Tuesday, 4 November 2014

How to take good photos using DSLR

Learning the level one photography.

One can improve his photography skills by using the manual mode. Manual mode provides total control over the shot. Try to identify the Saturation, contrast, brightness and sharpness in the shooting environment so that you can use your own Picture control that is the last topic here. Before Going to the manual mode you need to know the below essential options which will help you to stabilize the shooting skills.

Shutter speed
Light metering
Exposure compensation
Focus points
Metering option
Grey Card
Picture control Editing
HDR OR Bracketing

Shutter Speed
Shutter is the door which can be seen in front of the lens, the speed at which this shutter close will decide the nature of the photo.
Shutter speed can be adjusted by scrolling the (1) button as in the below image.

There are mainly two types of shooting using shutter, “slow shutter shooting" and "Fast shutter shooting".

Slow shutter require stability to hold the camera in hands, it's suggested to have a tripod for slow shutter Photography to make the image more stabilize.

Faster shutter will be use to catch the rapidly moving subjects and also used in traveling photography usually in vehicles.
Higher the shutter speed for Fast moving object. Lower the shutter speed for slow shutter shooting.

Slow Shutter shot
ISO: 125
Exposure: 1/20 sec
Aperture: 13.0
Focal Length: 22mm
Flash Used: No
Fast Shutter speed taken in moving train
ISO: 125
Exposure: 1/1000 sec
Aperture: 4.0
Focal Length: 18mm
Flash Used: No

Small white bulb on back of the Juice glass and adjusted the shutter speed to kept outer area as black

Aperture can be referred as details of the image. Aperture usually increases the details of the subject and the background. It is referred as F stop. In the below image aperture set to 5.6 and is adjusted by pressing the -/+ (1) button by scrolling the (2) button. Increasing the aperture number drastically increase the details of the image. For landscape photography 8 -11 f stop will be suitable.

Example Shot
ISO: 250
Exposure: 1/250 sec
Aperture: 19.0
Focal Length: 28mm
Flash Used: No

Light metering
Camera behaves exactly as Human Eye, as eyelashes in human eye acting as light metering and it will allow optimum light to the eye. Where higher the light lesser the exposure and lesser the light higher the exposure.
In the below image marked table is the light meter, this light meter in the camera identifies the incoming light to the lens. This light meter can be adjusted by using shutter speed and aperture buttons. It will be tricky here to adjust the light meter initially, but once you are experienced you will do the job easily.
Remember light meter should point to the center which is 0 means the optimum light to the camera, in that way you need to adjust the shutter speed and aperture. If the light meter pointing to + means higher the exposure if it is in then lower the exposure.

Exposure compensation
Exposure compensation is exposing the image to the light, if the value is in + means overexposed, if the value is in underexposed. 0 is the optimum value, i said 0 because in the initial days you will be confused with the lesser and higher expose, better you kept the Exposure compensation to 0 for some days so that later you can learn with different exposure.

A different Exposure shot

ISO means sensitivity to light. ISO will be used usually in the night where flash cannot be used to take some natural light shots. Increasing the ISO value surely will decrease the image quality. Over the ISO 500 image quality will be diminished. Better to keep the ISO 100 – 250 max in day light and adjust to higher in the night. Adjust the ISO using the arrow buttons.

Focus point
As I early said, the camera behaves just as a Human Eye, if you see the below image you will see the nearest trees at the right side and the far mountains, just imagine! Look at the trees on right side and imagine how you can see the far mountains, if I am correct mountains might be blurred and not focused in your eye. Exactly the same criteria will apply to camera focus systems. If you point your camera focus system to right side trees camera cannot focus the far mountains but if you focus the far mountains then camera can view the nearby trees also. This is the only difference we can see between Human eye and the camera’s.

Sample Image

Focusing the subject is the critical part of the photography, perfectly focused images ensures the best details in it. There are 11 auto focus points given in D5100, D3100 cameras, and of course the same level in canon SLR too, it will not be much difference in any future camera also where we can see the increase in the focus points.
If you see the below image where in the option 1 try to select the Single shot, next option 2 as Focus mode as Single-servo AF, option 3 then select the AF-area mode as Single-point AF, option 4 as matrix metering.
I have given the above options to select the single shot, Single-servo AF, Single-point AF and matrix metering for focusing because you can move the focus point to all 11 points in the viewfinder by focusing the subject either it is a far or near.

                                                    Below are the images for examples.

Silhouette Example

Metering Option
There are different types to select but I suggest you the Matrix. Try to learn the things using the matrix metering initially, once you get experienced you can use other options in metering.

Grey Card
Using the grey card will again turn the white balance from automatic to manual, this can be configured using photo or a quick sample shot. Use of grey card to get the perfect saturation to the current environment.
A shot used the Grey card

Picture control Editing
Once you have thorough with the above options, this is the next level where you can adjust your own picture control and save it as new profile.
Most Nikon and Canon SLR cameras offer six kinds of Picture Control: Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait and Landscape.

Example shot of Manual Picture Control
HDR OR bracketing
HDR option comes as default in D5100 SLR but not sure about the lower end cameras, even though you can use bracketing option to take 2 to 3 shots and then combine those shots using third party software.
HDR OR bracketing takes 2 – 3 shots in different exposures and combines all those shots into one image. This works well in manual mode.

In camera HDR shot
Normal shot
In Camera HDR Shot
Took4 shots and joined using Photomatix software, but personally i wouldn't recommend any software rather a Camera

I have provided my level best guidelines here, which I am following in a day to day shooting. There are many more photographic things to discuss with the camera, lens etc…. and there is no end. I hope this will help you to get some level of knowledge using the camera.


  1. Great Info and obviously very good blog too...I have become a regular visitor of your blog...Keep going...All the Best... :)

  2. Well explained Sharath, Thank you so much

  3. Nice blog... & Nice photos too..

    Can u please provide the same info for Point & Shoot Cameras like sony.


    1. There will not be much options as compared to SLR, but you need to know the below options before you do photography with any type of camera's.

      Shutter speed
      Light metering
      Exposure compensation
      Focus points

      Very Limited features is provided in Point and shoot camera's, Try to practice in Manual mode, you will get perfect exposure to the camera world.


  4. Oh.... thanks for the info..... Feels like we are visiting several places just by visiting your blog...

  5. All Camera shoot in hd camera with perfect support of aluminium scaffolding for our grip in any angle.