Have you been using your dSLR or other camera over the past year? Or have you been avoiding it and concentrating on your smartphone photography instead? I cannot deny that smartphones take amazing photographs and I know that we are going to continue to see them improve as time goes on. I am really excited about that. 

But I also still really love my dSLR camera. And I also love my new Olympus Pen camera that is light and small but still gives me the freedom to control the Aperture. The Aperture controls the Depth of Field and how much of an image is in focus. 

If you are still shooting in Auto then I’d love 2016 to be the year that you move off Auto and onto Aperture Priority mode. At the end of this course I will be giving you a download for you to print and keep in your camera bag to help you with this. 



Low number (F stop) = not much of the image is in focus.

High number (F stop) = lots of the image is in focus.

Low number (F stop) = lots of light is let in and the camera will be able to use a fast shutter speed. This is great in low light.

High number (F stop) = not much light is let in. The shutter speed will be really slow. You will definitely need a tripod to avoid motion blur. Even breathing with make the camera shake! 

Practise setting up a little vignette and taking different images at different F stops to help you to really learn which apertures to use when. Go for a walk and find a scene you like and try the same exercise. Practise taking portraits using different apertures too. 

Print off some of the images you take and label them with the aperture details, so you can really see how it works.


Exposure Compensation

The +/- button on your cameras.

This adjusts how light or dark your image is. Get used to using this often.

The more work you do in camera, the less you have to do afterwards.

It is much better to make an image brighter in camera rather than rely on being able to increase the exposure when you edit the image.



I nearly always have this set to Auto ISO. The cameras do a great job of getting the ISO right so enjoy having this option. 

But remember that when you are shooting in low light you might want to over-ride what your camera says and go for a higher number. Our cameras will always try and shoot with the the lowest ISO it can, so that it can try to prevent too much grain on the image. However, sometimes we are prepared to take the grain if it means getting the image. At an evening event for example.

When you are taking photographs and practising with the Aperture, Exposure Compensation and composition, take some time to have a look at the ISO that the camera is using. Think of it as the camera teaching you an ISO lesson! 

I usually use ISO 100-200 outdoors (unless it's a really dark and grey day), ISO 600-800 indoors. And then I go up the darker it is indoors or the closer to sunset I get outdoors. 


I hope that has given you a little reminder about the camera settings. Please, please ask me in the Facebook Group if you are getting stuck on all of this. It does take time, I know! But it's so worth it when you get it. 

Have fun, share in the Facebook Group and see you again tomorrow! xo