Digital photography for beginners.

One day course syllabus

I get a lot of requests for help from people who have been given a digital camera as a present, or are making a transition from film to digital, and those who cannot understand the jargon of the manuals. To many the course comes as a surprise as its in the form of a gift voucher.

Each student is assessed in the light of their previous experience and their study day is built around the following issues according to their individual needs.


Systems common to film and digital

Features common on most types of camera.

Lens, Shutter, Body type, Format. Camera shapes and sizes.


f.numbers, apertures, and stops are all the same. True stops. Calculating an f number. Depth of field. Preview button. Appropriate use of depth of field.

ISO numbers.

Noise in pictures. High ISO benefits. 100, 400.800. 3200 ISO Night photography.

Lens qualities

Wide angle, telephoto, zoom, macro. Lens speed. Coatings. Coverage.

Shutters and speeds.

Lens cap shutters, between-the-lens shutters, focal plane shutters. vertical shutters

Speeds related to apertures.

Time exposures eight thousandth to 4 mins.

Self timer

Camera shake. Most common fault.


Anti vibration systems. Camera body/lens.

Mirror lock-up for macro.

Digital Photography Systems

Anti-dust system

Colour temperature

Degrees Kelvin. Symbols. Automatic light balance. Custom white balance.


Light metering.

Guess! Tables & calculators.

Middle grey, 18% grey, Zone 5.

Separate Light meters

Centre weighted, Matrix, Spot.

Reflected and incident light.

Back-light button. Exposure lock

Exposure compensator.

AE lock. Sets focusing at a fixed point allowing you to recompose the picture.

Command systems.


Mini programs

Aperture priority The photographer chooses the best aperture and the camera works out speed.

Speed priority The photographer chooses the best speed and the camera adjust the aperture

Manual The photographer chooses both aperture and speed.

Digital formats, Chip sizes,

Jpeg.files Suitable for may uses. Files size variable.

Raw files Computer needed to take over processing. Highest quality.

Colour space. sRGB

View finders,

Focusing systems, manual. auto focus. Autofocus failure.

live screen.

Shutter release. Single frame, multi frame. Burst cache

Camera bags and cases

Sky filters on lens.

Additional equipment. Dedicated flash gun that bends in the middle.

Tripods,Lastolight reflectors.


Places to visit etc

Laycock Abbey National Trust

Photographers Gallery, Nr Oxford Circus(temporarily closed for rebuilding)

V&A Print Room and Exhibitions.

BJP British Journal of Photography

Public library mags,

Photography clubs,


Set yourself themes to work on.

Consider working on a project built around you interests

See Albelli Photo books.

What next?

Setting up your camera for a shoot.

1 Charge your batteries the day before and wipe your cards using the camera menu for doing this.

2 Set the ISO number at a realistic level for your subject matter.

3 Set the colour balance.

4 Choose the metering system suitable for the subject matter.

5 Choose suitable exposure programme: Program and sub program, Aperture priority, Speed priority,


For new courses and further help phone David 01494 483887

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