Give It Your Best Shot

When I was little, I took pictures of everything. I would come home from family vacations with over 300 pictures on my new, chunky lime green digital camera. I had no idea what I was doing. Fast forward to the present and my camera is nowhere to be found. My iPhone camera is simple, fast and sufficient. But deep down, owning a professional camera, taking pictures, being “artsy” will always be something my creative minds craves. 

This week we learned how ISO, shutter speed, and aperture affect a picture. This is about to get geeky and is arguably more to help me remember all of the new terms than anything else.

iso example


ISO, or International Organization for Standardization, affects how receptive the camera’s sensors are to light. It is usually measured in hundreds with a high number being more receptive. You will want to use a high ISO in low light or if trying to capture motion, while a lower ISO is used when there is plenty of light or your subject is not in motion. This is always a manual setting on the D7000, so changing it every time is necessary. Also, be warned that if your ISO gets to high your images could become grainy. 

This has a slow shutter speed.

This has a slow shutter speed.

This is a fast shutter speed.

This is a fast shutter speed.

Shutter speed determines how long light is allowed to hit the sensors and is measured in how fast the shutter opens and closes. It is much like your eyelid. The speed is measured in fractions of seconds. Fast shutter speeds (1/250 – 1/1000) should be used to freeze motion, but they also require good lighting since there is much less time for the light to hit the sensors in the camera. Slower shutter speeds (1/60 – 2 seconds) should be used in low light with little motion. Moving to a shutter speed below 1/60 of a second is tricky and requires a tripod. Shutter speeds as a whole can drastically change the images you take. 


This aperture is wide.

This aperture is wide.

small aperture (16)

This aperture in narrow.

Lastly, aperture, the trickiest of the three, refers to how wide the hole in the lens opens. It is measure in f-stops. The larger the f-stop (16, 22), the smaller the opening and the less light is able to get in. While the smaller the f-stop (2.8, 4), the larger the opening and the more light is able to get in. This setting controls the depth of field in photos, or what is in focus and what is not. This can also be understood and is easier for me to understand this way. A narrow aperture (16, 22) means that everything is in focus. This requires well lit settings because of the small amount of light being let in. A wide aperture (2.8, 4) will create a small window of focus. You will most likely have to move around to get your perfect shot. 

Today, in class, we actually got our hands on a Nikon D7000. At any moment I felt like I could break it, but by the end of class, I was feeling much more comfortable. Here are a few of the couple photos I got. 






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