In this guide we share tips on how to use a DSLR. When this is selected, you as the photographer set the aperture and the camera will automatically select the . drug dosages should be made. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data. Grey, Christopher. Canon DSLR: the ultimate photographer's guide. – (Digital. The 35 Best. Photo Tips -. Ever! Tips to cover many issues from the merely annoying to the downright tragic and a few ideas to take better pictures too!.

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Basic principles of photography. David Capel. B IST Fast-forward years: the digital single lens reflex camera (DSLR). These notes are free to use by anyone learning or teaching photography. 1. Choosing a camera Digital SLR Camera with Interchangeable zoom lens .. Here are some tips on what to look for 1) Carbon fiber is better then aluminum 2) legs. Photographer Julie Adair King is the author of several popular books about a digital SLR (single-lens reflex) camera, just as you do for film photography.

Try to avoid shooting in dimly lit rooms. So choose an inanimate object in the natural light and place your camera on a tripod. Press the display button to see all the required Camera settings on the LCD screen.

The image on the left shows the Aperture value f5. The Image on the right shows the ISO value which is circled in red. To set a lens to its maximum aperture just follow this. Which should select F-number as shown below. Then use the primary dial which usually behind the Shutter Button on the top and turn it in the anti-clockwise direction. You should see F-number decreasing as you do it. You are turning the main dial in the wrong direction. You are turning the wrong dial.

Just work around these four steps until you see F-number changing. Once it starts to change, make sure to turn the dial until you see F-number cannot go any lower. Press on Quick mode button and use the right arrow to move to Aperture setting the F-number. Choose the minimum Aperture value for your lens.

I know it all sounds confusing. But, just take it one step at a time. Choose the minimum ISO settings possible. Again, turn the main dial in the anti-clockwise direction just as you did while setting Aperture until you get the ISO to show Whatever it is right now, just leave it at that as of now. Step 6: Press the Shutter button Press the shutter button. I mean it. This is an important aspect of learning. Just make them. Make as many as you can.

The shade setting recognizes the difference in lighting when in direct sunlight and when in a shade. When you set your camera in this mode, it will warm the images in the shade and this will help you have a perfect shot.

This is the reason you have found most photographers criticizing the use of flash while taking photos. Some of the manufacturers have released cameras that now push the ISO higher rather than use the flash.

If you use your camera flash appropriately, you will avoid blowing your photos with a lot of light. Here is the tip Do not use your flash only when it is dark. Even outdoors when the light is still there, a flash will increase the image quality of your photos. When you want to pick good photos with your DSLR camera here is the best way to use your flash; Ensure you are close to the subjects to make the flashlight have some impact on the subjects. If it is not possible to get close to them, it is better to use the ISO setting.

It will produce a better image than the flash. Use slow sync flash. This will ensure you do not interfere with the ambient light in the photography scene. A slow sync flash is only applied when the shutter speed is low while shooting with an open shutter.

Diffuse your flash may be by use of a white card when you are using the fixed flash unit. Also, make sure to increase the exposure compensation to avoid interfering with the image lighting. Dirty DSLR image sensor If your camera has a dirty image sensor, you will get photos that have dark spots.

You will note that every photo has the spots in the same position. There is a high likelihood of dirtying your cameras image sensor even without your knowledge. This is what camera manufacturers fails to guide you: Anytime you are changing your camera lenses you should always turn it off to avoid attracting dust to the lens.

When changing lenses, your camera should be upside down.

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You should always have the new lens ready before opening your camera to change the old lens. Avoid overexposing your camera to dust. Your image sensor is sensitive; clean it with care Changing your camera lenses in dusty places is dangerous. You will definitely pick some specks of dust.

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If you want to use it for long, you must ensure it is well maintained. A large component of the maintenance is cleaning the camera. For the lens, they should be regularly cleaned especially when they are dirty.

But some of us do not know the best way to clean their camera lenses. Alcohol lens cleaning fluids should be used every time you are cleaning your DSLR cameras.

The Ultimate Guide to Learning how to use Your first DSLR

To the photographers who use their breath and a cloth, it is advisable also to wipe the lens with the cleaning fluids. The lens tissue should be used to wipe the lens; this will help you avoid scratching them.

