When one decides to make the jump and purchase their first DSLR the first thing most people realize is; “I have no clue how to use this thing!”. That’s where I come in. In this blog we will cover some foundational aspects of using a DSLR. We can even compare techniques when the time comes, but first things first. We will begin with the basics.

DSLR -Stands for Digital single-lens reflex. A DSLR combines the parts of a single-lens (SLR) and a digital camera back, which replaces the film. 

To get the most out of your DSLR you need to understand how the camera operates. Sure you can always switch it to auto, but where’s the fun in that! There are three things that are paramount to understanding your camera.

    • Aperture
    • Shutter Speed
      • ISO

We will begin with Aperture.

In layman's terms the Aperture as it relates to your camera is how wide or narrow your lens will open to let light in. We use the f-number to measure the lens aperture (or lens opening). As you can see in the digram, the lower the f-number the wider the aperture and vice-versa. 


So when you are adjusting your f-number on your camera you are essentially setting it to let in more light or less light. The Aperture also effects the depth of field. A lower f-number(wider aperture) will cause things that are further away to appear out of focus. A higher f-number will bring things that are farther into focus.

Now lets practice! 

Set your camera to Aperture priority(A on Nikon - Tv on a Canon). 

  • This mode allows you to have complete control over the aperture while the camera automatically adjust the shutter speed based on your aperture choice. (on most camera you will still need to set the ISO).

Use an object or person as the focal point. Make sure that there is a lot of room behind them(it). Set the f-number to a low value take a few shots, the set the f-number to a high value take a couple more.

Leave some comments! I would love to hear some reactions, comments or questions.