Think about it... What is photography? Photography is basicly just capturing light. The amount of light is determined by 3 settings in your camera:

  1. Shutter speed

  2. Aperture size

  3. ISO

Shutter speed

The amount of time the shutter stays open determines how much light comes in.

The result

Leaving the shutter open also captures all the movement within the frame during that period.


Setting the shutter speed fast freezes the movement of a fast car and setting it slow blurs the moving car.

Aperture size

The size of the opening in the lens controls how much light enters the camera.

The result

A wide open aperture focusses on one subject while blurring the background.


Macro and portrait photography uses this as creative effect to make a subject stand out from its surroundings. An easy way that I remember how Aperture numbers work is to think about what they do. A small number means little will be in focus. That's why a lens with an Aperture of f1.2 is more expensive, since it allows a wide open aperture that blurs the background.


You can also make the camera's sensor more sensitive to light.

The result

Raising the ISO means you can choose a faster shutter speed (or different aperture) that would otherwise have made a dark image.


Photographing a party at night with dim lighting can mean that you would need to raise the ISO to freeze the camera shake & movement of the guests while still keeping a perfectly exposed photo.

To get to know these 3 settings, play around with the Av and Tv functions in your camera. Take a few photos within each function and see the results for high & low shutter speeds and different apertures. When in these modes, you can choose the aperture or shutter speed and the camera will set the rest. After getting to know what each one does, moving on to learn Manual mode would be much easier.