If you do not have a lens cloth, use microfiber cleaning cloth. Here are more cleaning tips…… When you are using your blower to clean inside your camera, ensure you squeeze it out as a way of removing any dust from the blower. Be careful while using the blower, you might damage the camera while cleaning it. If your camera has a lot of clouds of dust on the outside, use a brush with soft hair while cleaning it.

A lens cleaning pencil is one the best brushes to use on your camera. Throw some silica gel sachets in your camera bag to draw away moisture that might harm your DSLR camera lenses. Controlling your background It is a dream of each photographer to have a great background for his photos. The background tells us a lot about the quality of the images taken.

It is highly advisable to check your background before you take the photo. If you find that the background is not appealing, move your subject to the place you love. Another way to ensure you pick a good background is to change your shooting angle. To the experienced photographers, they know the best way to vary the shooting angle to avoid distractions and also to capture the best background.

Here are some of the best ways to perfect your background; Use the aperture setting to blur the unwanted background. It is a simple way to throw your background out of focus.

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A wide aperture will allow you to blur your background. The focal length can also be used to blur the unwanted background. A long focal length will ensure the subject in your photo takes more space than the background.

Filling your frame Did you know this? When taking your photos, the subject is the most important thing to capture. Filling your photo with the point of interest is, therefore, a perfect way of beautifying it.

It is also another way to control your background. You can achieve this by zooming your subject or getting close to them. Use the optical zoom to capture as many details of your subject as possible.

You can also position yourself in the best way that will help you take a close shot. After your fieldwork, you can eliminate the unwanted parts of the photos by cropping the images leaving them filled with the most important part.

You might have been thinking the best way to focus on the landscapes and pick a good shot. Focusing on the landscapes will produce wide angle images. It is basically picking one-third of the scene. You need to set your DSLR camera to a large aperture number to focus a third of the scene. When shooting, you need to focus to a single focal point. View the image through the rear vision to set the single focal point. This is important to avoid blurring the front part of the image.

This technique can also be used to capture the horizons. What the image will look like depends on the path that light travels on to enter the lens. Which path light will take depends on two vital factors; one is the angle at which the beam of light enters the lens and the other being what the lens is made of.

The angle at which light enters the lens can vary with the proximity of the object in relation to the lens. The light beam regardless of how it enters is bent by the lens to a certain degree. Hence, light beams with a sharp angle of entry would have a blunt angle of exit and vice versa.

The bending angle on the lens remains constant at any specific point. Light beams within proximity of the lens can converge at a distance while light beams from a point that is far away from the lens converge at a nearer spot. The crux of the matter is that the actual image of an object that is closer is formed at a distance whereas the actual image from a distant object is formed nearer. This phenomenon could be observed by lighting a candle in the dark with a magnifying glass held between the candle and the wall.

The image of the candle can be seen upside down on the wall. If the candles image cannot be seen on the wall then it would appear a little blurred. Thats because the light beams emanating from a certain point are yet to converge. To bring the image of the candle in focus, the magnifying glass should be moved nearer or kept at a distance from the candle.

This is exactly what is done by turning the camera lens to focus it essentially what is done is the lens is nearer or at a distance from the surface of the film. As the lens moves, the actual focused image is aligned so that it rests on the surface of the film. Choosing AF Points Focusing has never been as simple and easy as it is to do these days.

All one has to do is use any of the basic zone shooting modes Full Auto, Portrait or Landscape and the DSLR camera is fully automated and programmed to work in the background. Its that simple and easy. The shutter button needs to be feather-touched and more often than not the camera would be in focus within a fraction of a second as the snapshot is ready to be taken.

Every now and then though, there might be photographs that just arent sharp enough. The solution lies in the autofocus system and how it actually works. If free rein were to be given, a typical DSLR would use its entire gamut of nine autofocus sensors that are strewn in and around the frame of the image. The AF points are scattered and spread out at different sections of the frame. Sophisticated cameras can have six AF Assist points in addition to the first nine but unlike the first nine, no one can actually select them on a manual basis.

Info from all AF points is used in the focusing process. The distance between each object from the camera is calculated and the nearest object is selected and in sync with an AF point and the AF is configured. This is how focusing on the nearest object is achieved but that isnt the case every time. Close-up shots or a camera with a telephoto lens attached would reduce the depth of field. This would force the photographer to be as accurate as possible with no real room for error in the process of taking an image.

