Thanks to inexpensive cameras and easy editing software like
iPhoto, anyone can learn digital photography. This document will
review some basic principles of digital photography to help you
make the most of your digital camera and get the best possible
Depending on the model of camera you own, there are a few
common settings that can be changed:
• ISO controls the cameraʼs sensitivity to light. Higher ISO lets
you shoot in lower light, but this comes at the expense of
grainer photos. Normally you should leave it on “standard” or
“automatic” unless itʼs took dark to get a usable photo.
• Macro mode lets you focus on subjects very close to the lens.
Used for shooting small objects or extreme close-ups.
• Optical Zoom physically adjusts the lens to zoom in on the
subject as is done in film cameras. Preferable to digital zoom.
• Digital Zoom enlarges and crops the photo to simulate a
longer telephoto lens, but severely reduces the quality of your
photo. Equivalent to enlarging on a photocopier.
• Flash is typically enabled automatically in low-light settings.
This makes the scene bright enough to capture without
needing a long exposure time.
• Resolution or Quality: All digital cameras can be adjusted to
save their photos at different resolutions. Higher resolution
means greater detail, but also takes more space on the
memory card. If think you might ever want to print or crop
your photos, you will probably want to select the highest
resolution that your camera is capable of using.
• JPEG or RAW: High-end cameras (primarily models with
interchangeable lenses) allow you to select JPEG, RAW or
both as the file format. RAW files are significantly larger and
can result in better quality images when processed with
advanced tools like Photoshop or Aperture. However, they will
make very little difference for most users.
Angles and Perspective
If you and your subject are standing facing each other be sure
to hold the camera at your subjectʼs eye level, not your own.