Learn Digital SLR
I am new to the world of
Digital SLR, and if you are too then maybe you'll find a few
of these links helpful in learning how to use your DSLR
- Aperature... short intro here or fuller tutorial here
- Shutter Speed... short intro here
- ISO... short intro here or fuller tutorial here
All about lenses...
- Understanding camera lenses... Excellent!!!!! Probably the most helpful intro I've found.
- Comparing 35, 50, and 85mm prime lenses to show difference in focal length and bokah
- Comparing two prime lenses to a zoom lens; similar to the previous post but it includes a zoom too
So you want to know...
- How to blur the background? This is called Bokeh, and requires a shallow depth of field. Remember that a small Aperture # gives you a small DOF (big aperture/hole, and more light). A large aperture # gives you a large DOF (small aperture/hole, and less light). Another way to remember it is that the bigger the number, the more you see in your photograph. You may choose to shoot in manual mode (choosing all settings yourself) or in aperture-priority mode, in which you set the aperture and the camera automatically chooses the rest.
- How come it doesn't blur as much as you'd like when you set the aperature? The way your bokeh looks is determined by what lens you have! If your lens only goes to a 3.5 aperature, the bokeh won't be as good/blurry as a lens that goes to 1.8 or 1.4. This is why some lenses cost a lot more than others!
- How to freeze action, or take a super fast photo? You need a really fast shutter speed. In order to have a fast shutter speed, you also need good light since your aperture will be smaller.
- What's taking so long on my camera, when I just want it to take a fast photo? You may have shutter lag (the camera waiting up to an entire second before shooting the picture) or a slow write time (how long it takes the camera to write the image onto the memory card), both of which has to do with the quality of camera you have. Point and shoot cameras are much slower than digital SLRs. If you're shooting with a DSLR, then using the built-in flash will slow the camera down a lot compared to using an external flash (one that you purchase separately and hook onto the camera). If your shutter speed isn't quite fast enough to capture the action you're wanting, you can try the panning technique, in which you track your subject and continue moving along with your subject to get a sharp subject and a blurred background. If this is the route you're going, be sure to practice a lot with control shots.
- What lenses are the best to start out with? There's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Different photographers will give you different answers, because we all have our own preferences and we shoot different subjects. If you're a momtographer, like me, then maybe you'd find my gear choices helpful.