Turn That Dial And Experience Your Camera

This post is written by Guest Contributor, Terry Houton. If you are also interested in writing a guest blog, please reach out using the form in the Contact page.

A few years ago, when I first made the move from my little Kodak to the Nikon D40, it was a little intimidating. I had no formal background in photography whatsoever and absolutely no clue about the ISO, Aperture, Rule of Thirds or any of that technical mumbo jumbo. Fortunately, I had a couple of things going for me that would be a big help in that area. First, I had a background in IT that was somewhat similar in that when I started on that career path I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. As I have frequently done in my life, I threw myself into it with the mindset that I was either going to sink or swim. It's paid my bills for nearly 15 years now so I think I've done OK. Secondly, I had a good friend who I was able to lean on and ask plenty of questions when I needed to do so. Like most people that venture into the DSLR world, the first thing I did was turned the dial to Auto. As you would imagine, that allows you to just turn on your camera and shoot away. The problem with that setting is that it makes all of the decisions for you with speed, light settings, etc. and you won't always get the best shot possible. There are times where the exposure will not be correct because the processor is picking up something like light in the background, dark clothes, etc. and will make your pictures come out under or over exposed.

My suggestion to those who are really serious about learning the art of photography is to do what I did and put your nose into books, get on the internet or seek out any endless number of other resources for information regarding ISO, shutter speed, aperture and all of the otherwise techie stuff that will help you shoot better pictures. The last piece of advice that I would give you is to read your camera manual and learn how it works inside and out. It might not be the most thrilling read of your lifetime but it's well worthwhile.