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#5 Things Beginners Should Know Before Starting Photography

During quarantine, how about discovering and applying new hobbies to your routine?  Photography is a beautiful art form and can serve as a great pastime! 

But before we start this, here are five things that beginner photographers need to know to take beautiful pictures.

Remember: the tips mentioned here are important, but photography should be primarily something fun. Don’t get caught up in memorizing numbers, achieve something extraordinary right off the bat. It will occur over time. For now, as an extra tip, focus on the adventure of trying something new, okay? 

So let’s get it started! 

developing film camera
Photo by Immo Wegmann from Unsplash

Learn How To Use ISO

ISO matches light sensitivity and controls photo clarity. The ISO’s changes allows us to photograph in light conditions not very favorable, but, in doing so, it is worth remembering that the image quality will be changed! Thus, the smaller your number, the better the quality of the photo will be. Oh, the ISO considered normal is 100!

Correct Shutter’s Adjustment

The shutter monitors the camera’s light input through the time it remains open. Although this is its main function, it is important to note that the use of the shutter causes effects on the photo and motion effects on the objects, okay? Thus, the longer the photo exposure time, the slower the shutter speed is; otherwise, the shorter the photo exposure time, the faster the photo speed.

The  shutter’s measurements are divided into high, medium or low speeds, where:

the high ones: 1/8000, 1/4000, 1/3200, 1/2500, 1/2000, 1/1600, 1/1250, 1/1000, 1/800,1/640, 1/500, 1/400, etc 

the medium ones:  1/160, 1/125, 1/100, 1/80, 1/60, 1/50, etc

the low ones:  1/25, 1/20, 1/15, 1/13, 1/10, 1/8, 1/6, 1/5, 1/4, etc

Diaphragm Adjustment

Diaphragm controls the light’s amount entering the camera, which is formed by an aperture’s cluster located in the lens.

The diaphragm’s measurement is by a number known as “f” with a standard sequence: f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22 and f/32

Each opening allows a certain light amount to enter. The smaller the number, the more light enters the camera; so the larger, the less light passes through the lens.

Learn the Histogram’s interpretation

The histogram is a graph that exposes the shadows and light amount  in a photo. By activating it, it will demonstrate whether the hue that prevails in the photograph is light or dark.

The closer the graph is to the right, it means that the image prevails clearer; with more light tone pixels. When located further to the left, the photo has more dark tone pixels. Now, in case you’re in the middle, express that the photograph is balanced.

But it doesn’t affect the photo itself – you just need to know how to interpret it

Field’s Depth

Being aware of the field’s depth is crucial for you to choose to make the photo totally sharp or just a few dots on it. 

This field’s depth is determined by the camera focus. In addition, any change in the diaphragm oscillates in this regard: the larger the aperture, the smaller the depth of field.

In addition to a technical concept, a field’s depth is also something related to creativity, composing the image as desired, purposefully blurring or focusing on just one point. In this way, the image is to your liking.


The article above was edited by Lívia Carvalho.

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Amanda Paulilo

Casper Libero '24

Journalism student who seeks to improve her knowledge and write skills
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