Article written by TMK Photographer – Jeremiah Villanueva

Photography on the technical side is defined as the process of recording images in a controlled way. On the creative side, it is the art of capturing light and composing good images. Our own definition? Simple, it is how we keep those precious moments alive.

Beginners Guide Photography Camera Basics

Beginners Guide Photography Camera Basics

How to be a good photographer?

There are a lot of people out there (including me) who really wants to be good and improve their shooting skills. I can also say that photography is a continuous learning process so I always find time to improve my craft. I often watch videos, ask friends, read articles online, and other stuff where I can gain knowledge. Below are some helpful tips that an amateur/enthusiast like me can use as a guide:

  • Learn the Photography basics – Shutter Speed, ISO, and Aperture
  • Know your Camera – you need to know how to operate your camera.
  • Practice your “eye” – you should learn how to see like a photographer.
  • Keep Shooting!

Let me give you a brief introduction to Photography basics based on my understanding and my experience. Mind you, I am just an enthusiast and not a professional photographer 🙂 Let us jump right in.

For you to have a decent capture, you should consider two things, Exposure (how bright or dark your photo is) and Focus (how great or shallow the depth of field – blurriness of background from the subject) and this involves the Shutter Speed, ISO, and Aperture. 

1. Shutter Speed

This is considered as the “Heart and Soul of Photography” which is “Capturing the Moment”. It defines how fast the shutter curtain of your camera opens and closes to gather light.

Faster shutter speeds are often used to capture fast moving subjects and freeze the action. On the technical side, this will allow less light to be captured by your camera. It is commonly used by Sports Photographers and Wildlife Photographers.  Slow Shutter speeds on the other hand are used to express motion with the blur effect, this will also allow more light to be captured by your camera.

Fast Shutter Speed

Fast Shutter Speed

Fast Shutter Speed – ISO 100, 35mm, f/2.2, 1/4000sec

Slow Shutter Speed

Slow Shutter Speed

Slow Shutter Speed – ISO 1000, 35mm, f/1.8, 1/40sec

2. ISO

This is defined as the camera sensor’s sensitivity to light. The lower the value of the ISO, the less sensitive the sensor is thus allowing less light to be recorded into your camera. Conversely, a higher ISO value will create brighter capture but with more image noise. Wait, let us not be too technical, can we?

The best way to understand ISO is to think of it as the honey bees (ISO value) and how fast they can bring flower nectar (as the light) to the honey comb (as the image sensor). 50 honey bees will bring less nectar than 500 honey bees in a given amount of time with less buzzing noise. On the opposite, 500 bees will have no sweat in filling the honey comb with nectar but you’ll hear more buzzing noise.



Low ISO – ISO 100, 11mm, f/2.8, 1/125sec

High ISO

high ISO

High ISO – ISO 1000, 11mm, f/2.8, 1/1250sec

ISO photo

Something to remember

3. Aperture

The pupil of our eyes best represents the aperture. It controls the size of the opening in our eyes. Bigger opening will allow more light to go through our retina. Whereas, smaller opening will allow less light thus providing a darker image. Additionally, controlling the aperture also provides a creative effect on our composition. Bigger aperture opening will result to a more blurred background or shallow depth of field thus bringing more emphasis on the subject. On the contrary, smaller aperture opening will bring everything (foreground and background) in focus but you will need some help from the ISO and Shutter speed for you to have a brighter composition.

Wider Aperture

Wider Aperture Photo

Wider Aperture – ISO 200, 35mm, f/1.8, 1/250sec

Smaller Aperture

Smaller Aperture Photo

Smaller Aperture – ISO 100, 18mm, f/11, 6.0sec


Something to remember

I have downloaded a little cheat sheet that you might find handy during your photo adventures.

photoraphy cheat sheet

source: google images

Photography is really an exciting field! A vast field where we can explore cultivate and express our creative imagination. So let us not stop learning, go out there and keep shooting!

The Gear

Camera Used: Nikon D7100
Lenses Used: Nikon 18-140mm F/3.5-5.6G Ed Vr, Nikon 35mm f/1.8 DX

—————— Joanna’s Notes ————————

Can’t believe Iah (pronounced as A-Y-A) finally did an article for our blog! My husband’s name sounds like a girl so I used to refer him as “husband” here in the blog, made life easier :p Anyway, hope you find his photography tips useful  just like how it helps me understand those camera basics. He used the simplest words and tried to be non-techy for beginners (like us!) to understand the world of photography.

Did we miss something? Do you want to add more helpful tips? Please comment below and we’d love to hear from you! 🙂Beginners Guide Photography Camera Basics

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Beginners Guide Photography Camera Basics