Together with ISO and aperture, shutter speed is pillar of the photography. Without knowledge about usage of shutter speed it is impossible to take qualitative pictures, because it is the way how to manage the motion.

Let’s start with understanding what the shutter of camera is and how it works. Most of people think that shutter is the button photographer pushes to take a picture, but there is more than that. Broadly speaking the shutter is the cover of the sensor. It is closed, when the pictures are not being taken and opens when they are, by pushing the button. So when the shutter opens, camera sensor is being exposed to the light that comes through the lens. When this process is over, shutter closes again, so the sensor won’t get the light anymore.

The shutter speed or also known as exposure time is the period of time when the shutter is opened and the sensor is being exposed to the light. So if the shutter speed is fast, picture is sharp and it is possible to stop the motion of moving objects. If the shutter speed is low, it is possible to blur the motion, so there is given an impression of movement in picture.

The measurement of shutter speed is very simple. It is expressed in seconds or fractions of seconds. For example, 1, 1/4, 1/100, 1/1000 etc. Usually the fastest possible shutter speed of a camera is 1/4000 and the longest is 30 seconds. 1/500 is normal shutter speed when taking pictures of moving objects and around 1/100 is normal for steady objects, but each situation has to be evaluated by many aspects.

Lens, shutter speed and ISO are connected, so when you set them, you need to pick a priority. Usually the aperture is set as a priority, so the camera sets the shutter speed automatically. There is also fully auto mode, when everything is automatically set by the camera, but it is better to set them manually. So you can choose the shutter speed if you set it as a priority and then camera adjusts the aperture or set the manual mode and put everything manually, but usually that is not needed. Camera can adjust to the setting very well is one of them is set. Most of the photographers set the aperture as a priority and then camera choose the appropriate shutter speed.

The necessity of specific shutter speed depends on many factors such as light, movement of objects, zoom etc, but usually fast shutter speed is chosen for objects and subjects in movement such us animals, birds, sport events etc., to freeze the motion. The long shutter speed is usually used to take pictures of waterfalls, lightening etc., to blur the image. If you are taking simple pictures of steady objects at daytime, you can use auto shutter speed.

When we are talking about the most important feature settings of the camera, most of the photographers probably will mention aperture, shutter speed and ISO, but white balance matters too. That makes the color of the picture look realistic, which is very important when taking pictures in other light than sunlight.

Before we start talking about white balance, it has to be clear that light is not the same everywhere. Light from different sources have different colors. The sunlight is considered the normal light and other light need to be compared to that as a standard. That can be done with balance settings.

Basically white balance is the process of removing the unrealistic color cats. Practically that means color in the nature matches the color in picture. For example, white color remains clearly white in photography. That is possible because of the cameras ability to take into account the color temperature. With our eyes we can see very well is the color is completely white or it has some admixture of other colors, but most of the digital cameras cannot separate white color from others automatically. When taking picture in other light then the normal daylight picture can have some blue or orange color casts which is described as color temperature. The understanding of usage of white balance can make pictures more realistic.

So the usage of white balance depends on color temperature. This color temperature is measured in Kelvin which is amount of light. Each source of light has different color temperature. For example, day sunlight has different light temperature than sunlight at the evening when it sets. As it was mentioned before, day sunlight, which is considered the normal light, has around 5000 to 6000 Kelvin. Light from a normal light bulb has only around 3500 Kelvin, but light in the shadow has almost 9000 Kelvin. So in brighter light (less Kelvin) picture will look orange and in darker light (more Kelvin) picture will look bluish or greenish.

Most of the cameras settings offer to set the white balance by the type of light. There are such offers as candle light, tungsten bulb, fluorescent, flash, daylight, cloudy, shady etc. So all you need to do is set the appropriate type of light. Other cameras; however has only setting in Kelvin. That means brighter light needs less Kelvin and darker needs more. Remember that daylight is from 5000 to 6500 Kelvin and adjust white balance to that.

Things get more complicated when there is more than one light source. For example, if you are taking picture inside the room at the sunny day, when there is bulb on. Then the sunlight comes in from the windows and the light of bulb comes from the ceiling. Then you need to choose the appropriate white balance settings depending on the angle from which you take the picture and also the main source of light. The task also might be complicate by the variable weather or other factors of the light.

