Day 8 of 31 – I’m well on my way to a better photo

After a short hiatus for the holidays, I’m back into my 31 days to a better photo.  I found that after just a couple weeks of a break, I’d forgotten everything I learned… awesome.  So I went back, reread the first seven days of the tutorial, and attempted to summarize my new knowledge.  I felt like a college student again, with all of my headers and bullet points.


There are three ingredients that can be fiddled with on a camera: shutter speed, ISO, and aperture.  Changing the setting of one (or all three) will change the outcome of your photo.

Shutter Speed

  • how long the lens is open
  • measured in seconds
    • ex: 2″ = 2 seconds
    • ex: 250 = 1/250 of a second
  • a longer opening lets in more light, but will be blurry unless everything (camera and subject) are perfectly still
  • on my camera:
    1. flip dial to M
    2. press center button
    3. up and down arrows control
    • on left side of screen


  • number refers to light receptors
  • low ISO = clear photo, high ISO = grainy photo
  • measured in numbers such as 100, 200, 400, 800
  • on my camera:
    1. flip dial to M
    2. press menu
    3. scroll up or down to get to ISO


  • Size of lens opening
  • Small number = small border around large opening = focus on subject with everything else blurred
  • Large number = thick border around small opening = all of photo is in focus
  • Measured in F stops (my camera only has two choices – 3.5 and 8)
    • ex: f/3.5 would have a single sharp subject and a softer focus on the rest of the photo, f/8 would have the entire photo sharp
  • On my camera:
    1. flip dial to M
    2. press center button
    3. left and right arrows control
    • on right side of screen

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