Camera settings

There are so many dials on a camera. I definitely have been confused about what all the controls are, how to use them, and how they work with one another. I often feel overwhelmed trying to learn the setting on my Sony A6000 especially since I want to take photos without using the automatic camera settings. There are several settings that are important.

Here are three common settings:

  • Shutter speed: This controls motion in a photo. Meaning, will action in a photo be frozen or blurred. For example, if you’re shooting a waterfall, will the water look like drops of water or will it be blurry?
  • Aperture: This refers to the size of the camera hole much light is let into the camera. Aperture is responsible for a photo’s depth of field. That means in a photo either the background will be blurry or in focus.
  • ISO: This controls how dark or light a photo is. Also, this is where you will hear the word “noise” which means a photo that has a lot of “noise” is grainy.

I personally am working on playing with each one separately but I also realize they work in conjunction with one another. I believe playing with a specific setting to understand what it means and how it affects my picture is important. When I am out playing with my camera it can be hard to remember what setting should be set and how. Thank you Pinterest! Pinterest has great infographics that to help guide us newbies. I have found Pinterest to be a wonderful resource. At one point I printed one of these out and put it in my camera bag. I also have a screen shot of the infographic saved on my phone for easy access. I will refer to it during certain settings that I am not used to shooting in. YouTube is another great resource. I love the different videos that are posted.

Depth of field is a setting that I love to play with because taking photos with different depths of fields is a lot of fun. Depending what I want my picture to focus on, I change the depth of field.

Examples of depth of field:

Shallow depth of field: In this photo, you can see that the background is blurred and out of focus. The little girl in the foreground is clear and what is the subject that is being focused on. The photographer wants the viewer to focus on the little girl not the trees in the background.

Large depth of field: In this photo, the entire photo is in focus. Nothing is blurred out.

I hope these two examples help with understanding what depth of field is how photos might look based on how the aperture is set.

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