Photography Lesson for Children & Adults

The following is a basic tutorial on beginning photography, and how to set your camera. It’s in very simple language for children, but if you’re an adult, and have been wondering how the camera works, it’s all there for you as well. Enjoy!


Digital photography and The Five Easy Puzzle Pieces

Everybody knows that to complete a puzzle all of the pieces need to fit together, and photography is exactly the same. Put the puzzle pieces together, and your picture will look just like you want it to.

The Five Easy Puzzle Pieces are:

1.     F-Stop

2.     Shutter Speed

3.     ISO

4.     Color Temperature

5.     Experiment and have fun!

In the old days when people used film cameras you would control some of your setting on the camera lens itself. With today’s digital camera’s you will make your settings in the camera body. Every brand is a little bit different, but if you look at the manual, or ask someone for help, it’s very easy to learn where to make your adjustments. Don’t be afraid to push buttons! The camera can always be reset, so go ahead and experiment.


F-Stop is what controls how much of your picture is in focus, and how bright or dark it is. Most camera lens will have F-Stop numbers that look like this: 4.5, 5.6, 8.0 and all the way up to 22. There will also be numbers in between those like, 5, 7.1, 13, etc. Those in-between numbers allow you to make small adjustments to your photo. The smaller numbers mean that only a little bit of your picture will be in focus. This is good if you’re photographing single people, or couples. The higher numbers mean that more of your picture will be in focus. This is good for photographing things like mountains and sunsets, or large groups of people.

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is another way that you can control how bright or dark your photograph comes out. There are a lot of shutter speeds, but here’s the rule: Try to keep the setting (speed) at 60 or higher. If you go below that your photo will probably be blurry – The lower the number the lighter your photograph, and the higher the number the darker your photo.


ISO is the speed of your digital film. Again, this controls how light or dark your photo will be, and it’s the opposite of shutter speed – The lower the number, the darker your photo will be.

Color Temperature

Color temperature is just like it sounds – It controls the color of your picture. There are little symbols like a cloud, light bulb and sun. Play with shooting the same picture on different settings, and you’ll see how it changes the look of your photograph. An easy rule to remember is the sun and cloud symbols are for shooting during the day, when you see the sun and the clouds. The light bulb is for shooting at night, when you turn your lights on. Easy!

Experiment and Have Fun!

Photography is magic! You can take a picture of the same thing, and by changing your setting make it look many different ways.  Try taking a picture of your house with the cloud symbol and then the sun symbol. You’ll notice it looks sunny in one photo, and then blue in the next. Pretty cool! Take of photograph of your best friend, first on a low F-Stop, like 5.6, and then set your camera to 11. It will be like two different people! Remember, it’s impossible to do anything wrong. Digital cameras mean that you can take as many photos as you want, and then if you don’t like something you can just erase it. It’s like writing with a pencil instead of a pen.

If you decide to get more serious, then take notes while you shoot, writing down your settings. Then when you look at everything later you’ll know why your picture looks like it does.

Remember: The Five Easy Puzzle Pieces, and Have Fun! Photography is Magic. :)