light in to get the shot

If there isn’t enough light available then you have to create it. That’s where flash comes into play. That’s a whole different lesson that I won’t get into at this time…