3 Digital Camera Settings to Take Better Photos

How do I take better photos…

with my DSLR camera? You might be surprised to hear the answer. Do you want to create beautiful, lasting memories of family functions, sporting events and other meaningful events in your family’s life? Simply knowing the tools at your disposal will help you take high-quality photos with that DSLR you’re keeping on auto. Here are 3 settings you need to know to take better photos.

1) What is aperture?

To put it simply, the aperture setting controls the amount of light being let into the image sensor of the camera. Think of it like your pupil, the bigger it gets the more light it lets in (that’s while when it’s bright out, your pupils get small, and when it’s dark, they appear much bigger.) Unlike your pupils, which automatically adjust to the light, you can manually control the aperture of your camera by changing what’s known as the f-stop. A low f-stop like 3.5 lets in more light, and a high f-stop like 22 lets in less. In addition, the aperture controls the depth of field of your image (how in-focus certain parts are). A low f-stop will produce a higher depth of field (great for close-ups of flowers!), and a higher f-stop will produce a crisper image (great for awesome landscapes!) See the examples below:

Low f-stop | Photo by H K on Unsplash

High f-stop | Photo by Rob Morton on Unsplash

Photo Experiment #1: 

Try turning your camera to aperture priority mode (A). This will allow you to test different f-stop settings without having to worry about anything else. With the camera on aperture priority mode, the other settings on the camera will auto-adjust. Give it a try and let us know how it goes in the comments!

2) What is shutter speed?

Shutter speed is the speed at which the shutter passes in front of the image sensor, thus determining how long the image sensor is exposed to light, measured in fractions of a second. A slow shutter speed lets in more light and allows for more motion blur. Sometimes this can have a cool effect like in the photo below.

Photo by Denys Argyriou on Unsplash

But, if you’d prefer to have a less blurred image, try using a faster shutter speed.

Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

For more tips, visit the B.Britnell Blog.

Photo Experiment #2: 

Turn your camera to shutter speed priority (S). Experiment with photographing moving objects. What happens when you change the speed?

3) What is ISO?

ISO is a digital setting that uses the camera’s software to boost the light in the image. And while lots of light is good, it’s important to use a high ISO sparingly, as it can cause the image to look grainy.


Read more and check out other educational images at ExposureGuide.com!

Photo Tip #3: 

Turn your camera to manual (or M). Experiment with all 3 of these settings at once and let us know what you came up with in the comments!

Looking to further your skills?


in our Adult DSLR Photography class beginning October 14th!


New Year’s 2017: Photography Classes for Adults, Programming and Web Design Classes in Westchester, NY

Adult classes in photography, website design using WordPress and computer programming are just a few of the classes offered at the Digital Arts Experience beginning in January 2017. The DAE is proud and excited to offer fun, engaging classes for adults as well as kids this year! Visit us for more info: thedae.com/adultclasses.

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DSLR Photography Classes for Adults in Westchester, Scarsdale & White Plains. Learn Aperture, ISO & Shutter Speed. Finally take that digital camera off auto!

Adults can now enroll in Digital Photography classes at the Digital Arts Experience in Westchester and surrounding communities: Scarsdale, Valhalla, Rye, Larchmont, White Plains, Tarrytown and others. In our class, students learn the three core components of a DSLR camera that will have them taking incredible photos: aperture, ISO & shutter speed.

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Our classes go over the information you need in a fun, stress-free setting and we don’t bog you down with jargon.

Enroll now: TheDAE.com/adultclasses

Rob’s Tech Tip: Fotor, A Free Easy-to-Use Photo Editor!

Rob's Tech Tip

Editing photos is something that the average person has not time for. Most people take pictures and dump them into iPhoto, Picasa or some other photo organizer and just leave them there. Photo editing can be tedious, complicated, and frustrating. Fotor makes that process a bit easier!

Fotor has a desktop and mobile version that allows for organization and tons of cool editing features, including a tilt shift that allows you to keep one part of a photo in focus while shifting the rest of it out of focus, creating a really artistic effect. What’s best of all is Fotor has a web based version of the editor. Simply select a photo to edit, edit it right in your browser, and then choose what online photo gallery to share to (Picasa, Flickr, etc.). And it’s FREE!

Check it out at http://www.fotor.com/

Summer Camps at The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains

Summer Camp at The DAE

The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains is now enrolling for summer camp programs!

Beginning in July, The Digital Arts Experience in White Plains will be running summer camps for kids and teens ages 10+.  Our programs enable kids and teens to DISCOVER new creative outlets & possible career paths, DEVELOP digital skills to succeed in the 21st century, WORK hands-on with the most up-to-date technology, CREATE work for a portfolio or college application, and WORK side-by-side with like-minded individuals & our talented, industry-active instructors. During the programs, students will have the opportunity to choose their area of interest in:

Our schedule and pricing is as follows:


Monday – Friday: 9AM-4PM
  • July 8th – July 19th
  • July 22nd – August 2nd
  • August 5th – August 16th
Monday – Friday: 9AM-4PM
  • August 19th – August 23rd
  • August 26th – August 30th
For more information, feel free to visit the summer portion of our web site, http://thedae.com/summer_programs.html, where you can fill out an interest form.

“Scoot & Shoot” MeetUp a Success

Last night, The Digital Arts Experience hosted their 2nd Meetup with group, “Digital Artists of Westchester“.  This time around, it was centered on digital photography. The DAE staff set up different “shoot stations” around the facility. Each Digital Art Enthusiast had the chance to both model – or SCOOT – to each shoot station, as well as actually shoot photos of other scooters. Try to say that 5 times fast?  Camera basics like shutter speed, aperture, and ISO were first taught, discussed, then immediately put into action!  The best part was that each attendee was encouraged to take lots of photos, share with the rest of the group, and receive feedback and tips on how to make their photo look better. Everyone collaborated and helped each other out – providing tips, tricks, and advice which transformed originally subpar snapshots into extraordinary photographs! Among the stations set up were two areas with green and grey backdrops, as well as a dark room for experimentation with light painting.

The images below are just a few examples of some of the amazing photographs that were taken during the evening. Everyone had a wonderful time, learned a new thing or two, and went home with some fancy looking photos!  We plan to host another “Scoot & Shoot” in the near future.  Join the “Digital Artists of Westchester” to stay up to date with the latest happenings!


Do you have an amazing camera but want to learn how to better use its features? Leave your camera in auto all the time? Do you take stunning photographs but don’t know how it happened? Have you ever wanted to lean how to use photoshop to enhance your pictures or restore old tattered prints? Take your camera off of “AUTO” and take a class at The Digital Arts Experience. We take a both creative and technical approach to Digital Photography. You will learn how the settings on their camera affect your photos, as well as the creative concepts used to compose a stunning image. In addition, you will learn to enhance your photos with photoshop, as well as have the opportunity to explore some of the more creative aspects of digital photography, like light painting!  SIGN UP TODAY – we’ve got open enrollment for January classes. Each class runs for 4 weeks and meets once a week for 2 hours. See the dates and times below:

Tuesday Class: Jan. 8th, 15th, 22nd & 29th from 6:00PM – 8:00PM
Saturday Class: Jan. 12th, 19th, 26th, and Feb. 2nd from 1:30PM – 3:30PM

“It’s easy to leave your camera set to Auto, but knowing the settings can make the difference between good and great photographs. This course will cover ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture and White Balance, and how each affects your photos.”

Feel free to give us a call 914-644-8100 or “shoot” us an e-mail for more information: info@thedae.com.