Four Main Elements in Photography

Creating a professional photo takes far more than simply pulling a camera phone and taking a snapshot.

Professional quality photography requires careful consideration, composing each image and understanding how light is captured to create the desired effect could only be described an art and a science.

Here are some top lighting techniques that many professional photographers use to improve the look of their photographs in any lighting condition.

1. SHUTTER SPEED: One of the main consideration in photography is shutter speed. Shutter speed controls ambient light (that is the light that is available or natural light) With a DSLR it's fairly simple to adjust the shutter speed or exposure time on the shot you are taking. Adjusting the shutter speed will change the length of the time that the digital sensor is exposed to light. Adjusting the length of the time that the shutter is open can help you to blur specific objects like motion, giving the idea of movement or have more success photographing at night. Shutter speeds can also be adjusted to freeze moving objects when there is enough light or this can be aided with the help of flash.

2. ISO: This adjusts the camera sensitivity to light, most digital cameras have access to ISO controls and any DSLR will have access to ISO controls as well. With a higher ISO number it's possible to adjust the sensitivity of the digital sensor in your camera or lower the sensitivity with a lower ISO number. Increasing the sensitivity of the sensor ensures better pictures in lowlight environments occasionally reducing the need for a flash. Lower sensitivity (Low ISO number) is perfect for bright days and high light conditions. It's important to note however that High ISO can add extra grain to any image which can look unprofessional.

3. FLASH: Using a proper flash can help you to capture photos in low light conditions, freeze objects in action and more. Different styles of flash are needed for different occasions and photo settings. While many digital cameras come with flash often a fully adjustable flash unit as well as some light shaping tools (snoots, softboxes with grids and umbrellas are needed to get lighting levels from the flash source harder, softer or more direct.

4. APERTURE: The aperture refers to the size of the diaphragm opening in a camera lens. By changing out the camera lens or setting the maximum and minimum aperture of a lens it's possible to regulate the amount of light that enters into the lens. Adjusting these levels will change the sharpness of the background in your images and help you achieve a number of desired effects. Professional lenses have an aperture of F1.2 - F1.8 or lower allowing dramatic depth-of-field (background blur)

Mastering these 4 main light settings on your camera will help you get out of AUTO mode and to take more professional photographs and really make your photos really stand out