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Photography Fundamentals

TOP 3 Photography Fundamentals

Have you recently bought a camera and have no clue how to use it?

Are you relying on your cameras auto settings function to shoot images? Well in this Patreon post I’ll briefly explain how to manually shoot and how to improve you photography skills.

(Image from google image: Sony A6000 camera body)

Let’s get started, there are 3 basic principles to consider when shooting manually let's break them down.


Aperture is like your cameras eye, the more light you allow to pass through the lens and across the sensor the brighter your image will be. Closing the aperture blades also has has the opposite effect, it’ll make your image darker as you decrease the amount of light across your sensor.

Depth of field Aperture also adjusts the depth of field in an image (subject focus), depth of field effects what is in focus or blurred. Depth of field allows you to focus a subject in the foreground or focus on the background and at large Aperture values you can focus everything in frame. Most headshot styles portraits are taken at large Apertures, this helps to blur out the background and focus on the subject in the foreground. Generally in order to emphasise focus on a subject blurring out a background removes any background distractions such as cars, people etc

This technique known as BOKEH. Bokeh: Blur produced as a result of shooting at a fast Aperture. A form of rendering. What is F - STOP and F- NUMBER?

(Image from Google: aperture F-stop/F-number diagram) Adjusting your Aperture? As you can from the image above f/1.4 will allow the most light into your camera, the biggest confusion new photographer have is understanding that smaller f-stops create a bigger lens opening and larger F-stops decrease the amount of light entering your camera.  For example f/22 will create a small opening therefore everything within your framing will be tack sharp, f/2.0 or lower will focus everything in foreground to your Image and blur out the background (this can be reversed depending on your focus area).

Examples on how to set Aperture (but limited too), if you like background blur in profession headshot using F/2.8 to F/1.4 and lower will create this effect. Vice versa if you are shooting landscapes or architecture work and need everything in frame focused then shooting at f/8 to f/22 will give you the best sharpness from your chosen lens.

Renait Reborn Photography -'portfolio

Shutter Speed

In front of your sensor there is a small flap called a shutter, as you take a photo it open closes to allow light to reach your sensor. A slow shutter speed means the shutter flap increase the opening/closing time, a fast shutter speed means the shutter flap opens and close at a faster rate. Shutter speed is measured in fraction such as 1/100 of second or 1/1000 of sec, when shooting manually you will have to choose a suitable fraction based on your photography scenario. If you are shooting a sports events and wish to freeze the action you will have too choose a fast shutter speed like 1/1000 or faster, when shooting slower moving subjects like a model a slower shutter speed can be used.

(Image from Google: Shutter speed diagram) Different shutter speeds also affect the brightness(exposure) of an image, as your sensor at high shutter speed will be exposed to light for a shorter duration. If you are shooting without in body stabilisation or a tripod increase your shutter speed slightly will help to combat camera shake. Motion blur is created when shooting fast moving images at a slow shutter speed.


ISO stands for international organisation of standardisation, ISO is not just a setting on your camera it’s a governing body with standardises sensitivity ratings for camera sensors. ISO refers to a cameras light sensitivity, ISO values can range from 100 to 25600 on most modern high end cameras (DSLR’s, mirrorless etc). Like most manual settings ISO has STOP values, for example increasing your value ISO from 100 to 400 will brighten an image by ONE-STOP of light. ISO values increase in double e.g. Lowest ISO value: 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 25600 and greater. Some cameras may include extra numeric values for precise ISO adjustments.

(Image from Google aperture ISO diagram)


These are the top 3 fundamentals in Photography, once you master how to adjust these settings at fast rate you're already one step closer to becoming a professional photographer. Let me know how this discussion topic has helped, is there anything I missed out? Please comment below. Thank you for reading this article, if you have any questions please email:

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John Renait


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