One of the most effective ways of capturing the world is through photography. We can see the power of photographs in magazine articles, social media, book covers, etc. If you want to learn how to take the best images, then you should learn the basics of photography. Here, we are going to explain the fundamental ideas that you need to know about photography.

Do you know the fundamentals of photography? If you are new to photography, then you might be interested in learning the fundamental principles of photography. Our objective here is to keep this Fundamentals of Photography as simple as it can be so you will be able to fully understand them. So, let’s start.

What Is Photography?

Photography is the process of capturing light using a camera, generally through a film or digital sensor to create a photo. It was in 1826 when the first photograph was captured by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. It was an image of the roof of a building with the light of the sun over it.

Basic Equipment


What type of camera do you need? Most people use their phones in taking pictures and believe that they don’t need to purchase a separate camera. Actually, they are correct. Some people think that a dedicated camera is overkill.

Many people use their phones because they are easier and quicker to use. Additionally, photos can be easily integrated with social media. However, if you think that your phone is not good enough at capturing photos, then you should get a dedicated camera, especially if you are considering photography as a hobby.

Although you can take pictures using the simplest camera, the principles that we are going to discuss here are intended for those who would like to learn how to use their DSLR camera or any other camera that permits you to change the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

When purchasing a camera, you should choose something that has interchangeable lenses so you’ll get the chance to try out various types of photography. It is fine to read reviews but never get too obsessed over them.


For your everyday photos, you can start with 24-70mm or 18-55mm, which is the standard zoom lens. However, if you are interested in portrait photography, then the best option would be the prime lens at 35mm, 50mm, or 85mm. If you intend to take photos of sports, then pick a telephoto lens. Whereas a dedicated macro lens would be a good choice for macro photography. Lenses are important since they will determine the type of photos that you can take.


There will come a time that you might need to edit your images. If your camera includes software or you already have one on your computer, then you can use it. However, in the long run, you might require good software that can do a better job. Adobe is offering Lightroom and Photoshop as a bundle. Nevertheless, you can still choose to buy standalone software from other companies. There are a lot of options out there.

Optional Equipment

These things are actually optional, but they can be very valuable. A tripod is essential if you are a landscape photographer. Bags are necessary for storing your camera and other accessories.

Other accessories include extra batteries, flash, cleaning kit, etc. Aside from this, there are numerous photography accessories that you need. But don’t worry about this right now. Over time, you will realize the essential things that you need. Now, after having your camera, the next step is to learn about exposure.

What Is Exposure?

Exposure simply refers to the darkness or brightness of a photograph. It sounds so simple to take a photo with an accurate exposure, which means it has appropriate darkness or brightness. However, the truth is, it can be a bit tricky. It is important to understand that exposure requires shutter speed, aperture, and ISO in connection to creating a properly exposed photo.

What Does Shutter Speed Mean?

Also known as “exposure time”, shutter speed refers to the amount of time that the camera shutter remains open to bring light into the camera sensor. In case the shutter speed is slow, then it can result in a “motion blur” effect, wherein moving objects can be seen as blurred towards the direction of the motion. On the other hand, in case the shutter speed is fast, then it can allow you to freeze the action fully.

What Is Aperture?

Aperture simply refers to the hole inside your lens. This is where the light travels through the body of the camera. A photo shot at an aperture of 1.4 has a wide aperture, while a photo shot at an aperture of 5.6 has a narrower aperture, hence, there is more focus on the shot.

What Does ISO Means?

Basically, ISO refers to the extent of your camera’s sensitivity to the available light. The higher the ISO number, the more sensitive your camera is to the light. On the other hand, a lower ISO number decreases the sensitivity of your camera.

What Is White Balance?

Obviously, as the name implies, white balance ensures that the color temperature in your photo is well balanced. But how does it work? In order to bring back the color temperature of your photo to neutral, an opposite color will be added to it. Once the photo is correctly white balanced, the whites that appeared red or yellow will now become white.

Different Types of Auto Focus Modes

There are a variety of autofocus modes that are available in DSLRs. However, we are going to focus on the basic ones which are the AF-S and AF-C.

AF-S or Single Focus

AF-S, also known as Single Servo, S, One Shot, etc., is considered as one of the simplest types of autofocus. Generally, what you will do is push the shutter-release button midway, or perhaps your camera has a separate AF-ON button. This will lock focus your camera on the subject where you have fixed the active autofocus sensor. Then take the picture by pressing the shutter button all the way.

The advantage of this is that it’s very simple. You just need to aim, then the camera will focus, and finally, you will take the shot. So, what is its disadvantage? Did you or your subject make any movement? In case there is a change between your distance and the subject, then your initial focus does not count anymore. Unfortunately, you will have to start the process all over again. If you can find an “autofocus assist” light on the front of your camera, then you will have to use this mode. You need to focus the camera on the scene.

AF-C or Continuous Focus

AF-C, also referred to as Continuous Focus, C-AF, Continuous AF, AI Servo, etc., occurs when the electronic components of your camera will do something to keep your subject in focus. Typically, what the camera will do is it will lock the subject that you have chosen by using the autofocus function. Afterward, it follows the subject as it makes any movement in the frame. It does not matter if you or the subject moves farther away or moves closer, the camera will adjust the focus subsequently.

So, what is its advantage? You can capture dynamic events such as moving children, sports action, roaming animals, etc. What is the disadvantage? If you want to reconstruct your image after the focus is already locked, then this can confuse your camera since it needs to lock into another part of your frame.

What Is Photo Composition?

Composition refers to the placement of relevant objects and elements in a photo. Furthermore, composition plays an important role in great photography. It is quite hard to emphasize how important composition is to your image. That is why, if you are an aspiring photographer, then you should focus more on the composition of your image.

What Does an Image Sensor Do?

The size of your camera sensor can greatly affect a lot of aspects of your image. At the same time, it can also affect the function of your camera from affecting the function of your lens, the quality of your image to the performance of your camera in low light conditions.

Basically, there are three categories for sensors. These are the APS, Four Thirds, and Full Film Format (full-frame). Point and shoot cameras are usually using small sensors, while larger sensors are used in DSLR cameras.

What Is Metering and How Does It Work?

Metering refers to the way your camera figures out the appropriate aperture and shutter speed. Most likely, this will depend on the extent of light that enters into the camera as well as the sensitivity of the sensor.

Why Do You Need Memory Cards?

Memory cards are essential since they will be used for storing the images and video files from your camera. If you have a faster memory card, then your photo and video will also perform better. There are a lot of great companies out there that offer fast and dependable memory cards.


We hope that you have enjoyed these fundamentals of photography. You can also continue learning more about photography by visiting For more information, you can call us at 720-581-4461 or send us an email at [email protected]

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