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Have a look at the back of your camera.  Now check out the front, top and sides.  How many buttons can you count that you have absolutely no idea what their function is?  The ideal answer is ‘zero’ but for many, it usually takes the digits on both hands to count them!

The controls, dials and switches on a digital camera can be confusing.
The controls, dials and switches on a digital camera can be confusing.

It’s easy to get a bit lost in the controls.  Take my camera for instance.  I just counted and there are 32 buttons, dials and switches.  Add the controls on the attached lens and flash and it’s enough to drive anyone around the bend (not to mention imprison your camera forever in auto mode!).

Do you need to know each and every camera function to get amazing photos?  Absolutely not, but as you familiarize yourself with your camera, shots that weren’t possible before can come suddenly into your reach.  Your ability to take amazing photos will be less ‘a stroke of luck’ and will come more naturally and frequently.

To start creating the shots that you want, there are 3 essential basics that will help you take control of your camera.  They each respectively deserve their own tutorial but we’ll give you a bite-size chunk here to get you going!  Our 3 beginner’s basics are: aperture, shutter speed and ISO.  (Although each section is tailored to the DSLR user, tips will be given on using the advanced features of point and shoots (compacts) to achieve similar effects.)

So, if you’re ready, click on page two below and let’s jump in!