Chapter 4 Getting Objects Sharp You can get different objects to look clear with ease with such a fine camera. There are many things that you can do to make your photos look more attractive. Getting Things Sharp Tack sharp is a part of photography jargon which means that an images clarity is as great as it can be. Focus and contrast are two elements that impact the sharpness of an image. An image is tack sharp when the focus of the image is crisp, has a suitable contrast and is from a pixel level where there isnt any noticeable blur.

The notion that image clarity can be enhanced by a photo editing software program is ill conceived. If the image itself is not tack sharp while the photograph is being taken, editing an image with software isnt going to rectify and enhance the quality of the image in terms of contrast.

Also, software may not work all that well with regards to fine detailing or with trying to remove blur from the image to make it sharp. Hence it is absolutely vital to master the art of capturing tack sharp images directly from the source the camera. Shutter Speed Shutter speed is a big point to see when you are trying to focus on sharpness. The reasons behind blurred images that aren't sharp come firstly from how the camera may shake as it may be held in hand.

The shutter speed may either be slow or not as fast as it should be to capture a subject that is moving. Knowing how to rectify the issues is crucial to capturing images that are tack sharp. What shutter speed should be used would depend on the subject that is being shot, whether the subject is in motion or is still and the effect that the person taking the photograph intends to attain.

A salient point to be noted is that the proximity of an object in motion in relation to the person taking the photograph would determine the shutter speed. In other words, if the person is near an object in motion then a fast shutter speed would cause the action to stop.

A rule of thumb in photography is the reciprocal rule which is widely used. What this rule aims at achieving is to find the slowest shutter speed that can be used while the camera is hand held and to also keep the camera from shaking. The rule mentions that while the camera is held by hand, the shutter speed should be faster than the lenss reciprocal focal length.

The rule is controversial and at the same time can be relied upon. It is only meant to be used as a guideline for setting shutter speeds. This is a big point for photos that need to be as sharp as possible. Effective Focal Length A good indicator of a lenss focal length would be the size of a 35mm film roll.

If the camera has a full frame digital sensor which is similar in size as a 35mm frame then the effective focal length would be the lens markings. A basic DSLR would have a relatively smaller sensor and the effective focal length has to be calculated manually.

If there is a crop factor then the focal lengths reciprocal has to be multiplied to ascertain a minimum shutter speed. Multiple Bursts Your chances of capturing tack sharp images while the camera is hand held would increase exponentially if the camera is on a continuous shooting mode where multiple shots are taken back to back.

It can be expected that at least one shot out of so many would be tack sharp. Image Stabilization Shutter speed can be slow with an image stabilizer on the camera. You can try and shoot at speeds of stops if the lens permits.

All lenses have their own factors for how they can take stable images so be certain that you will be using the right ideas when getting those images taken correctly. Tripod A tripod is an essential accessory to keep with a camera still so you can actually get sharp pictures.

However, care needs to be taken while downloading one as there are many different tripods out there to choose from. If a camera with the largest lens attached can rest on a tripod then it will certainly be to your advantage.

Also, different weather conditions are a good indicator of whether or not a tripod can support the weight of the camera and not cause the camera to shake or fall with the camera mounted on the tripod.

Hence the necessity of a good quality tripod cannot be emphasized enough. There are limitations in terms of the weights of tripods and these weights can be compared with the weight of the camera with the largest lens attached to the camera.


If the cameras weight with the heaviest lens attached is almost equal to the maximum permissible weight limit on that tripod then it is almost certain that the camera would shake regardless of the weather conditions.

It is recommended for lenses with image stabilizer and vibration reduction features that the image stabilizer be turned off while the camera is mounted on a tripod.

The fact is there are a handful of tripods that can actually keep the camera with the heaviest lens mounted in a stable pattern. Also, the camera might still shake a little bit due to the split second movement caused by pressing the shutter release. This is all it takes to not have a tack sharp image at slow shutter speeds.

A remote shutter release or a self-timer is the solution as that does not require a need for touching the camera. Hence if for example the day is bright and sunny and outdoor shots are being taken, an ideal ISO would be The higher the ISO, the more light the camera would need. For indoor shots without a flash when its not well lit up, the ISO ought to be set typically to or higher so that the shutter speed is sufficiently high to allow you to hold your camera with your hand.

With a high ISO, pictures may appear grainy which does not look good if the color of the picture is either red or orange. Therefore, using the lowest ISO possible is advisable. The shutter speed should have a denominator which is faster than the focal length. A slow shutter speed with the camera mounted on a tripod and a remote release or a self-timer would be an even better option to eliminate the possibility of the camera shaking.

