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80% Of Photography Basics In Just 10 Minutes

6/13/2023 Matt 2 Comments


Are you a beginner photographer eager to fast-track your development and dive into the captivating world of photography? Look no further! In this video, Pat Kay covers 80% of the essential photography basics in just 10 minutes, focusing on the technical principles that will help you unleash the full potential of your camera. 

Understanding these fundamental concepts will inspire you to explore the vast realm of photography and embark on an exciting learning journey. So let's get started!

The Exposure Triangle:

Photography revolves around the control and management of light, measured in stops of light. To control light effectively, we use a concept called the exposure triangle, which consists of three main components: shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. All three components share a common language and play a vital role in determining the exposure of an image.

Shutter Speed:

Shutter speed refers to the duration of time the camera's shutter remains open, allowing light to reach the sensor. A faster shutter speed freezes action, making it ideal for capturing fast-moving subjects like sports or wildlife. On the other hand, a slower shutter speed lets in more light and creates a sense of motion blur, which can be artistically appealing. Remember, there's no such thing as a shutter speed that's too fast or too slow.


Aperture refers to the size of the opening at the end of the lens. It is measured in f-stops, with larger numbers indicating a smaller aperture and vice versa. A larger aperture (small f-number like f/1.4) produces a shallow depth of field, focusing attention on the subject while blurring the background, known as bokeh. This effect is commonly used in portrait and fashion photography. Conversely, a smaller aperture (larger f-number like f/11) creates a deeper depth of field, ensuring that most elements in the image are in focus. Landscape and architectural photographers often opt for smaller apertures to capture detailed scenes.


ISO refers to the sensitivity of the camera's sensor to light. Increasing the ISO amplifies the sensor's sensitivity, resulting in brighter images. However, higher ISO settings can introduce visual artifacts or noise and reduce the overall quality of the image. It's generally recommended to keep the ISO as low as possible while maintaining proper exposure through the other two components, shutter speed and aperture.

Bringing It All Together:

When approaching a scene, follow these steps to set up your shot effectively. Firstly, determine whether you want to freeze the action or create a sense of motion. Adjust your shutter speed accordingly, erring on the side of slightly faster speeds to ensure crisp images. Next, consider the depth of field you desire—whether you want a shallow focus or a larger area in sharp focus. Choose the appropriate aperture setting to achieve your creative vision. Lastly, evaluate the image and make adjustments to the ISO if necessary, aiming for the optimal balance between brightness and image quality.

Image and video via Pat Kay | 


Stephen said...

The great photographer and photo-journalist Henri Cartier-Bresson said:
“It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera… they are made with the eye, heart, and head.”

If this article were about the art of cooking, Matt has instructed us how to turn on the oven. And yes, knowing about shutter speeds, apertures, and ISO is necessary, but this basic knowledge will only help to obtain a reasonably well exposed image of an average scene. This is more like about 8% of the basics of photography.

Composing a great image at the right time to obtiin an interesting image takes a lot more knowledge than merely exposing a photosensitive media by pressing a button. Photography is an art. Making people think that they can become relatively expert photographers in 10 minutes is a great disservice to this site's readers.

Attila said...

It seems to me he made it pretty clear that this was just the beginning and very, very basic. I never read anything that would give me the impression that this was the end of things needed to be learned.