Photography 101 – Let’s Begin At The Beginning

You may read this article on beginning photography and say, “well, duh”, but I said I was going to start at the beginning, and that is where I’m going to start. So this is a very basic explanation of what you need to become a knowledgeable digital photographer. Are you ready? Here we go…Photographing a Subject

You need 3 fundamental things to take any ordinary photograph

  • A subject
  • Light
  • A camera (recording device)

A Subject

The subject of your picture can be anything you choose; a landscape, a person, a building….. in fact anything that you see and want to capture an image of.


Light is something we take for granted.  It’s all around us and is the reason we can see what is there.  It lights up objects and can be produced by natural means – such as the sun or lightning, or by artificial mean – artificial lighting is something man made like street lights, fluorescent lights and lightbulbs.

A Camera

The camera is the tool you use to record your photograph with.  Many people buy a new compact camera every couple of years, as technology becomes better, the basic principles of photography are constant.  The functions and tasks the cameras can perform may change, but light is light, a subject is a subject and the ultimate end result hoped for is a reasonable photograph.

The first step on the road to taking something even resembling a good picture is to know the camera you’re about to use – its strengths, its weaknesses and its limitations.  How do you use any tool skillfully?  Firstly, by getting to know fully how it works, and secondly by use – that means practicing with it to develop your skill.

There is always the option of turning to the manual.  But when reading through a camera manual, it only outlines how to turn each function on and off.  It doesn’t give you any understanding of the principle involved, or what is happening inside the camera.  Because the terminology is unfamiliar to you, or because you don’t understand the concepts involved, the only option is to give up in frustration.

By going through some of the controls common to most cameras, especially compact cameras, (or ‘Point and Shoot’ cameras as they are sometimes known because that is how you use it when on automatic settings), and by explaining, in layman’s terms, their function and how and why they work, you will get a good, solid photographic knowledge of how to use them properly.

Armed with these fundamental principles, you will be able to not only understand why a picture may not turn out the way you had planned but also to begin to work around your camera’s specifications to produce consistently better photos.

Who knows, you may even be the next Annie Leibovitz or David Bailey!

[box type=”tick”]Next up: Starting To Take The Perfect Photograph

Want to start at the beginning of this series? Start here[/box]

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