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Behind The Lens

A Guide To Getting The Most Out Of Your Photography

Frank J Perez

Copyright 2018 Frank Perez

Smashwords Edition

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return it to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


Behind The Lens

Quick Introduction

Camera Kit

Prefocus & Shutter Lag

Magic Steps For The Photographic Beginner

5 Minute Creativity Kick

Candid Photography Tips

Stop Procrastinating

Basic Photography

Shutter Speed



Understanding ISO, Shutter Speed & Aperture

Digital Camera Modes

White Balance

Understanding Metering



Taking Better Pictures

Tell Your Story

Discover Other Titles By Frank Perez

Quick Introduction

With over two billion photographs uploaded every single day onto the web, how can any single image possibly compete?

Let’s put that into perspective, almost every minute of every day humans are taking more photo’s than ever existed roughly 100 years ago.

Crazy right?

Unfortunately for the majority of us, 99.99% of those images are literally a waste of time and space.

And just so we’re clear on things, many a ‘professional’ fits squarely into that category.

Now I understand that photography is an art and as such, the beauty is held by those viewing the images but there is a definite line between art and crap. Just as there is between insanity and genius.

DSLR cameras have come a long way over the past few years and are now firmly in reach of most people on the planet.

Why not take a little bit of time to learn what all those dials, knobs and buttons actually do? I guarantee that your photography will take a huge leap to where it should be. It’s not magic, just science.

Now before the enthusiasts get worked up, yes – there is an art to photography as well. I wholeheartedly agree with you. That is not something you can teach. It needs to be felt, learned and crafted over time. However, the technical aspects of what makes one image appealing over another can be learned. And it doesn’t take all that much time to do so.

So, read on if you really want to take your photographs up a notch. What have you got to lose?


Camera Kit

Understanding camera lenses will give you the ability to have greater flexibility and control over your creative imagery.

When first starting out it can be daunting trying to understand which lens or lenses you should be purchasing. The kit lens that came with your camera will only go so far. Below I've listed some different types of lenses that you will come across and what their main purpose is. A small introduction to allow you to get the basic information on what that particular lens is actually created for.

Zoom Lens:

A zoom lens allows you to get closer to your subject without the need of actually moving closer to it. It allows you to achieve a variety of different compositions in the quickest time. The focal length is measured in mm. i.e.: 70-200 is equal to 70mm to 200mm. This focal point is the key to the way the lens focuses. It magnifies the image by changing the focal point.

Prime Lens:

Unlike the zoom lens, a prime lens has a fixed focal length which cannot be adjusted. Prime lenses are slightly quicker to focus with a much better level in picture quality as there are less moving parts within the lens itself.

Macro Lens:

Macro lenses allow you to capture extreme close ups. They create a unique image of tiny subjects that cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Wide Angle Lens:

This lens allows you to fit much more into an image than others, widening the amount of space that you can capture within the image. This lens is great when you have limited ability to step backwards to get more into an image or when shooting land and seascapes.

Fish Eye Lens:

This is an oval shaped, 180-degree view of the world. Initially created to give the photographer the ability to capture whole skies and landscapes. A fun little lens that you can use creatively.

Telephoto Lens:

High magnification lens enabling you to take long range action photography for the likes of sports and wildlife. It allows you to be further from the action and still capture in close shots. A monopod is usually used to stop camera shake on the images.


These are pretty straight forward. They hold the camera steady for long periods of time. It also gives you the ability to take yourself into the image!


The same basic functionality as the tripod with only one 'leg'. Much more convenient to carry around than a tripod, easier to carry and transport. Some places won't allow a tripod, like court-side at a sports match. They are often used in fashion and paparazzi images as well as they are easy to pick up and carry. Having only one leg means that you cannot simply let the camera sit on top of it and walk away, the main difference between the two.

Once you understand the purpose behind each of these items, it will allow you to get the correct ones for the purpose of your creative outlets, and remember, it is always better to shell out a little extra for the right lens instead of a new camera body. The better the glass, the better the image.

