Skip to main content

Photography Basics

Lesson 2 from: Nikon D5100 / D5200 / D5300 / D5500 Fast Start

John Greengo

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

2. Photography Basics

Lesson Info

Photography Basics

We're going to go ahead and get started on some photography basics, and I just want to make sure that everyone is up to speed on some of the basics of photography. This is kind of an entry level camera, and there might be some people who are brand new to photography, never taken a class and don't know a shutter speed from an aperture, and I just want to spend a couple minutes getting you up to speed if you know all this stuff, well, you can just sit back and pat yourself on the back, and this is taken from my class that I did right here, a creative live called fundamentals of digital photography. So one of the great things about the d fifty one hundred is it's, a digital single lens reflex camera, and the great thing about this is that it's got a very high quality lens on it. And so as light comes in through the lands, you will have lenses that have different angles of you, so you have wide angle and telephoto lenses. And when you focus the lands, the lens elements are going to move ba...

ck and forth to focus that light, and inside that lands is going to be a mechanical aperture, which opens and closes down to either let in more light or less light in the camera. Yeah, that is a great way of controlling light but it's also going to control our depth of field. And so here we have a lens that opens to f one point four and closes down to f twenty two and with each step of the way we're letting in half as much light, so f twenty two would be the smallest opening that we can go to on this theoretical lens and f one point four is the largest opening now besides controlling the amount of light that comes in the camera, it also controls what's in focus. So when you focus on something, how much is in focus in front of poor behind that object is a big factor and that's our depth of field, which we control by changing our aperture so it's doing two things it's controlling the amount of light coming in as well as the depth of field so you can see those red hash marks over there on the side, indicating the leading edge of focus and that trailing edge of focus. And with each step of the way we get a little bit more depth of field it's not a huge change from one setting to the next, but it's a little bit and adds up to be quite a bit when you talk about the extreme of one end of the lands to the other end of the aperture so there is as much depth of field as we can get at f twenty two, so as light comes in through the lands to the camera body, it is going to hit a mere, which is going to bounce the light upwards so that we can see it more easily. Some of you are into retro cameras may be an old hassa bladder or a twin lens reflex. You're going to be looking at a ground glass, you just look straight down into it and you'll look forward because you're looking to, um, eared system. Well, the slr system uses a prism so it's a little bit easier to see, because you can hold the camera straight up to your eye. The light will bounce around through a view finder to your eye, and this is a very convenient and easy system. You get to see exactly what the lens sees the angle of you, whether you have any filters on there. It's it's a very, very good system for viewing now when you fire the shutter of the mir needs to get up and out of the way very quickly so that light can come on back to the image sensor, and the image sensor is a big part of these digital cameras. Obviously, I'm going to talk about those in just a moment. Now, before the light actually gets to the image sensor, it needs to go through the shutter, or at least the shutter needs to open. Now the shutter is in two parts. It is got a first curtain and a second curtains so the first curtain will open. Light will strike the image sensor for a predetermined amount of time. And then the second curtain will close that and block the light off, and then the mere will return to its standard position. And then you will eventually get to see what you are looking at. And this is why in photography you need to anticipate the moment because you don't see things actually when you are shooting them. Now that shutter has a great effect for controlling the amount of light community because it could be a very fast shutter, or it could be a very slow shutter, and so controlling your shutter speeds and having knowledge of them is very important. A fast shutter speed like two thousandth of a second is good for stopping a bird flapping its wings moving very quickly five hundredth of a second is excellent for stopping human action sports dance things like that one hundred twenty fifth is kind of ah moderate shutter speed, good for stopping some camels walking in the desert. As we start to get to slower shutter speeds were likely to get blurriness if something is moving either we or the camera and here we have some horses running and there's a lot of blurriness because they're moving very quickly and here we have the camera on a tripod you can see the bridge is sharply in focus, it's not moving the camera's not moving, but the people who are walking at a normal pace are blurred because it's an eighth of a second, relatively slow shutter speed half second even slower, going to show quite a bit of movement with water crashing over rocks and a very slow shutter speed of thirty seconds is here at the ocean's edge and these are waves rowing in and rolling out among some rocks. It kind of looks like mist, but it's just a very long shutter speed shot well after sunset now getting back to the sensor that is in the camera there's a lot of different cameras out there. And what a lot of people don't realize is that there are a lot of different sensors out there that are in these cameras and there's, different types of sensors and probably more importantly, there are different sizes of sensors, the compact cameras. They're going to use a very, very small sensor and the larger slr is like the d fifty one hundred use a larger sensor and so there are different sizes in the different sl ours as well. Now the d fifty one hundred uses one of the larger sensors, but not the largest censor. The four largest sensor is based off of thirty five millimeter film, in fact it's exactly the same size as thirty five millimeter film image area twenty four by thirty six millimeters. And this is what we call a full frame sensor. It's got a crop factor of one point. Oh, which means it's basically the same size as thirty five millimeter film and that's just important simply because thirty five millimeter film was the standard for about the last sixty years or so. Now the nikon camera has a slightly smaller sensor that has a one point five crop to it. Nikon calls the sensor a d x sensor and eight hundred millimeter lands on a full friend camera is going to look like one hundred fifty millimeter lands here, and we're going to talk a little bit more about that when we get into the lenses. Now, the smaller of these is used in some canon cameras. It's called on a psc and it's just a little bit smaller at a one point six crop. And so if any of this is new information to you, you might want to check out the fundamentals of digital photography. This is the class that I did hear a creative live it's available right now for download. If you're interested in about twenty plus hours of instruction going all over the basics, ifyou've then learning photography on your own that's. Great. Congratulations, you, khun, come up with a euro very own creative style with that. But there's, a lot of technical things that you should know and a class like this is going to fill in those gaps. If you wantto really make sure that, you know everything that you're doing with the camera and having great control of the camera is the best way to get good quality photographs, and so we're going to see if there's any sort of questions at this point. And so we'll do a little question and answer about product overview or any of the basics of photography that somebody maybe popped up with. There's, a lot of cannon war, canaan, nikon, etcetera, wars going on in the chat room. Oh, wow, okay, always are, but no questions at this time, okay, okay.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase


Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I love this class i am a new photographer coming into this world and i hope to one day own my own business and i really think i am going to be very successful in my life and so far this class is great for new beginners he goes slow he doesn't go into to many details he makes it short and sweet and that's what i love about this class.

a Creativelive Student

Harry Greenhalgh, Australia. I have had my D5100 for approx three years and with these courses I feel that I have a new camera. The idea of having the information explained on screen whilst you have the camera in your hand is fantastic. Cannot wait to try out what I hope I have learned. Explained in plain English for a change, WOW. Thank you.


I would recommend it to a complete novice. However, I did not get that much from it. While John is a great instructor he is not a Nikon owner or user. I am sure he knows how to the camera, but he is not into Nikon. He pretty much just went thru the manual. While he did mention how to use manual mode, he left some important concepts out of using manual mode. Namely that you need to adjust aperture, shutter speed and/or ISO until the meter reads something - he never really covered that. As I said, if this is your first real camera it would be a great course.

Student Work