In a world of smartphone cameras, everyone thinks that they are a photographer. Not that everyone is wrong; I do not think there is a wrong way to be a photographer. But if you are more interested in taking high quality pictures that you would never be able to take with your phone, you should learn a bit about photography to get yourself started. This is especially important if you are trying to photograph art. Art can be captured of course in any form, but if you are really trying to get a good shot of a piece of art, you should take some things into consideration.
If you are trying to take better quality photographs than what you can take with your phone, you will need to consider the potential of equipment. You can take quality photographs with even the simplest camera, but the ideal type would be a DSLR camera, which you would need to take some time to learn how to operate well. Things to consider in your camera include shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, all of which can often be controlled on a little pocket camera.
Exposure, to but it simply, is the brightness or darkness of a photograph. It sounds simple, but sometimes it can be pretty tricky. Most cameras these days have auto exposure, meaning that you don’t have to do anything to get the exposure to work correctly. While that is great, it is not always the best way to get the picture that you are trying to take. You will need to read your camera’s guide in order to figure out the manual exposure settings. Automatic is not always the way to go.
There is a set of blades in the lens that controls the amount of light that enters the camera. That is called the aperture. Automatic cameras will naturally adjust this for you without any issue. If you are trying to adjust the brightness of your pictures, however, you will need to be able to adjust your aperture. If a picture is coming out too bright, you will need a smaller aperture. Likewise, if the picture is too dark, you will need to have a wider aperture to let in more light.
The shutter speed is referring to how fast the camera is able to roll over the image sensor to let the light an image in. If a shutter speed is longer, more light will be let in before the shutter closes. If the shutter is quick, the picture will usually be darker because not as much light will be let in. If you are capturing a moving object, having a fast shutter speed is ideal because it will have captured the image before it moved again. But if you are trying to capture the light of something, especially at night, you will need a longer shutter speed in order to let in more light.
ISO is what controls the exposure through the software of the modern digital camera. It lets the camera take brighter pictures than it would have been able to organically. A high ISO will create a picture that is brighter than one with a lower ISO. Increasing the ISO will also increase the grainy quality of a picture though so you don’t want to go too crazy with it. The graininess is referred to as “digital noise.” The ability of digital cameras is constantly improving, but ISO is still something you may want to tinker with manually instead of letting the camera try to automatically compensate for the darkness of the shot.