When you go to use any decent camera, there are three main factors to determine whether or not you’ll get a good picture.
The famous trio: Aperture (also called f-stop), Shutter speed, and ISO.
- The Aperture controls how much light you physically let into the camera. This is what produces the blurriness of the background/bokeh.
- The Shutter Speed controls how long you allow light to enter the camera. This has an effect on the amount of motion blur in the image.
- The ISO is the setting for the Camera’s artificial sensitivity to light. This will determine the amount of noise/grain in the image.
If you’re shooting the kind of stuff we shoot, you generally want your ISO as low as possible, Your aperture as wide open as possible (a small number such as f/1.8), and your shutter speed set wherever it needs to be to make sure that your image is properly exposed.
Once you fully understand those three things, you can pick up just about any camera and produce quality images. All you have to do is figure out which buttons and dials control those three settings on your particular camera. (Re: Watch a video or two, and the manual can be your best friend).
Bonus tip: One more important thing to understand is white balance.
Our eyes automatically adjust for the temperatures of light, so if we see a white wall under an orange light, we’ll recognize it as a white wall. If we see a white wall under a blue light, we’ll recognize it as a white wall.
Camera’s aren’t like that.
You have to tell them what color temperature to consider pure white, and they use that to compensate. Essentially, if you’re in a room with orange lights, you’d just point the camera at a white surface and adjust the white balance until it looked white on the camera, rather than orange.
You also almost never want to mix color temperatures of lights (i.e. using fluorescent and tungsten lights at the same time) because it will just look bad.
This can be hard to understand without having one in your hand, so here’s the next best thing – an interactive site about camera use: http://photography-mapped.com/interact.html
From the guy behind the camera at Flood Marketing.
P.S. We’re always camera-ready for clients in need of professional video and photography work, so drop us a line at 307.763.1515 or firstname.lastname@example.org .