20 Questions and Answers for New Photographers

1. What Are Megapixels?

A megapixel is one million pixels; the more pixels in a picture, the more detailed it should be. So theoretically, the more megapixels in a camera, the better it should be. It is well known that most new photographers set out to look for the highest number of megapixels for their money.

But beware: an important feature is also the sensor size of the camera. For example, a 24-megapixel full-frame DSLR would most likely still take better photos than some 64-megapixel phones.

As of today, some phones offer more megapixels than many professional cameras! However, the quality of the image doesn’t depend solely on the megapixels.

Both the photos below have been taken using a 12.1 megapixel camera. One is from an SLR, and the other one was taken on a mobile phone—can you guess which is which?

What Are Megapixels?What Are Megapixels?
What Are Megapixels?

2. What Is the ISO in Photography?

You might have heard photographers talking about their ISO. What ISO denotes is how sensitive the image sensor is to the amount of light present.

For example, in solid daylight, you should rarely need to go over an ISO of 200. On the other hand, at night, when there is little light, you might have to set it as high as 1600.

The disadvantage of having the ISO higher is that the images are subjected to much more noise. When first starting out, I would suggest using the Automatic ISO mode, which lets the camera choose the ISO.

What Is the ISO in Photography?What Is the ISO in Photography?What Is the ISO in Photography?
What Is the ISO in Photography? This is an example of an image taken with a high ISO.

3. What Is Shutter Speed?

You set your shutter speed in order to tell the camera how much light you want to enter into the camera. A shutter speed of 1/100th of a second is better for shooting high-speed action, most commonly sports, whereas a shutter speed of 30 seconds will allow you to capture photos of light streaks.

The shutter speed is often the most important part of the shot—if you are without a tripod, you might find that you cannot go below ¼ second without blurry pictures.

The photo below was shot with a slow shutter speed to capture the main vehicle without any blur.

For more examples, have a look at these articles:

What Is Shutter Speed?What Is Shutter Speed?What Is Shutter Speed?
This photo was taken with a slow shutter speed.

4. What Is the Aperture in Photography?

Aperture was the one thing I struggled with when first starting photography, even though it’s actually very simple. The aperture lets more or less light into the camera, but even more importantly, the aperture sets the depth of field. When taking portraits, you might want the background to be out of focus, so you simply select a larger aperture in order to do this.

In the image below, the owl has a low (or shallow) depth of field, which means only the subject is in focus and everything behind it is out of focus. The higher the DoF, the more of the scene will appear in focus.

As the iris opening decreases in size, the f-stop number increases. 

It’s tough to understand at first, but once you start playing around, it’s quite simple! Take a look at this article where we explain more about depth of field:

What Is the Aperture in Photography?What Is the Aperture in Photography?What Is the Aperture in Photography?
What Is the Aperture in Photography? This photo has a shallow depth of field.

5. How Do I Use These All Together?

Setting the shutter speed, ISO, and aperture can often be quite tricky for a new photographer, but most DSLR cameras these days offer different automatic modes which allow a photographer to set just one of these things. The rest is then worked out by the camera.

I would recommend slowly getting used to each of these features, working your way up through the manual modes before trying to set everything.

I would also highly recommend following a well-written photography blog or going on a beginner’s photography course when you first start out. These will often help you answer further basic photography questions and answers, saving you countless months working out what each mode does.

How Do I Use These Altogether?How Do I Use These Altogether?How Do I Use These Altogether?
This photo is a good example of how to apply the previous concepts.

6. What About a Flash?

A good photographer should be able to know when to use flash or when it is not suitable. Most cameras have a built-in flash, but these are often restricting and only light the objects close to you.

If you can afford to purchase an external flash, they offer so many more features and allow you to bounce the light off other surfaces such as ceilings and walls to get more natural-looking light on a subject, rather than the “hard light” that you often get from a built-in flash.

Check out these articles that’ll help you answer the most asked questions about photography with flash:

Beautiful afro girl with drawings on skinBeautiful afro girl with drawings on skinBeautiful afro girl with drawings on skin
This image uses flash.