If a tripod isnt an option then the ISO could be raised or an external flash could be used. For subjects that are moving or are in motion, doing away with blur isnt as easy. An action mode could be set on the camera or the shutter speed could be manually increased. Another way of reducing blur is to keep shutter lag to a minimum by keeping the trigger pressed halfway until the photographer is prepared to take the snapshot.

Mundane Photos Uniqueness in photography is what matters. A photograph ought to be attractive and a cut above the rest. A reasonably good photograph is expected of anyone but surely there is a difference between a lackluster photograph and one that is exceptional. A photograph is exceptional when its taken skillfully. Every photography enthusiast should explore, discover and pursue their unique own styles.

A photographer should not shun challenges so as to remain in one's comfort zone. Instead, one should rise up to the occasion and meet the challenge head on. Travel photography goes a long way in creating interesting and unique shots.

Inspiration in photography can be found everywhere, near and far and even in ones backyard. One has to have an eye for detail. Post Processing With post processing, complacency sets in as the inclination to be perfect would be to be less than inspired while taking a shot and to rely more on post processing to set things right.

Prior to taking a shot, appropriate and recommended camera settings should be adhered to. A test photo could be taken to make sure that lighting, composition, white balance and exposure are all perfect for the shot.

Lighting in particular needs to be proper as insufficient lighting cannot be fixed by post processing. To save time on post processing, photos need to be analyzed to rectify issues.

Correcting mistakes that arent critical proactively is a far better option than relying on post processing.

Steps for Learning How to Use Your DSLR include:

By doing so, the composition of photographs would be better and stronger which in turn would improve the skills of a photographer. Poor Lighting Decent lighting is vital to photography. With proper lighting, a reasonably good photograph can become extraordinary.

Outdoor photography turns out to be the best in the early morning or late evening as there is light for shots of scenes and portraits alike. Portraits under an overcast sky make for a perfect shot as the light from an overcast sky would create subjects that are lit evenly, thereby having shadows that are negligible. Indoor shots should not be taken using flash. Reliance on natural light is advisable. Contrast A photograph with a lot of contrast would have two extremes of light: the highlighted area and the shadowy spot.

Photographs that are taken on a bright and sunny day are the ones where the contrast is quite apparent. The dark areas of the image could be filled in by using flash and the image could be underexposed as well to observe whether it makes any difference whatsoever.

Red Eye Even though an image editing software would rectify red eye effects, prevention is better than cure. Light-eyed people are generally prone to red eye due to the reflection of the flash on the retinas of their eyes. Red eye could be prevented by not using the inbuilt flash of the camera as much as you might normally do.

Some cameras do have an option of reducing red eye automatically; this is known as the automatic red-eye reduction mode. The alternative to avoiding red-eye is to have the subject not look into the camera so as that there isnt any reflection whatsoever. Finally, if the room is bright then that would let light into the pupil of the subjects eye which would cause them to shrink. However, this may not be a practical solution as it is easier said than done.

Off Colors Off-colors, or color casts as they are also known, are a common issue related to digital photography. The settings with regard to white balance could be used to fix the issue.

Depending on the scenario, the white balance setting should be chosen. An indoor picture may look orange due to the emission of orange light from the lamp caused by the lamps incandescence. By adding blue, which is the recommended tungsten setting for such a scenario; it would essentially be in balance.

Less Is Actually More While the photograph is being framed and composed, the objective and the focus should indeed be on aesthetics and relevance. Usually just a single point of focus is sufficient.

If background is the point of focus and the foreground has a distraction then the image needs to be cropped by zooming in so that the item that is a distraction can be avoided. An image editing software program can do this type of editing work as well. The goal and objective of this exercise is to ensure that the human eye gravitates to the attractiveness of the image.

What If the Subject is Far Off? The purpose of every photograph that is shot is to ensure that the frame has something engaging within in.

If for example the subject is at a distance then the desired impact may not be there at all. A telephoto zoom lens would accomplish the task of moving closer to the subject or the image could be cropped later with an image editing software. The image ought to be shot at the highest possible resolution as cropping the image would adversely affect its quality.

Low Resolution One advantage of low resolution images is that more images can be stored on a memory card although its neither advisable nor recommended. The quality of the image would deteriorate if the image is shot in low resolution. Moreover, large photographs would have noticeable pixels and hence cannot be printed.

