Eclass 2

The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.~ Dorothea Lange

How will this lesson help you?

Following these easy steps will help you to understand what effects you will get by using the different ways (Modes) in which your camera works.


Get to know your camera as an old friend so that you know instinctively how it will behave. The way you set up your camera can make the difference between a great photo or a snapshot. Spending the time now with the basics will improve every photo you take.

In This Lesson You Will;

  • Identify the different photo quality settings.
  • Identify and use the best resolution for your photos.
  • Identify and use different ways (Modes) your camera can operate. Different cameras have slightly different names for these so check your camera’s instruction book.  Automatic, Program, Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Macro are some of the different settings.
  • Have fun while you are learning. This is very important. Your learning will speed up if you are having fun along the way.
  • Give yourself permission to be creative.
  • Print and paste your photos in your Photo Journal.

This lesson should take about 30 minutes but remember the more time you spend the better you get.


Before you do this lesson make sure you have printed and put into your Photography Journal the photos from Eclass 1

Equipment needed;

  1. A Smart Phone Camera OR a Compact Camera OR an SLR camera with a medium telephoto lens.
  2. The Instruction Book for your camera
  3. A subject, outdoors in daylight, early morning i.e. before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. would be best


There are three main ways of saving your photos;

  • Camera RAW this is the best way to save your photos in the camera as long as you have the computer programs to deal with this file when you download it from the camera. Not all cameras have this option. It has a large file size.
  • Tiff– This is the best option if you are going to digitally manipulate your photo as there is no loss of information during the manipulation. It has a large file size.
  • Jpeg – This is a common way of saving files as it is easy to share. There is usually an option to use different jpeg file sizes. If jpeg is the only option you have make sure you have your camera set on the highest quality (the most number of pixels) because the number of pixels gives the quality to your photo. A photo with a small number of pixels cannot be successfully enlarged. You can always down size a digital file without loosing quality. The file sizes can be easily changed down to make it easy to share photos digitally. It has a comparatively smaller file size.


  • When setting up the way you save your files think about how you are going to print them off, what computer programs are available and match these with the files you use.
  • For those special photos always save the original file without alteration before you manipulate in any way as well as any other versions you may have. This gives you the option to go back at a later date and ‘redo’ the photo if you wish.

To Do

Part 1. File types

  1. In you instruction book find out how to set the image quality (type of file) for saving your photos
  2. Take out your camera and from your camera menu or settings set the image quality (file type) at the highest setting possible. You want to make sure that special photo is captured in a way that will show it to the best advantage.

Part 2. Camera Mode


  • Each camera has different camera modes and the more modern your camera is the more choices you have.
  • To take advantage of all the features your camera has you need to explore the camera menu and settings to find out what options are available to you and how they work.
  • I’m guessing you’ll find settings you don’t know your camera has and that you’ll love to use.

  • Automatic – This is where the camera makes all the choices for you and adjusts to the light conditions automatically.
  • Program – This is where you choose a special set of conditions e.g. landscape, portrait, macro, dawn/dusk, fireworks etc.
  • Manual- This is where you set absolutely everything – not all cameras have this mode.
  • Aperture Priority- This is where you set the aperture –the size of the opening that lets in the light.
  • Shutter Priority- This is where you set the speed the shutter moves at.
  • Macro- This is for photographing small subjects close to the camera.

To Do

  1. Remember your learning from Eclass 1 and turn on the grid. Use it to compose your photos. 
  2. Explore your instruction book and the camera settings in your camera menu you have available to see the choices you have.
  3. Use each option you have using the same subject to see the different results you get.
  4. Find a familiar subject and challenge yourself to show this subject in a different light by using different settings eg. Portrait setting for a landscape, night setting for a daylight subject. The possibilities are only limited by your choices.
  5. Record the settings you used to get each photo on or under the photo so you know how to repeat the effect if you like it.
  6. Find a subject you love to photograph and try out your new settings to show it in a different way.

Relax and have fun exploring your camera and what it can do. You will be surprised at the wonderful piece of equipment you have and what it can do.


  1. Download and Print off your photos.
  2. Paste the photos you have taken on a sheet of A4 paper and place them in your folder.
  3. Under each photo write a comment, do you like the result? What is it about the photo you like? What will you do differently next time?

Photo Speak – Special photography words used in this lesson

Modes – not every camera will have every one of these settings, check your camera’s instruction book to see which ones you have.

  • Automatic –the camera takes care of all the settings
  • Aperture priority – You set the aperture and the camera takes care of the shutter speed
  • Program- you select different modes e.g. portrait, landscape, fireworks
  • Manual- You set up the whole camera
  • Macro – The setting used for small detailed photos, flowers or insects.

Resolution (image quality)

  • Camera RAW- this is a file saved to your storage card with all the details captured by the camera
  • Tiff- this is a file used when saving digital photo information, it is called a ‘no lossy’ file as all the information is saved. It is a large file size.
  • Jpeg- this is a file used when saving digital information. It looses quality when manipulated. It can have a small file size and is easy to share.

Congratulations on finishing Lesson 2 !!! Give Yourself A Treat!
You can now find different Camera Modes and use them

This is the next step in your Photographic Journey to Success. Paste your photos on the page below and comment on your results.
To keep following this path set aside a regular time slot in your week so you can get the best results for your efforts.

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