The basics of exposure– how dark or bright to make your photos:

If too dark Increase ISO ISO 100→ISO 1600
Lower f-stop f/8→f/2.8
Slow down shutter-speed 1/500th→1/125th
If too bright Lower ISO ISO 1600→ISO 100
Increase f-stop f/2.8→f/8
Increase shutter-speed 1/125th→1/500th

Depth of field

Depth of field is how much of your photos is sharp and in-focus; and how much of your photos is blurry and out-of-focus.

Everything in focus

If you want everything in your photograph to be sharp and in-focus, use an aperture/f-stop between f/8-f/16.

If you are shooting landscapes, shoot between f/8-f/16. An easy way to remember: a higher f-stop number for more depth.

Blurry background

If you want your subject to be sharp (but the background blurry, what they call ‘bokeh’) use an aperture/f-stop between f/1.8-f/2.8.

If you are shooting portraits (or a wine glass), shoot between f/1.8-f/2.8. An easy way to remember: a lower f-stop number for less depth.


If your camera has autofocus; I recommend to use it. It is often more accurate than manual-focus, and faster.

To have more control over your autofocus, I recommend using center-point autofocus. That means whatever you point at in the center of the frame will be focused.