This chapter covers the most basic things you'll do when you pick up your camera, looking at the right way to carry, hold, and handle your dSLR. A few simple tips can make carrying a heavy camera all day long a pleasure and not a burden, and can keep the camera safe from drops, loss, or theft.
Carry and Hold That dSLR Like a Pro
In this lesson you'll get an introduction to the topic of this chapter, which is how to correctly carry, hold, and handle your camera.
There are few things that are either "right" or "wrong" in photography - but how you carry your camera is one of them. In this video you'll learn how to separate yourself from the tourists and look like a pro carrying that dSLR wherever you go!
Lens caps are there to protect your camera, but they don't make for good photos. And if you have to take your lens cap off every time you want to fire a shot, chances are you'll miss more than you'll catch. In this lesson we'll discuss how to protect your lens while you're out shooting without having to keep the lens cap on.
Sometimes it's simply not possible to handhold a shot, but you may not always have a tripod available. Look around; there are loads of ways to stabilize the camera with a little creative thinking, as you'll see in this lesson.
It's tempting to leave the camera in fully automatic mode since you're almost guaranteed to get a good shot that way. But you didn't buy a dSLR to get good shots, you bought it to get great ones. In this chapter we'll try to do just that by stepping out of the safety of fully automatic.
P Is Not for Perfect
This lesson introduces you to the basic concepts of manual and semi-automatic shooting modes.
This lesson explores the automatic modes that you'll find on most dSLRs, like P, or the green square, or action, or portrait, or nighttime. These can be a great way to teach yourself how to adjust for a particular situation, and also to ensure a good shot when you hand the camera to someone else.
Aperture priority is by far the most common "semi-automatic" mode that professional photographers use. It gives you control over only depth of field, letting the camera figure out the rest. What's an "aperture" and what's "depth of field," you say? This video will explain.
Shutter priority mode allows you to dictate the shutter speed while the camera sorts out the rest. In this lesson you'll learn what's happening inside the camera in this mode and how it affects your photos.
Full-manual mode is the best choice for certain situations, and it's also the best way to truly learn how one change affects your photos. In this lesson we'll play with the settings while doing non-critical shooting; you may be surprised at how quickly you learn the ins and outs of technical photography this way!
Back in the days of film, the ISO (or ASA) was an important choice when buying a roll. Today we can change that on the fly in the camera. But what are the tradeoffs of a high or low ISO? This lesson explains.
Aperture controls depth of field, but when do you want the focus shallow, and when do you want it deep? What is too much focus and what is too little? This lesson explores and demonstrates different apertures in various environments so you can see the effect this choice has on your photos.
A fast shutter speed freezes action; a slow one blurs it. As this video demonstrates, there are creative choices to be made here, and finding the right shutter speed to get "that look" is a matter of experimentation and experience.
Usually you'd only adjust the ISO if you found yourself in a very low-light situation - but you may be surprised at just how little light there is indoors. This lesson will show you how keeping an eye on other settings can tell you when to kick the ISO up (or down).
When you change the settings in an automatic or semi-automatic mode, the camera compensates to try to "fix" the exposure. This lesson shows you how to make a scene lighter or darker than the camera thinks it should be by overriding the settings with the Exposure Compensation dial.
Finding the "right" depth of field for the image you're trying to create is mostly trial and error, but this lesson will teach you about one button on the camera that can show you exactly what to expect - albeit with some caveats.
When you push the button to take a picture, do you want it to fire once, or keep on firing as long as you hold the button down? How about if you want to be in the photo yourself? This lesson will show you how to do all of these.
Every dSLR has a variety of metering modes, and understanding what each funny little pattern means can make the difference between a photo that is properly exposed and one that isn't. This lesson will help you learn the patterns and control your exposure.
What is white, anyway? Is the light above your head right now white, or is it yellow, or blue? Modern dSLRs have remarkable auto white balance control, but in this lesson you'll learn when and how to take over and show that camera who's boss.
No one wants to look at blurry photos, and having what's in the middle always be the thing that's in focus gets boring fast. In this chapter, you'll learn how to take control of the autofocus in your camera and shake things up a little bit.
Manually Controlling Your Autofocus
This lesson introduces the key concepts behind the autofocus feature on your camera so you can understand how it works and how to control it.
You know all those squares that show up in the viewfinder and light up when they focus on something? Did you know that you could control which ones the camera will use to focus? Now you do, and in this lesson you'll learn how.
Modern dSLRs are remarkably good at focusing, but when you focus AND meter AND actually take the picture with the same single button, it's easy to lose control. In this lesson you'll learn how to reassign autofocus to a different button.
Some dSLRs have a built-in flash, and all can have a flash added to them. The flash can be the most horrible thing ever to happen to your photos, or the best - it all depends on how you use it, as you'll see in this chapter.
This lesson provides an overview of the lighting concepts that will be covered in more depth in the other videos in this chapter, including different types of flashes and techniques for using them.
There's a basic premise to flash photography that can be a bit of a head-scratcher, but once you "get it," it will forever change how you view flash photography. This video explains it once and for all so you'll never be confused again.
The angle at which you view something can make a mundane object seem interesting. Whether you're tilting the camera, the subject, or simply the direction you're looking at it from, the angle can make or break a photo.
Life is in the details - and so is photography. As this lesson shows, this doesn't necessarily mean breaking out the macro lens for extreme close-ups, but can be as simple as paying attention to - and focusing on - subtle details that others may have missed.
This chapter offers you advice on how to stock your arsenal of camera gear, with a focus on long-term planning for a continued rich and rewarding photographic experience.
Buying New Gear
So you have a pocket full of money and are itching to buy some new gear. How do you make the most out of your investment? This video looks at different types of gear, where to invest your money, and how to do your research when it comes time to buy.