Prefocus & Shutter Lag

A lot of beginners I talk to who haven’t had a lot of exposure to photography talk about what is commonly known as ‘Shutter Lag’ – the delay between when you press the shutter release and when the shot is taken.

Early DSLR’s and point and shoot cameras had this issue and it was something that we just learned to live with. These days, shutter lag is near negligible and I was struggling to understand why these people were having this issue.

What I found when I got them to walk me through their process wasn’t a case of shutter lag but in fact due to the fact that they really didn’t understand how their digital camera actually worked.

The process that most of these people used was basically – see something, point, click. The whole point, click was done in one go. So, what was happening?

What happens is that the camera was taking time to actually focus the scene properly before taking the shot. That’s what they actually failed to realise. It wasn’t a case of shutter lag.

I know that this is a real ‘basic’ of digital photography but obviously one that some out there may not be aware of. The camera needs to focus before it will take the shot. Holding the shutter release button half way down will do this for you automatically – prior to taking the shot. [Unless you've changed the settings on your camera to something like back-button focus, my preferred option]

Obviously if you’re in manual focus mode, the job falls back to you.

Magic Steps For The Photographic Beginner

There's a few things to constantly keep coming up whenever I talk to someone new to photography. The questions asked always come back to settings and how to shoot the images that I do. Unfortunately, 90% of the time these people are asking the wrong questions. When first starting out on your photographic journey, start at the very beginning. The following 7 tips might help you towards your goals.

Simple Equipment

Most beginners believe that the more expensive the equipment, the better. I would recommend that you start simple and explore the type of photography that you actually love taking. Often this will end up being something completely different to what you thought at the beginning. Learn what you like and then find out the type of equipment you will need to make it happen.

Unsteady Hands.

Tripods are cheap these days. It is definitely worth getting one as your satisfaction with the final result will increase immensely! Couple this with either a remote release or when first starting out just using the timer that is built into your camera.

Be Ready

If possible, carry your camera everywhere. You never know when that award-winning shot will present itself and you want to be ready!


Get into the habit of always viewing things from a camera point of view. Keep notes on any interesting areas and subjects that might make a great shot. Take a notepad with you whenever you can. Write down thoughts, ideas and as much information as you can about certain spots so that you can come back armed and ready!

Enjoy Yourself

The more fun you are having, the more shots you'll be taking. It's really a simple matter of honing your skills and practicing!


These days even the most basic of point and shoot cameras have a zillion different settings for you to play with. Learn what they all are and how they behave and change the final output. You will amaze yourself. Don't be scared. There's plenty of resources out on the internet to propel you to much better imagery! Learn the basic rules first. Once you're comfortable with these - break them!

Shoot, shoot and then Shoot some more!

Get into the habit of shooting photo's each and every day, regardless. Practice makes perfect and sometimes even the most mundane of subjects can be spectacular if seen from a different perspective.

Above all, enjoy yourself. It's when you're happy and having fun that the magic happens!

5 Minute Creativity Kick

The beast that I am constantly writing about, creativity can sometimes be likened to a bear. Sometimes you need to be running full-tilt as it charges you and other times it's like it has gone into hibernation. Like when you're staring at a blank page and are full of motivation to get something written down, but the beast lies dormant and the page stays blank.

It's one of the worst feelings in the world when things just don't happen!

Fortunately for us there are some quick techniques that we can use to kind of poke the damn bear into action.

Doodle Away!

First out of the blocks is a quick, tried and true technique that has been around forever, even though you were actually told off for doing it. Grab yourself a pen/pencil and some paper and doodle away. Don't get caught trying to think of what you're doodling. Just doodle for fun!

Just to be clear. When I say 'doodle' I mean the act of taking the pencil to the pad and letting your fingers do the walking. I really don't want to know what else you thought it meant!


Often, we try to be creative in the same surroundings that we are always in, for instance the office. If possible, take your meeting or just yourself with your doodle pad out to some other surroundings. The different sights smell, and noises can have the impact of getting those juices flowing!

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