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Photography Ultimate Guide

Are you new to photography and wondering how to click photos? No worries, this Photography Ultimate Guide is here to help you with the photography basics and beyond! Read the ultimate guide to photography to avoid beginner mistakes and take spectacular images.

What is Photography?

Photography is the art of creating images using a camera. The camera captures light via a digital sensor or film to create a picture called a photograph. 

With the right camera equipment, photographers can click photos of wavelengths of light invisible to the human eye, like UV, infrared, and radio.

Types of Photography:

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How To Click Great Photos?

Let’s get into what you are here for; how to click photos? First, you must use a DSLR camera to take the best shots. Thus, the first step to knowing how to click photos is understanding how your camera works. Then, you must master the two most important aspects of photography; exposure and composition. 

Let’s dive into how your camera works.

Know How Your Camera Works

How does your camera click a photo? In general, cameras work in three steps:

  1. Light enters the camera lens through the “aperture” (a hole in the lens). 
  2. The amount of light captured by the sensor depends on ISO.
  3. The mirror flips up and the shutter opens to record the light to the sensor.

Sounds simple, right? The photography ultimate guide would be very short if this were it! Now, you must understand some of the terms you will encounter when operating the camera. They include:

  • Metering Modes
  • Histograms
  • Shooting Modes
  • Depth of Field
  • White Balance
  • Focal Length
  • Crop Factor
  • Polarizing Filters

Metering Modes

Metering modes inform your camera how you want it to capture a scene. 

These are four metering modes in modern cameras:

  • Matrix (evaluative)
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
  • Highlight-weighted

Metering affects how your camera processes the scene, adjusting the exposure in your camera.


The next camera term to understand in this photography ultimate guide is histograms. 

A histogram in photography is a mathematical exposure overview of the photograph. 

If you are a beginner photographer, you may find the histogram difficult to read. Why are histograms important? A histogram tells you how evenly exposed a photo is. 

The LCD screens on cameras aren’t very good at showing you all the information. Why? Because the LCD screens are affected by the ambient lighting conditions and the screen’s brightness.

That is why histograms are powerful tools for photography.

Shooting Modes

Camera Modes in digital cameras allow photographers to control the parameters of the camera, like exposure, Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO.

Here is a list of various photography shooting modes

  • Full-Auto
  • Program
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Speed Priority
  • Manual 

How do you know which shooting mode you should be using?

That is why it is important to understand what each mode does. So, you can choose the one that will suit your situation best. Learn how to click photos with different modes in this ultimate guide to photography. 

Depth of Field

When it comes to understanding photography basics, depth of field is very important.

Depth of field is how much of the image is in focus. For example, during low-light photography, the aperture is widened to capture more light. However, this results in a shallower depth of field. 

White Balance

The white balance alters the color cast of your entire photo. In addition, white balance is responsible for overall warmth (or coldness). 

Your photo can appear blue or orange (cold or warm) depending on your white balance setting.

You must understand white balance to master the photography basics and know how to click photos. 

Focal Length

The focal length is a term that often appears when discussing lenses. Have you ever thought about what the “mm” on your lens means? Like 35mm or 22 mm? That’s referring to the focal length!

Focal length is the distance between a camera sensor and the lens’s point of focus (when it’s sharp). 

Choosing the right focal length for your camera lens is important to getting the right shot. So, this photography ultimate guide teaches you about focal length. 

Crop Factor

Digital cameras are commonly made with smaller sensors, called crop sensors. 

A professional camera (DSLR) has a sensor size of 35mm. These cameras use full-frame lenses that cover the required area. However, digital cameras are increasingly being made in smaller bodies. Using a full-frame lens with a crop sensor produces a “crop factor”. 

Polarizing Filters

Polarizing filters only allow light to enter the lens in a specific direction. It is used to remove glare and reflections (typically from non-metallic objects). 

