If you have purchased a brand-new DSLR camera for the first time you may find it both exciting and intimidating. As you open the box you will be excited by the thought of taking thousands of beautiful pictures. However, you will also be intimidated by the thick camera manual and by the many dials and buttons on your camera.
There is no doubt that many first time photographers simply ignore the manual and put the camera on automatic and start to shoot. While this is understandable, it is also important that you get to know the various controls of your camera before you begin seriously use it. The following information may help you with a few tips on how to use your first DSLR camera.
Some of the important things that you should know about DSLR photography is the master shooting modes, ISO, exposure triangle, focusing, metering, file type/sizes, and white balance. At first, all of these terms may seem foreign but in time you will become a master of them all. The key will be to practice, learn, practice, and learn some more. In fact, this is the exact format that all professional photographers must go through.
It is perhaps best to start with the shooting modes. All of your shooting modes are normally found on a dial that has the following combination of letters, ‘auto – Av – Tv – M’ and sometimes others. When you select a shooting mode it will tell your camera how to behave after you have pressed the shutter. For instance, if you choose the ‘auto’ setting, the camera will determine and select everything including shutter speed, exposure, and aperture.
The other symbols, besides ‘auto’, are there to provide you with total control of your camera. Some cameras may use different symbols than you see above but this does not matter because you will become used to whatever symbols you have. When you check the “Av” setting, for example, it is similar to a semi-automatic shooting mode. The camera will select the shutter speed while you select the aperture.
All of these controls, whether manual, semiautomatic, or automatic, will allow you to take beautiful pictures. As you learn about your different shooting modes, by experimenting with your camera, it will be no time before you are an expert. You will understand everything that there is to know about shooting modes.
Another important aspect to learn about taking photos with a DSLR camera is exposure compensation. You will find a small button close to the shutter with an +/- symbol. This is a very useful function and you should learn how to use it properly. It basically allows you to either decrease or increase the default meter reading of the camera. This will allow you to control the actual brightness of a scene.
For example, a photograph with a normal exposure of a white lamb on a bank of snow would turn out grey looking. When you compensate your exposure button +2, it will cause the camera to properly expose the picture. As you learn more about your camera and practice taking lots of pictures, only then will you experience the wonderful world of photography.