The Londolozi studio is a space where you are able to showcase your photographic differences. It is a place for creativity and learning. It is a safe space where the only foolish question is the one unasked.

In my role I have been asked many questions, and time and again the same ones keep cropping up. Below I have compiled the 6 most frequently asked.
We’ll get into a few more technical ones as the year progresses, but I thought it better to stick to the simple and common ones to start off with:

Does a more expensive camera mean it is better?

I bought a Canon 5D Mark III and immediately noticed the difference from the 7D Mark I, this being due mainly to the sensor size. The sensor in the Canon 5D is a full frame and the 7D is a crop sensor. The Canon 5D is more expensive than the 7D.

Is a full-frame sensor necessarily worth the extra price you will often have top pay for it? Depends what your photographic focus is…

In the photographic game, you do usually get what you pay for, with a larger price tag equating to better quality, but having said that, the different aspects of the various cameras out there, particularly in the upper end of the range, aren’ always necessary. Paying more for a certain feature might be a complete waste of money if that feature isn’t going to help you with the type of photography you are practicing.

Why is my photo too bright?

Exposure. The camera reads the amount of light in a situation and makes a decision accordingly. This decision determines your shutter speed (assuming you are in AV mode). What exposure mode you are shooting in will determine how the camera makes this decision.

A photo that is too bright is deemed to be overexposed. Overexposure usually results from the camera assuming that a scene is too dark, and brightening it accordingly. This will often happen if you are filling the frame with dark subjects like elephant or buffalo, but a simple exposure compensation will take care of this.

Even exposures are easier to come by if you don’t have to deal with difficult backgrounds like sky. Green is a fairly neutral colour, and a predominance of it in your frame will help the camera expose correctly.


What is the difference between Evaluative, Centre-weighted, and Spot Metering?

Metering settings work by the camera assessing the amount of light available, then adjusting the exposure accordingly.

Evaluative metering divides the frame up into segments, compares the readings in each section, and decides on an appropriate pattern for determining exposure. The segments it compares total about 90% of the frame.
Center-WeightedMetering takes into account all the light, but puts a heavy emphasis on the middle of the frame.
Spot metering places the emphasis on centre of the shot, a small area of the frame. This is used when you have a very specific area of the photograph that you wish the exposure to be based upon.

What makes one lens faster than another?

A fast lens admits lots of light through a large maximum aperture. This allows you to achieve a faster shutter speed than you can with a small-aperture lens. The f-number designation on a lens tells you the biggest aperture you can set, with lower numbers signifying wider apertures, and therefore less light able to be let in: An f/1.4 lens is very fast, f/2.8 is pretty fast, and f/5.6 is slow.

What do the different modes on a camera mean?

In “Aperture Priority” (AV/V) mode, you decide the lens aperture and ISO (unless you select Auto ISO), while the camera automatically sets the shutter speed so that you get the correct exposure for your shot. If there is too much light in the shot, the camera will automatically increase the shutter speed and vice versa for if there is too little light.

In “Program” (P) mode, the camera automatically chooses the aperture and the shutter speed for you, based on the amount of light that passes through the lens. This mode is the best for if you do not feel too comfortable with adjusting too many settings and is more of a “point and shoot” setting.

“Shutter Priority” (SV/S) mode is when you manually set the camera’s shutter speed and ISO, and the camera automatically sets the aperture based on the amount of light. This mode is handy when you are trying to freeze a moment or you are intentionally going for a blurred shot.

“Manual” (M) mode is pretty much as the name suggests, you control the aperture, the shutter speed and the ISO.

What is White Balance?

White balance has to do with the colour of the photograph and is made up of two elements, temperature and tint. Temperature is the warmth or coolness of the shot, and tint is the greens and pinks in the image. By adding colour to the shot, the goals is to make sure that we have the colours based on true white.
Once the white is correctly set, all the other colours in the scene fall into place, and we are left with an image that perfectly reproduces what our eyes saw. If your camera is on Auto white balance, your camera will decide for you what colour to add depending on the sort of light you have available to you.

In this shot I set my white balance to Cloudy. This warmed the shot up, giving it a vivid golden colour.

If there are any questions that you would like me to answer, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

Filed under Photography

About the Author

Kylie Jones

Photography Manager

Being someone who loves the bush, people and photography Kylie has found her way to her dream job in the Londolozi Studio. Despite completing her Humanities Degree, she felt unsatisfied and found herself drawn to doing a wildlife photography course. Being both creative ...

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on 6 Simple Photography Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Marinda Drake

Love your blogs Kylie. There is always something new to learn. My photos are getting better. Still not using manual but quite confident with AV. Getting the white balance and ISO right most times now.

Malavika Gupta

What a well explained piece on the basics. And I love that you’ve used photos to illustrate your points. Thanks so much.

Denise Vouri

Well written! Your photography tips are quite useful for those of us in the non- professional world. Perhaps you could explain EV more thoroughly when shooting a dark object in a bright environment- bracketing? Sometimes spit focusing helps in these cases but many times, not. Thank you!

Callum Evans

Very informative, thank you Kylie! Apeture is one setting I haven’t tried changing yet (from f5.6), but I think I need to try it at some point.

Janice Riley

Thank you for this blog Kylie. I look forward to hearing more from you. I found your explanations so clear and comprehensible. I have heard all sorts of explanations for ISO but have never really got it. Your explanation made it obvious. Thanks again.

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