Friday, 22 August 2014

How to use your DSLR!

Today's post i thought i would do something different. A lot of bloggers have DSLR cameras as they produce great quality photos, however are you actually using all the manual features of a DSLR camera? I thought i'd share with you some of the main features of a DSLR that you can manually play around with to further improve your photos! Maybe this post will also help you decide whether you want to buy one or not too! Just to let you know i have the Canon eos 550d however this will apply to all/most Canon models.

Ironically the photos in this post may not be to the same standard of quality they usually are on my blog, as it dawned on me how do i photograph my camera? so i had to use my phone for some photos!

CHANGING THE APERTURE TO BLUR OUT THE BACKGROUND


If you are wanting to take a photo of a single item but you have a cluttered background and want that to be blurred out so it isn't a distraction then you need to use a large aperture (this is a small number like F5.6) confusing, i know! If you want all of the photo to be in focus, regardless of the positioning of items you need a small aperture (large number like F22). See the difference in the two perfume photos? On the top i used a large aperture which has blurred out the background, on the bottom i used a small aperture meaning everything is in focus.

To change the aperture, set your camera to the A setting then you can use the dial to change the aperture number. Your camera will automatically set everything else to match the aperture you have set so you will achieve a great photo!

AUTO vs. MANUAL FOCUS


If you look closely at the two photos of my really messy table, you will see that the automatically focused photo is not all perfectly clear. The moustache cup is a little blurry. Whereas the manually focused photo is all in focus and perfectly clear. A common problem i have with auto focus is that it doesn't always get everything in focus, and usually focuses more on one thing in the photo leaving others looking a little blurry (maybe this is a Canon thing), it also takes a long time to focus so therefore manual is better for me.

To use manual focus, flick the AF (autofocus) to MF (manual focus) on your lens then turn the focus ring on the front of your camera (this is the other ring usually on the front of the lens, it isn't the zoom ring!)

DON'T LIKE LOOKING THROUGH THE VIEWFINDER? PRESS THE LIVE VIEW BUTTON


By pressing the live view button, this means you can now look at what you are pointing at through the large screen rather than the small viewfinder, perfect for some people others like the viewfinder. It's just personal preference!

IMAGE STABILIZER


Now image stabilizer is not on every lens, i believe it is only certain Canon lenses. To use this just flick the Image Stabilizer button from off to on which will be on the lens, usually under the AF to MF switch. I would say this is useful for when you want to take photos of moving subjects like birds, as this will help to decrease blurriness. I think for blogging usage only it isn't necessary as you are only taking still photos. If you look at the two mac lipstick photos there is no difference with IS switched on or off. So if it is saving you a lot of money and you only want it for still photos for blogging, i don't personally think it is necessary!

NATURAL LIGHT IS STARTING TO FADE BUT FLASH IS TOO HARSH. INCREASE ISO TO MAKE YOUR PHOTO LIGHTER!


If you are losing sunlight but still have a few more photos to take and you don't want to use flash as it is very harsh and usually creates bad reflection on products then try increasing the ISO to a higher number to increase brightness.

To do this press the ISO button on the top of your camera, and then move the dial left or right to pick the right ISO. As you can see in the images above, the ISO6400 has created the perfect amount of light for the photo and looks a lot better than when i used the flash.

THE PERFECT BEGINNER'S KIT


I thought this might also be helpful for people looking in to buying a DSLR, or people who may have just got one. I think these are the only things you need when you are just starting out. The 18-55mm lens usually comes with the camera, and for now that lens is perfect! It works well at taking up close photos of products, and also still takes great photos of people. The bag is handy for when you are carrying round your camera, and is pretty small which is great! Then a tripod may also be a great starter piece as it is perfect if you are trying to take photos of your own outfit if you are a fashion blogger,or is also great if you don't have very steady hands!

Hope you enjoyed this post, let me know in the comments if this was helpful! I was thinking of maybe doing more photography posts, so if you would like to see that let me know too!

Also if you have further questions, maybe i haven't explained something enough, then please comment it below as i am happy to help out no matter how big or small your question is!

Thanks for reading Xx

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59 comments

  1. Replies
    1. I'm so happy you find it helpful! Thanks for the comment :D xx

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  2. This is amazingly helpful and couldn't come at a more perfect time, I am ordering one tonight & I have relied on my phone so far, wish me luck! xxx

    Blonde of carbs

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    1. Cool i'm so glad it will help you! When you get it you will not want to put it down, my camera is my favourite thing! Hope you love yours xx

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  3. This is genuinely helpful, thanks! I really want to get a tripod. My boyfriend can't take photos to save his life haha!

    India / Touchscreens & Beautyqueens

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    1. Thank you so glad you find it helpful! And lol, a tripod does come in handy :D xx

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  4. I love my camera and I find the best ways for me to understand how it works is to take the same photo over and over whilst changing different settings. I note down the settings changed and then use the images to work out what everything does. I'm a very trial and error person.

