Freak me out

Monday, April 9, 2012

Learning to use your camera that way it was intended: #1 Getting to know your camera

I know many of you are like I used to be. I had this really nice camera, and I always ended up just using it on the fully auto green box. Then I took a class that changed my life. I learned how to use my camera the way it was intended to be used. I want to do a series of lessons to encourage you to learn your camera. Once you do, I promise it will change your life!!! Well at least it will vastly improve the quality of your photos!

First things first. Let's get to know your camera. I have a Canon 7D. Most cameras have the same basic settings. I have a dial on top of mine with the choices: C3, C2, C1, B, M, Av, Tv, P, CA, and the Fully Auto Green box.

Just so we are all on the same page, let's go over what these mean. There will be terms in here you may not be familiar with, but just hang with me and we will get there! I promise!!!

C3, C2, C1: These are custom settings that can be set to your liking. For example if shooting a wedding and you need one setting for the front of the room and one for the back, this saves you time without having to adjust in a hurry.

B: Bulb: The shutter stays open as long as you hold down the button. Useful for night photos, fireworks, other creative shots. I really recommend using a tripod or other stable surface as well as a remote controller.

M: Manual (I stay here most of the time). You tell the camera exactly what setting you want.

Av: Aperture Priority: This allows you to set the aperture you want and the camera chooses the best shutter speed. (Great for weddings)

Tv: Shutter Priority: This allows you to set the shutter speed and the camera chooses the best aperture setting. (Great for sports)

P: Program: This works similarly to Auto, except it keeps it metered (will explain soon!) for you. You can change shutter speed, aperture, and iso and it makes necessary adjustments for you. This is great to see how all the different changes go hand in hand.

CA: This is a mix between Fully Auto and Program. It allows you to blur the background, make the picture brighter, etc. without having to know exactly what each means. (not all SLR cameras are equipped with this function)

Green Box: Fully Auto (The camera does what it thinks needs to be done, I only use if I am in an extra rush)

In the next lesson I will go over exactly what aperture, ISO, and shutter speed mean and how they affect metering.