Sep 20

Photography for The Learner Photographer

It has been said that photography is painting with light2. Photography is the use of a camera to capture a scene or a subject with the use of proper lighting and casting that image on film or a sensor. There are several factors that affect the outcome of a picture or photograph. A few are highlighted below.

Lens, Zoom and Focu

All cameras have lenses. It is that item that allows you to focus the image you are trying to capture. Most lenses are attached to a focus adjustor. This allows you to adjust the apparent distance of what you want to keep in focus. Some cameras automatically adjust to the distance of the subject. Where this is not present the photographer simply needs to move or to adjust the focus held. A few cameras allows for optical zooming, where the lens itself is moved and rotated to zoom in or out from the subject. In comparison, digital zooming cuts around the field of view digitally allowing you to decide on the position of the frame around the image. The disadvantage to digital zooming is that you may cut out what you may want at a later time.


Sensitivity to light is measured in ISO. The higher the ISO the more sensitive the film or sensor, and the brighter your photograph will be. Conversely, the lower the ISO the less light is being allowed in and the darker the image will be. In low lit areas, the ISO is increased to bring more light to the image. Digital cameras give you the option of changing the ISO. Too high an ISO may make your photograph grainy. A good ISO figure to work with is 1600. If this does not create the balance, adjust the ISO until satisfaction is achieved.


Composition is the most important thing when taking a photograph. This takes into account the position of the frame of the image. One basic rule to follow is the law of thirds. The frame is segmented into nine equal squares, and the subject aligned and positioned in the center.

Depth of Field

This is the distance of the nearest and furthest object in the image. Experimenting with the depth of field may bring one subject into sharp focus while making the other subject blurry. The further you move from the subject, the tighter the depth of field.

Experimenting and Post Processing

Taking good photographs is a learning process where the photographer experiments with light both externally and with what is allowed into the camera through the use of the various features of the camera. Post processing is just as important as taking the picture. It is here that editing is done on the computer using software such as iPhoto or Picasa. Photographs are adjusted, cropped, and color-corrected to bring them to a balanced, well toned and colorful pictures.

Photography is an exciting field as a hobby and as a profession. It requires of you time, patience and creativity. A world of dynamic imagery awaits the imaginative novice who has an imaginative eye.

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