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    1. That's a good idea :) especially if it works well for you. I love hearing about different techniques xx

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  5. Wow, this is so helpful! I don't own a DSLR but I was thinking of buying one for my blog photography. It all seemed really confusing to me and now I understand!
    Awesome post, so helpful! :D

    Mollie, xo \ The Fashion Of Craft

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    1. Glad you find it helpful and are no longer confused Xx

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  6. I'm so bad at using my canon 700d on manual setting :/
    Anna x
    www.madeupaboutcurls.com

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    1. I hope this helps then, manual can be a bit daunting as there are so many different options to change up, however you could try changing them one at a time to get the hang of each aspect xx

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  7. Great tips! I really need to improve my photography!

    xx, Be || lovefrombe

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, hope you find this useful! xx

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  8. These are really helpful tips. Thank you for sharing. Xx

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  9. Replies
    1. Glad you think so :) thank you! Xx

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  10. this is such a handy post!

    from helen at thelovecatsinc.com // blog sale

    ps. enter my £300 rayban and beauty goodies giveaway! click here.

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  11. I really love this post and your blogstyle!
    Would you like to follow each other on GFC, Facebook, Bloglovin, dear? I'd like to keep in touch!
    Let me know with a comment on my blog, I promise that I'll follow you back!

    Blog: J'aime les feuilles rouges
    My last outfit: Italian Summer Scent

    xoxo Marta

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  12. OOh this was such a helpful post, I still need a tripod and some lighting and then I am away x
    Beautyqueenuk xx

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    Replies
    1. Glad you found it helpful! Bet you can't wait to get started its so much fun :D xx

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  13. This is SUCH a helpful post! I have to admit, even though I know a fair amount about DSLRs, I often neglect some of the settings I should be using! xx

    francesca | on-thebias | fashion, beauty, lifestyle

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    1. Thank you!! I agree sometimes it is easier to just flick it to auto and let the camera do all the work for you, but it is more fun experimenting with manual xx

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  14. Thanks for sharing your wisdom! Such a helpful an informative post! Xxx

    Alice Adores Apparel

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, glad you found it helpful :D xx

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  15. I love my DSLR and this has inspired me to play around a bit more with the manual settings. I use manual focus on my lens but that's about it!
    Great post

    The Makeup Directory

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    1. Great i'm glad this has helped you :D xx

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  16. I'm actually due to get a camera soon but worry that getting such a big camera straight away might not be a good idea, after reading the post from the guy who works with the Kayture blog!

    WISH UPON A SMILE

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    1. It's up to you :) I didn't know how to use mine when I first bought it, but I got used to it quickly xx

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  17. Thanks for the tips Leah! I haven't got a great camera yet - it's just me and my iPhone! When I do get one I'll definitely refer back to this post

    Amie @ dimplebug.com xxx

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  18. The iso&lighter trick is the one I should really try :)

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  19. Thanks for the tips! I haven't got a camera yet but when I do get one this post will come in very handy :)

    Fran’s World

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  20. This is fantastic! I've always wanted an easy guide and finally I've found one - bookmarking this post ;)

    diaryofadeera.blogspot.co.uk

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  21. Really useful tips there! I did photography for my A-levels but that was 10 years ago (argh) so it's always good to have a reminder :-)
    Tash | Ballet, Dance & Fitness

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    1. Thank you! I'm doing A level photography at the moment :) xx

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  22. Great photography tips. I cant believe I've only just discovered Manual focus on my DSLR, its so much better than auto. Love playing round with Iso and lighting for my photos.
    Rumbie|RumbieLove xx

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    1. Thank you! And i know, i agree! Love manual :) xx

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  23. Love this post !! It was such a great and informing post helped a whole lott!

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    1. Thank you! Glad you found it helpful!! Xx

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  24. Thank you for sharing <3 this was so very useful! xx

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    Replies
    1. Thank you I'm glad you found it useful!! Xx

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  25. best post ever :D I should bookmark it in case I lose the notes my bro gave me haha thank youuuuu!!!

    Arianne | http://ariannecruz07.blogspot.com

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  26. Great post and some very helpful tips hun. I often ignore the image stabilizer but your pictures made it pretty obvious that I must be more particular next time. Thank you oodles.

    D, x

    www.dellilahsnotebook.blogspot.com

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  27. Some great tips thanks! I'll be sure to refer to these when I get my new camera! Can't wait!!

    Alice | AliceAllure

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    Replies
    1. Yay glad you found it useful! Have fun with your new camera :) xx

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  28. Such a useful post - I've had my DSLR some months now and still getting to grips with the settings. I will definitely take some of your tips into consideration in the future.

    LL | CAUTIVAR

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Hope the tips help, and once you get to grips with it you will be fine xx

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  29. I just got a DSLR camera (my first ever camera) and this post is so helpful! Thank you so much for sharing :) xx
    Chasing Belle 23

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