Tutorial: Master digital SLR photography

Step-by-step guide to taking the perfect image

Advanced manual modes

Step 7: You should adjust the ISO setting on your camera depending on the amount of ambient light. This function dictates how much light penetrates the lens - for low-light shots you'll want a very high ISO value. Choose ISO 100 in bright daylight, up to ISO 1,600 and beyond for night-time shots.

Image note: Left half demonstrates a low ISO setting; the right, a high ISO setting.


Step 8: To change the aperture of the diaphragm in the lens, set the mode of your camera to AV and use the dial at the front of the camera to set a higher or lower f-number. Higher values make the aperture smaller, producing a longer depth of field so that distant objects remain in focus as well as those closer to the camera.


Step 9: If it turns out you haven't caught the perfect shot, a photo-editing program can come to your aid. However, many digital SLRs allow you to modify the appearance of an image from within the camera itself. For example, by using Canon's Picture Effects mode you can adjust various aspects of a shot, including the contrast.


Step 10:More advanced pro and semi-pro cameras include custom features, such as higher ISO functions, presets for image formats and fine-tuning for exposures. Typically, you access these from the main menu, make the changes you require, then most likely use those settings for all your pictures.


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