Camera Settings:

Quick quiz. Without looking at your camera, what are the steps you need to take to change your camera’s ISO sensitivity? Spend extra time becoming familiar with all the controls on your camera at home, where it’s nice and warm, before venturing out into the cold. In extreme situations, when you’re using heavy gloves, it can be difficult to adjust your camera’s settings. Knowing where your entire camera’s controls are located helps you work quickly should you need to take off your gloves to make an adjustment.
We know that many of you consider yourselves beginners. Do not feel intimidated. We are here to help and will be with you instructing with our great staff. This will help you in preparation! Please be familiar with your settings AND tripod BEFORE the trip. This does not mean you need to know and understand everything as you are there to learn, however, please know how to change your manual settings. The shutter speed, F- Stop/ Aperture and ISO are the settings to know how to change on your camera. Again, please know how to change those settings. This will help us a great deal in being able to instruct you on location.

Manual Settings:
It is VERY important to understand that in any given situation, you will be using a combination of all 3 of the below Manual settings. There are usually many combinations possible to get the same amount of light control; HOWEVER, depending on what your preferences are to the character of the image, you may choose different ones at any given time. This is something you will learn in detail on our trips and do not have to fully understand at this time. On the Photo Safari, you will be learning how to use all 3 of these elements to get the best results in your images. This is why it is important for you to start becoming familiar with how to change each of the settings now on your camera. With these Manual settings, we will be able to help you get the most out of your camera.

ISO – Light Sensitivity:
Think of this as what you use to do with film. You would go to the film store and choose the speed of film you wanted. In today’s digital environment, we have the flexibility to be able to change our ISO in each shot if we want. This gives us much more power than in previous film camera days where we were stuck with whatever we put in the camera.

The LOWER the ISO, such as 100 or 200, the BETTER the quality, however, MORE light is needed. Light can be available through ambient light (natural light) OR the use of a flash. Higher ISO speeds such as 1600 and above, result in a loss of image quality and “noise” in the image. However, the higher ISO may be needed in order to use faster shutter speeds in lower light situations and when a tripod may not be available.

Shutter Speed:
A time value represented by the amount of TIME the shutter opens and closes to allow light on the sensor. The LONGER the shutter speed setting, the MORE light comes into the sensor. Yet motion is not stopped. The FASTER the shutter speed setting, LESS light comes in but action can be stopped. A fast shutter stops action, a slow shutter allows motion. Never hand hold the camera in a setting under 1/60th of a second. This usually results in blurry images because of “camera shake”. However, this “rule” is also based on the length of lens you are using.

Aperture, F-Stop, Iris:
These 3 terms are all for the same item. Your F Stop setting controls how much light comes into the sensor through the opening of the lens. The SMALLER the number F-Stop, the MORE light comes in. The LARGER the number F Stop, the LESS light comes in. Think of the Aperture like an eye. When you are in a dark setting, you may need a bigger opening ( just like your pupil of your eye). The opposite be true in a bright setting.
F Stop also controls Depth of Field. The smaller the number has a shallow depth of field. The higher the number, more Depth will be in your image.

Using all three Exposure elements to control light:
Remember, in any image, you are using a combination of ALL 3 exposure elements. What combination of the 3 you choose depends on each situation and the light available. This is a big part of what you will be learning!! As an example, you may need a fast shutter speed to stop action. This may require a small number (larger opening) of the lens to compensate for the lack of time the shutter is allowing light in because it is fast. Or, you may want the images to have a lot of Depth (Sharper from front to back). This requires a larger number F Stop(Less light) and that may mean a slower shutter speed to compensate for the light. Now you may need a tripod in order to achieve the results.

In each of these situations, your ISO setting will be chosen accordingly as well. These are just two examples of using the manual settings.
We will be teaching you how to use these settings and the cameras built in light meter to get great images!

Please just come prepared to learn and with the knowledge on how to physically change the settings already known and a smile and you will be in great hands!

Please feel free to download the MPA  Exposure and Help Guide