Aperture. Shutter speed. Exposure. Depth of field. You’ve heard these terms before. Camera enthusiasts love to talk about them. But what do they really mean? What effect do they have on a photo? It’s time to find out, and use the knowledge to take better pictures.
While you should read tips for photography beginners and other such articles, they won’t magically make you better. Photography is an accessible skill, and like every skill, you need to understand the basics, the techniques, and practice.
These websites and tutors will teach you these basics with interactive demos. Next you’ll find some courses to go through. And finally, a thorough guide to improve your smartphone photography game.
1. Photography Mapped (Web): Learn the Basic Elements of a Camera
Let’s start with Photography Mapped, an unusual but effective new tool. This interactive web app teaches you the basics of a camera, using an illustration of helicopter against buildings.
You can adjust five settings: light, aperture, shutter speed, sensor, and exposure. When you toggle the value of any of these settings, the picture will change accordingly. Right under these settings, there is an explanation of what effect your change has. For example, opening the shutter longer will make the picture look blurry.
At any point, the exposure works as a meter to balance the image using the other values. Try it a few times and you will understand the interrelation between these basic camera elements.