I was completely new to using a DLSR camera when I started my blog last year. I still don’t claim to be an expert, but I have learned enough to share the knowledge with any other beginners!
The Camera Itself.
I have a blog post all about the DSLR camera I use to blog with. I think the clearest, most crisp images I take are usually from the Canon camera with the 50mm lens. I definitely have my eye on the Olympus pen epl-7 too. If you use this camera, please let me know how you get on with it!
As a side note, you can definitely get away with starting with an iPhone camera before investing. Cameras and lenses can be so expensive, so start small, make sure you want to stick with blogging before purchasing. I am very lucky in that my boyfriend has let me use his camera to get used to, but I am nearly ready to buy my own camera!
Don’t be afraid of manual settings! I avoided these for at least 6 months. The names were scary (what on earth was aperture!?) so I just used the automatic setting and edited to brighten. This makes me cringe slightly now. The difference you can get by using manual settings with a DSLR camera is amazing. I’ve explained the 3 main ones you need to know below.
This allows you to decide how deep or shallow the depth of field is in the photos you take. In blogging terms, it can give you a blurry background to draw attention to a particular item – this needs a shallow depth. If you are taking photos of scenery, you’ll want a wider depth of field. Still with me?
Aperture is all about how much light passes through the lens. You’ll see aperture referred to as ‘f-stop’. A low f-stop means a bigger opening and vice versa. There isn’t a right or wrong answer for how to set the aperture for your photos. If you want the insta-worthy, blurred background on the latest beauty product, go for a shallow depth. Think of aperture like a human eye, letting light in.
I think this one is the easiest to understand! Shutter speed is simply how long the shutter is open for, exposing light to the sensor. A slow shutter speed creates photos with motion blur. You know, the sort of image where moving objects feel blurry, like a water balloon popping or a bird flying. This would mean you have a long shutter exposure/shutter speed, probably around a couple of seconds long.
Another setting worth knowing about when it comes to using a DSLR camera. The ISO setting looks at the image sensor’s sensitivity. So, a higher number means your camera is less sensitive to light, so the harder the grain. On the other hand, you’ll get less light sensitivity and a finer grain with a lower ISO setting. I keep this one on auto some of the time, as your camera is pretty good at knowing the setting it needs.
Play around with settings.
The best way to get to grips with using a camera is to just test it out yourself. Set aside an hour, grab some blog props and just play around with the settings. You’ll soon see what works best and doesn’t! I think having an initial understanding of what the main manual settings makes it easier, but the best way to learn is to try it yourself.
It is worth keeping in mind that sometimes, the photos that look perfect in the camera screen don’t look as great once uploaded onto your laptop, and vice versa. Its so easy to get frustrated when you’ve spend a long time shooting blog photos, to then find that you aren’t happy with them. That is where editing comes in! If they really aren’t great, don’t lose heart. Forget about it, and start again tomorrow!
Do you use a DSLR camera for your photography? Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to help!