Photography 101: The Essentials Terms And Techniques & Tricks

Photography 101: The Essentials Terms and Techniques & Tricks

A couple of years ago, I bought a Canon A2300 – Point & Shoot camera to leverage my interest in photography. I read a book, How To Take Great Photos by Peter Tellone and had compiled a summary of the book in Evernote as Photography Essentials.

If you too love capturing scenes, then this will interest you for sure. Here’s the Evernote note, as it is:

Been reading one book on photography and found some essential terms to be noted. Here ya go…

Exposure is getting the perfect amount of light onto your digital sensor or film, so that there is detail in both shadow and light, contrast and good color. We’ll talk about the three things that control exposure and then how to use each of those to increase the artistic appeal of every photograph you take and also how to balance the three for a perfect exposure.

Aperture is the adjustable opening in your lens that allows light to pass through the digital sensor or film. Smallest number has largest opening and vice versa.

F2.8-Large opening, F22-Small opening.

Smaller F yields the shallower of DOF (Macro) and Larger F gives deeper of DOF (Infinity).

Photography 101: The Essentials Terms and Techniques & Tricks
A large aperture produces a shallow depth of field.
Photography 101: The Essentials Terms and Techniques & Tricks
While a small aperture makes the depth of field deeper, bringing the background into focus.

Shutter Speed:

Shutter speed is how long the shutter of a given aperture is open to allow light to hit the digital sensor or film. It is enumerated in parts of seconds, 1, 1/10, 1/250 with smallest fraction being the longest opening time.

Used to either stop motion or to show the motion.

High shutter speed freeze the object (flying bird), preserving details 1/500.
Low shutter speed allows moving objects such as water to blur, silken. 1, 1/2. Fix the camera while applying this criteria.

Photography 101: The Essentials Terms and Techniques & Tricks
High shutter speeds freeze the subject, preserving details.
Photography 101: The Essentials Terms and Techniques & Tricks
A slow shutter speed allows moving objects to blur such as the water rushing in this river.

Aperture – how much the shutter is open and Shutter Speed – how long.

The sensitivity to light of the digital sensor or film. The higher the number, the more sensitive the sensor will be to light. e.g., ISO 100, 800 etc.

Bright day there’s always enough light so ISO 100, 200 is enough. Some shaded areas want ISO 400 and indoor or low lighting condition requires ISO 800.

Photography 101: The Essentials Terms and Techniques & Tricks
This image was hand held using a high ISO but with a tripod; low ISO shots at night are possible providing you have no moving subjects.

Quick Talk
  • A popular joke among photographers is: “Wow, that’s a great photo, you must have a nice camera.”
  • DSLR: Digital Single Lens Reflex
  • Smaller sensors (Mobile phones) are actually better at macro photography(close-up life-size images)
  • Hot Shoe: A slip-in interface or “shoe” into which you would slide an external flash unit
  • Blowout: Overexposure leading to a loss of detail
  • Dynamic Range: The range from the brightest part of our scene to the darkest

 Types of Photography
Portrait This is simply people-shooting. It can be posed and formal or relaxed and natural. But the focus is on the person to bring out “them”: the background or the setting is not the subject. Photography 101: The Essentials Terms and Techniques & Tricks
Landscape, Nature, Wildlife This group focuses on the outdoors and the natural world, including its creatures. The focus is what is beautiful in that setting: the light, the color or contrast.  Photography 101: The Essentials Terms and Techniques & Tricks
Travel Travel can be a combination of both landscapes and portraits. It is telling the story of a different land and different people, and it conveys the differences between your destination and your homeland.  Photography 101: The Essentials Terms and Techniques & Tricks
Photojournalistic This form is all about telling a story. It may not be artistic or pretty to the eye, but it tells a story without even the need for a headline.  Photography 101: The Essentials Terms and Techniques & Tricks
Still Life This is the shooting of objects, whether a bowl of fruit or flowers or any still object. This may include macro photography.  Photography 101: The Essentials Terms and Techniques & Tricks
Macro Photography Close up shooting of an object with lifelike proportions  Photography 101: The Essentials Terms and Techniques & Tricks

The Snapshot vs. The Photograph:

A snapshot is a capture of a time and place, a remembrance, and that is all most people want from them. I love them, I have boxes full of them from when I was a kid and the places we went and good times my family had. I wouldn’t trade them for anything and they’re probably the only things I would want to save in a fire. But, they are not photographs or photographic images or art (though what is art is disputable).

A photograph has to grab the viewer’s attention, has to direct the viewer where the artist wants them to go. It leads them to the subject even when the subject is not clear. It can tell a story or sometimes just convey a sense. It must touch that person viewing it in some way, but it will not touch everyone — that’s why it’s art.

  • The two keys to a photographer’s vision are light and composition. Light is the essence of photography. You’ll often hear photographers say, “It’s all about the light.” Being able to see “good” light from bad and the effect of shadow is everything to a good photograph and a photographer. The other key is composition. Composition is the flow and the order to a photograph, establishing a subject and a background and using good photographic techniques to lead the viewer to that subject.
  • There is the talk about Golden Hours. These are the hours just after sunrise and just before sunset, when the light is lower, softer, more colorful. Some, such as I, include the hour before sunrise and the hour after sunset as perfect times to shoot.
  • “Always shoot with the sun to your back?” Well, truthfully — no, don’t. Most times it is best to shoot at an angle to the sun.
  • The Rule of Thirds: Most times, having the subject of your photograph centered is not very pleasing — in fact it is downright boring. So it is best to have your subject in one of the intersections of thirds of your image.

Photography 101: The Essentials Terms and Techniques & Tricks

  • When photographing people, try to keep horizon lines from cutting through people’s heads. Also look for poles and trees and objects that stick out of the top of people’s heads. Lastly, look for clutter or junk in the background. They all make for a poor composition. So make sure you concentrate not only on your subject but also on what is behind them.

Photography 101: The Essentials Terms and Techniques & Tricks

Enough theory here. Want to see it in action? See it now or on Instragram at: @darpandodiya

So, that was all about How to Take Good Photographs. Want to Look Good In Photographs?

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3 responses to “Photography 101: The Essentials Terms and Techniques & Tricks”

  1. Nishith Desai Avatar

    Good Effort and nice article to understand to start with..

    Take my suggestion to put just one site … name of your choice and start writing about photography tricks.. is another enthusiastic from Dharampur Valsad… but since you are computer engineer you can do good job on the website developement.

    Start blogging… if you need my help I can provide you .. with free space I have bought from

    And yes pick up a good blogging script.. I can suggest you if you want..its free..

  2. Amol Chavhan Avatar
    Amol Chavhan

    Thank you for nice information.


    I am also too much interested in mobile photography. So sir plzzz tell me d best smartphone for best mobile photography within 12k which must have all d basic function u mentioned in above in ur blog.
    Plzzz sir rply as quick as possible on my mail

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