7. What Is Image Stabilisation?

Image stabilizing is simply a technique to reduce the blurring effects camera shake can have on an image. The image stabilizing is done automatically by the camera or lens.

Initially, Canon and Nikon preferred to put the image stabilizing technology in the lens rather than in the body of the camera, but other companies such as Sony placed it in the camera body itself.

Currently there is no right or wrong, and it doesn’t matter which one you buy. The only disadvantage of having it in the lens is that you often have to pay more money for the IS versions of the lens. For example, the Canon L series lenses can often be hundreds of dollars more expensive for the IS version.

The best (and cheapest) way to stop motion blur is simply to use a tripod. This keeps the camera still and minimises any shake. The image below was shot using a lens without a tripod and, as you can see, there is a fair amount of blur.

Man speeding on a bicycleMan speeding on a bicycleMan speeding on a bicycle
Example of a picture with motion blur.

8. Why Do I Need More Than One Lens?

The lens really depends on the situation, your budget, and your hobbies. Most cameras are pre-packed with a standard 18-55mm or 18-80mm lens. For the average user, these should be fine, but depending on what you like to shoot, you might need a different lens.

A bird watcher would often need a telephoto lens in order to zoom right in to get a detailed picture.

Many cameras and lenses in studioMany cameras and lenses in studioMany cameras and lenses in studio
There are many camera lenses on the market.

9. What Is a Telephoto Lens?

A telephoto lens is designed to photograph long distances—an average telephoto lens can be 70-200mm or 100-300mm, and some even go up to 500mm. The advantages are clear when photographing sports or wildlife in which you are unable to get near to your subject.

Often these lenses have a great depth of field and can also be used to capture some amazing portraits.

Check out these useful guides to learn more about using a telephoto lens:

As you can see below, the shot on the left is shot at 70mm and the one on the right at 200mm. Both were standing in the same spot.

Telephoto LensTelephoto LensTelephoto Lens

10. What Is a Wide-Angle Lens?

Wide-angle lenses are simply lenses which can photograph wide areas. Landscape photographers might prefer this in order to capture large fields or mountains. A wide-angle lens is anything wider than 50mm, but most commonly they’re quite wide, like 18mm or 24mm.

The disadvantage of these lenses is that they don’t really double up as anything else. This image was shot at 18mm and allows for a large amount of the scene to be captured.

Wide angle landscapeWide angle landscapeWide angle landscape
This image is a good example of a wide angle.

11. What Is a Macro Lens?

First things first: what is macro photography? Put simply, macro photography is capturing a subject at life-size or larger. A macro lens helps us achieve this, and a photographer interested in flowers or insects might use one to pick up more detail than the human eye can normally see.

For more information on what macro photography is and how to apply it, check out these Tuts+ guides:


Macro RajndropMacro RajndropMacro Rajndrop
This photo was taken with a macro lens.

12. What Is a Fisheye Lens?

Fisheye lenses take extremely wide hemispherical images and are often used for panoramic photography or to make sport photography more interesting, for example skateboarding. Dedicated fisheye lenses are quite expensive and not very commonly used.

If you want to play around with fisheye images, you can get cheap adapters for less than $25 which attach to your current lens.

Lofoten archipelago Fisheye lensLofoten archipelago Fisheye lensLofoten archipelago Fisheye lens
This picture was taken with a fisheye lens.

13. What Is a Prime Lens?

This may be one of the most asked questions about photography. A prime lens is simply a lens with a fixed distance, for example 50mm. These lenses are very fast and often have very low apertures.

Most beginners have a negative view of prime lenses and think they are pointless compared to their 18-55mm kit lens.

Prime lenses teach you to move around and not just rely on your lens; you can often get a much better photo by moving a few steps than by zooming in.

Read the following articles to learn more about prime lenses:

Close-up of a photo of a camera lens on a yellow background.Close-up of a photo of a camera lens on a yellow background.Close-up of a photo of a camera lens on a yellow background.
This is a photo of a prime lens.

14. What Is Digital Zoom?

A digital zoom is zooming in on a spot using software on the camera rather than using a lens. Often this makes the images very pixelated, and there is a very noticeable loss of quality. Digital zooms tend to be found on compact cameras as they often do not have interchangeable lenses.

