It is definitely scary at first and definitely takes time to understand, if you are like me.
And what took me through is Patience and desire to be better at doing it. It would be difficult to understand all those settings but you only need to know a few settings to get you going.
Just like driving a car, you don’t need to know how exactly the engine works, or how the brake system operates. All you need to know is that you need to start the car and drive it and press on the brake as you need to. Same with your camera, you only need to understand a few settings to get you going.
These settings are primarily the basics of digital photography, namely, the Aperture, Shutter speed and ISO. There are other factors, but it could be taken cared of later as you progress. All you need is a basic understanding of how each of the three will affect your images.
a. ISO – is basically sensitivity to light. ideally during the day, you will use the lowest number, and as the light fades away into the night, you will need higher ISO to achieve sharper images
– the problem with higher ISO is what they call noise, but these can be improved with software in post processing
b. Aperture – is the opening of the lens to let in more light (represented with number like f/1.4 upwards)
– how you choose the aperture number depends on what effect you want on your image. if you want a portion of your area to be in focus, then you choose the small number. the higher the number, the sharper the image from front to background.
– Ideally, you use the higher number on landscape, because you want it to be sharp all throughout
c. Shutter Speed – is the length of time the camera shutter will be open to let it light and the image be recorded.
– If you want to freeze the action of a person running, you have to have a fast shutter speed to stop the action. this is often the cause why you have blurry pictures, because the shutter speed set is not enough to freeze the action
practicing combining these three settings will improve your understanding of photography. Different situations call for different settings, so don’t get frustrated that you did not get your picture the first few clicks that you pressed that button. You will need to take lots of pictures before you will get the right exposure to your liking. But don’t worry because you have a digital camera and it doesn’t cost that much to shoot, like film. you can erase what you don’t like and try again.
This link is with Digital Photography School, an online blog that covers a lot of information to help you get started. http://www.digital-photography-school.com/digital-photography-tips-for-beginners
Hope this helps you.
Good luck and happy shooting.