Probably anyone has seen amazing macro photographs of insects, where each part of them is so detailed that is looks even unrealistically. Those who are familiar with photography probably know that it is not easy to take that kind of pictures, because insects are small and fast, beside the lights outside are not always appropriate and camera settings need to be changed very often to adjust to the each situation. However, if you know what to do, it’s not as hard as it might seem. If you want to become a master of this, follow some simple macro insect photography rules.

Let’s start with the equipment needed. Of course, the quality of these kinds of pictures depends on the quality of camera and its accessories, but it is possible to take some good macro insect photographs even with point and shot cameras. Regardless of what kind of camera you use, you should add macro lens. It is possible to attach macro lenses even to smart phone cameras and they improve the quality of macro photographs incredibly. Also there is such attachment as extension tubes. They have to be attached to the macro lens and then you can get amazing level of magnification.

Next thing you need to know is all about camera settings. If you are using point and shot camera or amateur DSLR, you might not have so wide range of features and settings, but you need to understand how to use what you have. First you need to think of lights. Insects are not static and they can be located at places where the lights are not pleasant. That is why some photographers carry flash with them. You also can use this trick, but don’t shine a flush directly to the insect, because then the picture will be overexposed. Bounce the light onto another surface that will reflect it on the insect. If you don’t want to use a flash, you will need longer exposure. Choose longer shutter speed to get some more light, but remember that too long shutter speed will make image blur. The best way is to put aperture as apriority and increase it until F32. Then the camera will adjust the shutter speed.

When your camera is set, you need to go and find some insects, but the skills of macro insect photographing doesn’t end with that. You also need to know when to go and take pictures. The best season for that of course is spring or summer. The best time of the day is morning, because then the insects are not so active. They are stiff and it is easier to get some good images. However if you go too early, it is possible that there won’t be enough light to have a good quality pictures. Go when the sun is up, but nature is still sleeping. If you go earlier, definitely use the flash.

If you can’t get close enough to the insects to get them at least twice their normal size, you can try cropping pictures after shooting. Of course, you still need to get pretty close and have good quality pictures, but its fine to do some editing. Most of the photographers do that, but that again takes some extra skills.

Of course the key success of good photography is the skills and talent of the photographer, but the quality of camera matters too. You can take compositionally and artistically great pictures with any camera, but you can’t take qualitative pictures without an appropriate camera, so let us introduce you to DSLR camera buying guide for the beginners.

If you have had DSLR camera before, you probably have some experience based knowledge about these cameras, but if you have never had professional camera before, it might me a hard task to choose appropriate DSLR camera. First you need to figure out what category camera you need.

Basically there are three categories – amateur, semi-professional and professional. As we are talking about beginners in the field of photography, the appropriate choice would be the amateur category. Amateur cameras don’t have as many features as professional cameras, but it is even advantage in this case. You should learn to take pictures gradually, so you won’t get confused in all the settings if you start with an amateur camera. Also they are less expensive and more comfortable for using. If you are planning to become a professional photographer by the time, you could also start with semi-professional camera, because they have some features of professional cameras and are more advanced, but you definitely don’t need to buy professional camera if you are not professional photographer who makes money with that, even if you can afford it.

So now you know that you should look at amateur category, but choosing camera is still complicated, because the supply in this category is huge. You might get confused by all the features and setting options but if you are beginner then you should only look at such aspects as lens, sensor size and stabilization. Many beginners think that most important aspect is megapixels, but it’s a myth. The count of megapixels doesn’t affect the sharpness of pictures, unless you need big size photographs or you need to crop them. For normal sized photographs that are not zoomed in even 8 megapixels will be enough. Camera with large sensor and good lens will let you take great picture regard the count of megapixels. So when it comes to choosing the camera, compare the sensor sizes and choose camera with exchangeable lens and image, sensor and digital stabilization. Those are the basic criteria of the quality of images, but also you should consider such aspects us battery type, size, file format etc., for easy and simple usage.

Then the next question is about brand of the camera. At the very beginning it doesn’t matters so much, but when it comes to buying accessories, brand matters a lot. You cannot put a Canon lens to a Nikon camera, so all your next purchases will be affected by your first choice. The most popular brands offers wider range of accessories, so better choose one of those. However, if you are planning to use your first camera a=only for a short time and later buy more advanced one, then you can choose also less popular brand, because they are cheaper.

