So you’ve got your camera and you are ready to start taking pictures. You may want to photograph the family in their everyday life or on holiday, take nice pictures of your pet or you probably want to take your photography to a whole new level. Regardless of where you are in your photography journey, everyone starts as a beginner, so in this I would be giving some tips that can help you get the pictures you want right at the beginning of your photography career.
Learn To Use Your Camera
Whether you use a digital compact camera, system camera or a mobile phone, it is important to learn how to use this tool. Read the manual or search online for information about your particular camera model and test yourself. When you know the basics, you will be more efficient because you know where all the buttons are located and know its functions by heart.
Learn The Exposure Triangle
In the exposure triangle we have the ISO, shutter speed and aperture. These settings usually each have a button where you can adjust the value of them on your camera (provided you shoot in manual mode).
ISO – High ISO speed = noisier images but provides more light, used in darker conditions, lower ISO speeds are preferred to minimize noise. The newer the camera you have, the better brush handling it has.
Shutter speed – How fast the camera shutter closes when you take a picture. For moving subjects such as children, sports and the likes, a faster shutter speed is required as otherwise there will be motion blur, so your subject will be blurred. Motion blur may, however, be desirable in, for example, landscape photography where running water becomes smooth and soft in the image if you use a long shutter speed.
Tip! A rule of thumb is usually to have no shutter speed longer than the focal length you shoot with. For example, If you shoot with a 50mm lens, you should not shoot for less than 1 / 50s to get sharp images.
Aperture number- Apeture number shows the depth of field and is what determined how much light is let in, the higher the aperture number (f-number) the more focus in the image (good for landscape photography, large groups of people). If you use a lower aperture number, only what you focus on will be in focus and the rest of the image will be blurred.
Tip! If you are going to photograph a large group of people, you can sometimes use the rule which says “number of people in the picture = aperture number”. For example, if you are going to photograph 8 people in a picture, you should have aperture number 8 (f / 8) to get everyone in focus and sharp .
Do Away With Auto
Does it still feel a little scary not to use the auto function? Then you can always use a semi-automatic program that most modern digital cameras have today. They allow you to change only one or a few settings and the camera will help you with the rest.
The Light Makes A Difference
Indoor photography is inevitable, however, it is a fact that the light in an indoor environment is worse than outdoors and varies greatly depending on lighting, color of furniture, walls and other furnishings. This often results in a yellow tone on your photos, but can easily be avoided by changing the white balance in the camera.
Tip! Feel free to photograph by a window if it is during the day, it often comes evenly nice and the natural daylight coming through the window gives it a nice blend.
Natural light is the best, it really does not matter if you take product photos, family photos or nature photos. The light varies during the day, so feel free to plan your photography.
Avoid taking photos in the middle of the day on a sunny day when the sun is at its highest, especially if you are going to photograph people. When the sun is so strong and stands so high, there are often hard shadows on your subject, which is not always so flattering for people. In such a case try to find a shaded place that gives more even light instead.
The Golden Hour
“Golden hour” or “magic hour” are concepts that you should know in photography. “Golden hour” is the hour after sunrise and the hour just before sunset. During this hour, the light becomes more golden and will give your images a finer light.
Think about the composition
Always think about the composition and try different options. Take a picture with props, one without, rotate the subject, move the subject a little to the side, and so on. This is about balancing different elements and creating symmetry in the image.
Good camera accessories
Lens – The lens that comes with the camera usually needs to be replaced quite quickly. You can buy an affordable 50mm lens that is available from most manufacturers that have lower aperture numbers, which makes it brighter and have a nicer depth of field.
Tripod – Good to have if you need to use longer shutter speeds and avoid motion blur that can occur with handheld photography.
Filters: Different filters have different purposes.
Cleaning cloth – Minimize the risk of scratches by using a good cleaning cloth instead of your clothe or whatever inappropriate fabric available.
Editing software – There are many great free programs that can help you get the final touch on your image.
You often want perfect pictures when people look into the camera and smile, but do not forget to take other interesting moments as well. Capturing the time when someone is laughing at a joke, looking into each other’s eyes or when the children are playing in the garden are also fun memories to have.
Follow your passion
What is that thing that you really find interesting when taking pictures? Is it when the kids are playing? Or on your cat / dog / horse? Do you have any other interest that can be combined with photography? Think about this and photograph what you think is fun, as this will probably inspire even more photography.
Practice makes perfect
The more pictures you take, the better you will become. You learn a lot by just trying your hand at it. Use different settings, try different angles, try to take photos at different times of the day, the more you test, the more comfortable you will be with your camera and then be able to take even better pictures.
You will not become an expert photographer overnight, getting good at something requires time, patience and practice. The fun thing about photography is that you can easily see your development. In just a few months, you will probably see a difference when you look back at when you started compared to where you would be then. For every photo you take, you get more experience that you will benefit from for future photographs.