In addition, every time a jpeg file is saved, the quality of the file will suffer. If the file isnt big to begin with then there wont be too many options for editing. Taking high resolution photographs with memory cards that have huge storage capacities may be better to consider than taking photographs on low resolution to save on memory storage.

Excess Noise Noise in digital photography and grain on a film are similar to one another. An image could have these specks of what may appear as dust particles to an untrained eye. If the ISO is high there will be more noise. As the image is enlarged, more noise will appear. Images at night are susceptible to noise as its a struggle for the camera to capture detail. Noise can be reduced by selecting the highest setting for image quality. By using the lowest ISO setting, the image would not be blurred as the camera would be mounted on a tripod.

Underexposed Photographs An image that is extremely dark is underexposed as the sensor did not receive sufficient light while the shot was taken. If the LCD display shows the image as being dark, which means the image is underexposed, then the aperture could be opened to let as much light in as possible.

Overexposed Photographs If the photograph happens to be extremely bright and lacks detail then the photograph is overexposed. What this essentially means is that the sensor is exposed to light more than is required.

When the day is bright, overexposure could be detrimental. Overexposure could also be detrimental when the subject is light colored. Spot metering works best to ensure that the results are accurate. An area which has plenty of gray mid-tones needs to be picked on the image as a guideline. Owners Manual Granted, reading the owner s manual is not like reading a novel. Owner s manuals are normally written in a way that is cut and dry and there is no beating around the bush. Hence they arent userfriendly by any stretch of the imagination.

Not that its surprising that there are many authors who actually write these manuals on how these cameras ought to be used. Some authors might not have even used the cameras that they are actually writing about.

Gear One tool should be right for the job. If pictures of all of the products that need to be used with your camera are be uploaded on a retail site like site then the product would be too high-end unless and complicated for use. Normally a point and shoot camera would suffice. If you see too many parts on a product then it may not be the right option for you to use because it would not be all that easy to use and may even be far more expensive than what you might be willing to spend on such a camera.

Reliance on the LCD or Preview Screen Everything appears sharp on a little LCD monitor on the back of a camera but that doesn't mean they will be just as sharp when you are done taking a picture. Editing Image on Camera By all means the temptation to edit images on a camera should be resisted. More often than not, a shot could have been taken unintentionally but instead of deleting the image it should be saved on a memory card and downloaded on a computer.

Backing Up Images This may sound too obvious but nonetheless it is essential to back up images prior to erasing or deleting them as once the images are erased, they are gone forever. There are file recovery programs though that may be able to recover or salvage pictures that may have been erased or deleted but they cant be relied upon every single time.

Lack of Memory Cards There was a time when memory cards were expensive but those days are far gone. They are much more affordable now more than ever before and can hold more data for less money. Therefore, downloading as many cards as possible is advisable and recommended. With sufficient memory cards, high resolution pictures can be taken and the best results would be guaranteed even if the pictures were to be cropped.

Lack of Batteries If there is no power then the camera is nothing but a paper weight. There are some paper weights that are heavier and then there are some that are relatively lighter. Only those cameras that are compatible with AA batteries are the ones that are recommended.

Proprietary batteries are alright also but sufficient spare batteries should be available. A card reader rather than a computer to transfer images is advisable because by using this, the battery will have a longer life. Not Researching On Hardware Prior to downloading a camera, what needs to be ensured is whether or not the photo editing software that you will be using is compatible with the computer you have.

Many cameras these days require high-end computers so they can read and process images. A computer that is outdated would not be able to cope and may even stall. It could very well get the job done but at a much slower pace. In short, you have to take a look at the hardware you need to get when using such a camera so you will know what you will be doing when getting an image taken the right way.However, a DSLRs design is such that the user would be inclined to control settings manually.

Nonetheless the question should be asked just so that a considerable amount could be saved. You can achieve this by zooming your subject or getting close to them. Bright sunlight, on a clear day is as near to neutral light that we generally get Cloudy — To be used when shooting on a cloudy day. Therefore it is best to set the colour balance before you take your image and just to make sure note: How intense the flash would be would depend on the general light of the shot and may be tweaked accordingly.

For subjects that are moving or are in motion, doing away with blur isnt as easy. Low numbers are indicative of slow shutter speeds: 1.