Photography basics for the amateur

Photography, Shutter speed, Apeture, ISO, Depth of field

Anglers are lucky to spend most of their time in nature and are fortunate to witness blissful sunsets and unique encounters. These magical moments are ideal to whip out your camera and learn the tricks of the trade – not to mention the satisfaction you'll get by taking kick-ass looking shots of your catches. To start you off as an amateur photographer – here are some basic concepts and terminologies you need to get under the belt. 


The aperture, also known as the f-stop, is a crucial part of photography as it greatly controls the outcome of your visuals. It is the adjustable diameter of the lens, or in even simpler terms – the hole in your lens. It controls the amount of light that travels through the opening of your shutter, and it brings dimension to your photographs. The settings you use will greatly influence the depth of your photo – how much or how little your image will be in focus. In basic terms, the larger the f-number, example f/11, the smaller the aperture or lens opening of your lens:

Apeture, F-Stop, Photography, Depth of field

A lens at an aperture of f/2.8 has a large opening, allowing more light to travel through, resulting in a blurred or out-of-focus background – it is called shallow depth of field. Using a large aperture (f/2.8) is ideal for close-up photography, when you want to reduce the background clutter.

When your aperture is on a smaller opening of f/11 or f/16, for example, you need to accommodate this setting with a slightly slower shutter speed as well. Less light will be travelling through the opening of your lens onto the sensor to 'make' your overall photograph, and, therefore, you need more time to allow the light to travel through. The result – an overall sharper image and an increased depth of field. This setting is ideal when you are looking for overall sharpness in your image, for example, landscape photography.

Depth of Field (DOF)

In simple terms, depth of field is the distance in front and behind your picture’s point of focus that is kept sharp. As mentioned previously, shallow depth of field is when your aperture is set at a smaller setting e.g. f/2.8 (larger lens opening), and your background more blurred.

F-Stop, Apeture, Photography, Blurred Background, Focus

Shutter speed

Your camera’s shutter speed is the speed by which the aperture opens and closes. Less light will travel through your camera when you use a faster shutter speed. Your shutter speed is also what freezes a moment or creates movement in your photograph.

Shutter Speed, Apeture, Photgraphy, Apeture, Depth of Field


ISO is the abbreviation for International Standards Organisation and it is the unit for measuring the light sensitivity of the camera’s sensor – back in the day, this measurement was used in the days of film. Your ISO on your camera can range from 100 ISO to 3 200 ISO (and more). When you increase the ISO on your camera, the sensitivity of your camera's sensor to light increases as well. A high ISO setting heightens the risk of grain or noise in your images.


Grain, also called noise, is that annoying coloured speckles on your photographs. It mostly occurs when you shoot in low-light conditions and use a high ISO. While grain refers to the occurrence in film, noise is the term for the digital dilemma – although both words can be used to describe the problem.

ISO, Noise, Depth of Field, Photography, Apeture, Shutter Speed

These terminologies are only the tip of the iceberg, and there are lots to learn in the world of photography. If you are interested to experiment and in the market for a new camera, hop over to one of our previous articles where we explain the different camera types. You will be sure to find the best option that will suit your taste and pocket.

If you would like anything else explained or elaborated, simply email us at, or leave a comment below.

By Christelle Grobler


Author: CarpFever

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