The polarizing filter effect cannot be replicated in image post-production. So, this ultimate guide to photography covers the importance of polarizing filters. 

Water and glass are the most affected, including haze from the sky. Remove these reflections and anomalies to click better photos.

Two Most Important Aspects of Good Photography


When you start off as a photographer, you have to master exposure. There are three elements to exposure in photography:

  • Aperture
  • Shutter Speed
  • ISO

Let’s start the photography ultimate guide with aperture. An aperture is a hole inside the lens through which the light passes. The wider the aperture, the larger the hole, so more light is allowed in, and vice versa.

Typical aperture settings are in the f-stop scale:

  • f/1.4
  • f/2
  • f/2.8
  • f/4
  • f/5.6
  • f/8f/11
  • f/16
  • f/22
Shutter Speed

Once the light has entered the lens’s aperture, it reaches the shutter. The shutter speed decides how much of that light is allowed into the camera.

For example, fast shutter speeds let a tiny fraction of light enter, preventing motion blur. However, various shutter speeds are required for different situations.

Sports photography use really fast shutter speeds (1/4000 s). On the other hand, night photography benefits from really slow shutter speeds (30 seconds). It all depends on what you photograph and how much light is available.

Knowing how your camera’s shutter speed works is a key part of the photography basics.


Once the light has passed through the camera’s aperture and is filtered further by the shutter speed, it reaches the digital sensor. 

The ISO setting is adjusted to determine the brightness of the photo. A higher ISO improves brightness but introduces digital noise (or grain). Thus, higher ISO results in lower-quality images. 


Once you have figured out exposure (how aperture settings, shutter speed, and ISO work together), you need to understand composition and framing. So, this photography ultimate guide describes composition in detail. They include:

  • Rule of Thirds
  • Visual Weight
  • Triangles
  • Eye Lines
  • Balance
Rule of Thirds

The first composition rule is the rule of thirds. 

You divide your camera’s frame by thirds. Plant key objects along these lines for better composition. 

Visual Weight

The visual weight is more of an understanding as you determine which part of your photo you want to highlight. Better visual weight draws the viewer’s eye to a particular part of your image. So, to have better composition, determine the visual weight of your scene. 


Triangles are great for composition. Use triangular lines and paths to create a more interesting photograph. Furthermore, they make your photo more stable-looking. 

Eye Lines

Eye lines are the direction your subject’s eyes are pointed. The negative space in front of the subject’s face is called the “lead room.”

Eye lines can focus the attention on a particular part of the image. They can also produce tension and other photographic elements.

Although they’re not physical lines, eye lines can be used as such to produce various elements. 


The balance of your photo affects how the viewer feels when they look at it. An unbalanced photo can people feel uneasy. On the other hand, a balanced photo makes them feel more relaxed.

It doesn’t matter if you choose to make your photo unbalanced for a particular effect. However, don’t make them unbalanced by accident. 


Thanks for reading this ultimate guide on photography. I hope you learned how to click photos using your camera. Practice good exposure and composition, and you will not go wrong. 

You can make your photography look better if you perform photo editing. Do the image editing yourself or hire a professional photo editing company

Photography FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Photography Ultimate Guide. 

How many types of photography are there?

There are over 80 types of photography. You can read this photography ultimate guide to get the full list. 

What are the 7 Cs of photography?

The 7 Cs of photography are composition, contrast, cropping, candid, clarity, color, and cutline. Ensure these to click good photographs.

What is the golden rule (ratio) in photography?

The golden ratio is a guide on where to place a subject or element in a photo so that it is most pleasing to the eye. That divine ratio is 1.618:1. 

What are the 3 basics of photography?

The Three (3) Basic Elements of Photography are Aperture, Shutter, and ISO. 

What is the number one (1) rule in photography?

A basic photography rule is the rule of thirds. Basically, the idea is to divide a photograph into thirds both horizontally and vertically. So, the shot looks natural and pleasing to the eye.





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