If you can zoom in optically, it is always the best choice.

Photo by bobatkins.comPhoto by bobatkins.comPhoto by bobatkins.com
Photo by bobatkins.com.

15. How Do I Print My Images?

One of the common photography questions is about the process that comes once you’ve taken your photos.

Often, big supermarkets or camera shops contain a printing department where you can plug in your camera, SD, flash card, etc., and then upload your photos to their system. You then select the size, and they will print them. They often charge less if you print more, so make sure you take a fair few images.

For the beginner and most photographers, this is often better than buying an expensive printer (often more than the camera) and having to pay huge prices for ink cartridges.

Teenager working at color printerTeenager working at color printerTeenager working at color printer
Photo of a teenager working at a colour printer.

16. What Is RAW?

Basic photography questions and answers often involve the term “RAW”. RAW is another mode you can shoot in, rather than JPEG. RAW offers many advantages over JPEG: it records all the details for exposure, white balance, and more.

RAW makes it easier to edit the photo afterwards if you need to change anything.

RAW is a rare mode to get on a compact camera, but all DSLRs can shoot it. For more detail on file formats, check out the following guide:

Screen of camera and hand of cameraman standing in spacious living roomScreen of camera and hand of cameraman standing in spacious living roomScreen of camera and hand of cameraman standing in spacious living room
You can apply the RAW mode from your camera’s settings.

17. What Is Live View?

When purchasing a camera, you might come across the term “live view”. This simply means that you view the image you wish to photograph on the camera’s LCD screen, and then you simply hit the shutter to capture that image.

For some, this is preferable to looking through a viewfinder.

Focus on camera screen with experienced smart female african american office managerFocus on camera screen with experienced smart female african american office managerFocus on camera screen with experienced smart female african american office manager
Live view is when you can see what the lens sees through the screen.

18. What About White Balance?

Amateur photographers often ignore white balance and just leave the camera on automatic. The reason we adjust white balance is to get the colours in your images as accurate as possible. The automatic mode is often good enough, but it can sometimes get it wrong.

You can set white balance manually, usually to:

  • Tungsten for indoor lighting, which cools down your photo.
  • Fluorescent to warm up your photo if under cool lighting.
  • Cloudy to warm everything up.
  • Flash to warm up the cool light from your flash.
  • Shade to warm things up slightly due to the cooler light of the shade.

For the average “point and shoot” photographer, auto mode is good enough. But keep in mind the other modes if your photos seem to have incorrect colour tints under different environments.

I took each of these photos from the same position and same settings apart from the white balance. I didn’t use a flash (other than on the flash setting):

White balanceWhite balanceWhite balance
These are different examples of the use of white balance.

19. What Is an ND Grad?

ND grad is a shorter way of writing neutral density gradient filter. These are placed in front of the lens in order to make sure areas are not over-exposed. The most common use is in landscape photography when dealing with blue skies.

Often, you might take a photo and return home to find the sky is just white. A neutral density filter is designed to stop light passing through it and therefore makes the image look perfect.

The same effect can be created in Photoshop, and a fair amount of people would argue that ND filters are frustrating to carry around. I would argue that it is far better to get it correct in-camera than spend hours in post-production fixing the images.

I used ND filters to darken my lens in order to use a high exposure time in the picture below.

Use of an ND filterUse of an ND filterUse of an ND filter
Use of an ND filter.

20. What Is a UV Filter?

This is the last of the most asked questions about photography. A UV filter is a brilliant piece of kit, which is again often overlooked by beginners. What it does is simply protect the end of your lens from dirt, water, and scratches.

For a small investment, you can help protect your expensive lens.

Like all glass, it’s worth buying the best one you can. A cheaper, unbranded one from eBay may, in fact, reduce the quality of the images your camera can shoot. I would recommend a Hoya, Cokin, or LEE filter.

Close-up of a photographer's male hands putting a professional protective filter on the cameraClose-up of a photographer's male hands putting a professional protective filter on the cameraClose-up of a photographer's male hands putting a professional protective filter on the camera
A high-quality filter can protect your lens without affecting your images.


Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Todays Chronic is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – todayschronic.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a Comment