It is almost impossible to take good pictures without understanding what ISO is and how it works. It is one of the basic things every photographer should be aware of.

Basically the ISO is the cameras sensitivity to light. The lower the ISO number is the less sensitive camera is to the light and opposite – higher number means camera is more sensitive to the light. This change of light sensitivity is possible, because of the cameras sensor – part of the camera, which is responsible for gathering the light and turning it into the image. When the light sensitivity is high, sensor can capture the image in lower light, but at the same tame it adds a lot of noises to the picture, so photographer needs to know, what ISO number is appropriate for each lightening.

Mostly all the pictures are taken with base ISO. That is the lowest ISO number possible in the camera. Usually it is 100 or 200. That makes pictures qualitative and reduces the noises. In normal or bright light the base ISO should be used, but in lower light photographer should change the ISO settings. Usually all the cameras have such ISO numbers as 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400. Some cameras have also higher numbers, but so high light sensitivity definitely will make the image noisy.

The higher ISO number also means that it takes less time to capture the image. For example, if ISO number is 100 it takes 1 second to capture the image, but with ISO number 200 it takes twice less time – only half a second. With ISO number 400 it would be only one fourth of a second and so on. So ISO also have a big impact of image quality, when moving objects are photographed. The higher the ISO number is, the lower impact the motion has on the image quality, but again, don’t forget that higher ISO also add more noises to the picture.

There is no magic formula for perfect ISO settings. Professional photographers with experience know what settings to use to get perfect photos. This skill comes with time and practice, but for beginners there are just some basic recommendations.

As it was mentioned before, for normal light always uses the basic ISO which is the lowest ISO number possible. Exception might be photographing moving objects, but also then use just little bit higher ISO than the basic ISO.

Higher ISO number is needed if you are shooting indoors without a flash. Depending on the amount of light in the room, you can change ISO to 400 or 800 to make a picture less blurry, but be aware that higher ISO will add some noises.

Some cameras have also auto ISO setting. Some might think that it is used only by very beginners, but that is not true. You can put some limits to this auto ISO for example from 100 to 400, so you don’t have to change it manually all the time, but also it doesn’t cross the needed limit.

Macro photography is one of the most popular forms of photography, because it is very accessible. Photographer doesn’t need to go far away and look for places with stunning wives. Instead he can just go outside and find a lot of useful objects in nature. Although, anyone can find some good objects for macro photography, it takes some skills and knowledge to get a good macro picture. There are lots of things to be taken in consideration for photographer to make a really good shoot.

For those, who don’t know, macro photography is an extreme close-up photography of very tiny objects. In photography these objects are very sharp and look lot bigger than they are in real life. Objects of macro photography can be found anywhere and they can be photographed either in studio or in nature. Most popular objects of this form of photography are insects, water drops, parts of plants etc.

First thing you need, to get a good result, is appropriate equipment, staring with the camera itself. For macro photography you can use either DSLR or mirror less camera, but you need to pay attention to the parameters. First of all pay attention to the resolution. To get a good macro picture count of pixels is very important. More pixels mean clearer and sharpen photo. Of, course also optical zoom is important to get good pictures also from further distance. The third most important aspect is sensor of the camera. Macro photography starts only from 1:5 magnifications so the sensor should be no more than 1, 5 inches. Also there are lots of other aspects that should be taken into a consideration, but these are the basic ones.

Although, nowadays it is possible to get quite good shots with any digital camera, you can use some add-ons for the perfection. For example, you could use macro lens. It helps to prolong the working distance. That means you can take some quality shots from further distance, which is really helpful in situations when the object of the picture is dangerous or just difficult to access. Also camera stand and illumination equipment can be used, but those are not the basic things needed.

The last thing you need to know is which modes to set in your camera. Of course, the basic mode you need to set is the macro mode, because that is the best mode for close focusing, but at the same time this mode makes the camera loose lens aperture and shutter speed. For macro photography small lens aperture and shutter speed is important for sharpness, so you need more light for a good photography. If you are using professional DSLR, than best option would be to use purpose-built macro lens which is optimized to operate at closer than normal distances, but this is probably not for the beginners, because this lens is very expensive.

Those are the basic things every macro photographer should be aware of. The further success of the shooting depends on photographers’ artistic skills and imagination and creativity.