Guest Post // DSLR Basics

A FANTASTIC post with all the basics on using a DSLR! A great post to pin now and read leader and to save for reference.

While I'm getting ready for the upcoming arrival of baby William (four more weeks to go!) a few blog friends have offered to take some work off my shoulders by sharing some lovely guest posts. Hope you enjoy! Be sure to follow me on 




 for the latest pregnancy updates! Love, Abby


Hi everyone! I'm Samantha, mid-west girl living in the big city. I love living a crazy creative life, being a wife, and living a life focused on Jesus. I run a lifestyle blog,

Elah Tree,



dedicated to inspiring creativity, dreaming big dreams, and living a faith filled life.  My desire is to inspire women to dream big dreams, take big risks, and trust Jesus through their dreaming.

Before I began blogging I was enamored with photography. That is where my creative journey began and I would love to share some basic tips for shooting with your DSLR.

These tips are the very very basic

s. Everything I am sharing are things I have learned over the years.

From the time I began shooting with a DSLR I was shooting manually. Shooting manually can be intimidating, but it will change the way you take photos in so many ways. It's your job to create the photo, not your cameras. When shooting manually there are three things that you will be working with all the time; shutter speed, aperture, and reading your meter.

Shutter Speed

is the rate in which your shutter opens and closes. The larger the number the faster the shutter will open. The smaller the number the slower your shutter will open.


is how wide your lens will open to let light in. The smaller the number of your aperture the more light will enter. The larger the number of aperture the less light will enter.

Reading your meter

is kind of tricky. Each camera meter has a different sensitivity to the light. When you look through the view finder of your camera at the bottom of the screen you'll see a scale with a plus sign on one end, a minus sign on the other end, and a 0 in the middle. When reading your meter you want the scale line to be even with the 0.

 (properly exposed meter reading)

( over exposed meter reading)

 (under exposed meter reading)

When I shoot I set my aperture first and adjust by shutter speed to create a proper exposure. For example the photo above was shot at f/1.8 (aperture), 1/500 (shutter speed), 50mm(lens). Different lighting, the amount of people, and different events will all require different sittings when shooting manually. Sporting events require a higher shutter speeds. Low lighting requires a lower shutter speed. The more you practice the better you will get at knowing which settings to use. Remember every creative artistic  endeavor takes practice. Thanks so much for having me! xo. Samantha