Beginner Photography tips from someone who didn’t have a clue about even the basics of photography when I bought my first “real camera” back in 2013.
If you are not just starting out on your photography journey then no need to read any further.
1) Spend as much as you can afford on a new first camera but after that do not get hung up on kit, especially when you see the kit of others. All interchangeable lens cameras come with a very capable kit lens which is design to be a swiss army knife of lenses and do most things for most people, especially those new to photography.
The very best thing you can do is go out and practice, practice, practice taking lots and lots of image and until you start to get familiar with your new treasured camera.
2) There is certainly no shame in switching the camera to fully auto until you feel confident framing and composing shots, let the camera do some of the work for you and don’t overload yourself trying to learn ever button, wheel, shutter speed, aperture and ISO all at once, keep photography fun and enjoy the pictures you take.
In time you will know when you have, as a photographer, outgrown auto mode and feel the need to use different depths of field and shutter speeds to achieve the look you desire, just don’t run before you can walk.
3) Start by shooting in JPG. When you shoot in JPG the camera does all the post-processing work for you which means when you press the shutter button you instantly have a finished image to be proud of. Again to start with you have enough to learn without worrying about learning post-processing on top. Modern cameras make a fantastic job of making images as vibrant and realistic as you remember the scene or subject when you took the shot.
In time when you think you are ready to get a little more creative with your images switch the camera to take JPG + RAW – look at a RAW file as being the ingredients of an unbaked cake, with those ingredients (raw data) you can bake the cake however you desire in software like Lightroom and Photoshop but again, don’t run before you can walk, JPG’s look superb and are instantly ready to view and share out of the camera.
4) The Rule of Thirds – rarely in photography can you do one thing differently to totally transform a dull composition to a more interesting and pleasing one, the rule of thirds can do this and should be learned as soon as possible. To save me lots of typing I will hand you over to this old video by the brilliant YouTube photography teacher Mr Mike Browne, this video was an Aha! moment or eureka moment for me and changed my photography forevermore.
Along with the rule of thirds, leading lines is one of those common-sense rules in photography that, once understood and used, can transform your images overnight, from dull to interesting.
Leading lines come in many forms from picture to picture but all are designed to take the eye of the viewer through the image and keep the viewer looking longer, so adding interest. You can use leading lines to draw a viewer’s attention to a specific part of the image or all the way through from foreground to background.
Again I will hand over to Mike Browne to explain all far better than I ever could.
6) Don’t let all the camera jargon cabbage your brain!
When it comes to learning what all the camera jargon you hear people talking about actually means, remember Google and YouTube are you best friends and taught me most of what I know today along with much practice and many mistakes that we all make and continue to make every now and then, part of the magic of photography is that you are always learning regardless of how experienced a photographer you are.
Mike Browne explains some of the most common camera jargon used in photography and how things like focal length and f stops all work together for you to make stunning images.
I quite enjoyed adding those 6 tips and will add another 6 very soon.
Enjoy your new camera and the amazing world of photography…