Getting the best out of your camera

ON1 Photo RAW 2020

Modern cameras

In the days of analogue cameras, photographers only needed to worry about a) making sure they had the right type of film loaded in their cameras and b) making sure that they maximised their exposure for the scene that they were shooting. Digital cameras give us so many more parameters that it can be hard for even experienced photographers to make best use of the setting that they find.

However, some of the fundamentals of photography remain the same.

If you are just starting out here are some of my tips for you.

  1. Read the manual and read it again – In fact browse sections of the manual often, you will be surprised about what you can gleam from doing so.
  2. Using your camera
    1. Camera modes – Experiment with different camera shooting modes and don’t be afraid of getting things wrong.
    2. Full auto – Many cameras have intelligent programme modes, if you are shooting an important event or are not yet confident in using all of your cameras modes and settings, it’s okay to take advantage of your cameras intelligent auto modes.
    3. Shoot RAW – Shooting RAW allows you to make better use of the data that your cameras sensor captures. Of course you need to have some software to process the RAW files but it is worth it. Also, RAW files provide more latitude in post processing to correct or enhance your images.
    4. Metering – Learn what to meter and how to meter, take advantage of the different metering modes that your camera has to offer.
    5. Histogram – Use your histogram to help expose the scene correctly.
    6. Bracket – If you are not sure about your exposure settings bracket your exposures.
    7. Exposure triangle – Understand the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO in getting the correct exposure. When you are ready to take more control over your camera and use the different modes, you will need to understand this relationship in order to set the best combination of all three setting for the scene that you shooting.
    8. Camera limitations – Every camera has its limitations. For example, shooting at higher ISO’s may introduce noise, knowing how high you can set your ISO before introducing unacceptable noise is important.
    9. Exploitation – learn to take advantage of all of your cameras different modes and choose the best mode according to your needs.
    10. Advanced camera setting –  As you become more confident in using your camera, you may want to to into the menus and settings and tweak some of the settings to your needs and style of photography.
  3. Getting better – Learn by you mistakes, someone once said; there is no such think as a mistake, a mistake is only a process of learning. When you are looking through your images and post processing them, think about what went well for you when shooting and if you have images that don’t work out think about why and change what you do next time


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