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Do You Know What these Numbers Mean When You Look Through Your Camera?

So have you ever looked through your DSLR and seen all these numbers? You haven't well, go get your DSLR and look through it in the viewfinder and see what I mean. It's a bunch of numbers right?

Well I'm going to break it down for you step-by-step.

The first number is your shutter speed. It's the speed of how fash your DSLR "blinks" to take a picture. Your camera litterally closes a shutter to close up your camera. It goes way back to the film days when cameras had to expose film for a certain time frame. Shutter is measured in time. The number 1000 here is actually 1/1000 of a second. To find out more, watch this video about shutter speed:

The next number is your aperature. It's the opening of the lens, like the human eye opening up your pupil depending on the type of light situation you are in. I usually shoot at very wide openings (like 1.4- 2.8) because I really like creamy, buttery backgrounds. Here is a video explaining aperature.

The next number is your ISO, or your light sensitivity. This is how well your camera can see in the dark. For outdoors, I only use 100 or 200. For inside, I'll use 600 and up!

Here is a video explaining ISO.

The last number is how many shots you have left on your memory card. If you shoot RAW like me, than you burn through memory cards pretty quickly. But if you are shooting jpeg, you can fit over 1,000 photos on a 16 gb memory card. But if you do shoot JPEG, make sure you are saving your photos at the highest JPEG (fine) as possible! Don't save them to WEB sized! (I have done that before.) Here is a video explaining it.

These dots are your focus points. I actually took off my focus points. I onlly like shooting with ONE focus point. It's easier for me to see the image. Here is a video about how to turn off all the dots on your camera.

The number line on the bottom lets you know how bright your image will be or dark.

Imagine this is a number line from 3rd grade. To the left is too dark (or minus) and to the right is too bright (or plus). The 2, 1, 0 ,1, 2 numbers mean that your image is any number of clicks or "stops" of light too bright or too dark. If you are shooting a really dark image, it will be minus two stops of light. Get it?

If you are getting confused, here is a video about it.

Here is an example of a really dark image.

Here is an example of a really light image.

Sometimes I purposely want my photos a certain darkness or lightness because of the mood that I am creating.

This is a correctly exposed photo.

So here you go. Now I hope it's not a bunch of jibberish!

I would love to see your photos using these principles: Hashtag me on Twitter (@_MarshallArts_) , instagram (@chicamarsh) or facebook (@Marshallartsstudio)!

Keep Shooting!


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