If you are starting out on photography, mastering the techniques, fundamentals, and concepts can really feel difficult. In fact, it can take a ton of trials and errors to finally manage to work things out. If you are a beginner, you will find out that it’s a hell of a ride. Interestingly, almost everyone now is becoming an enthusiast of photography.
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Well, as a beginner, the first thing to do is to know the camera. However, this is not how to operate the buttons but rather the basics of photography for beginners that apply to camera use. But how can you do this?As a matter of fact, the basics of photography for beginners that you should know when learning photography are what even pros know when it comes to taking photos
Get the exposure right
Typically in photography for beginners, there are three elements that determine exposure. These include an aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.
- Aperture- This refers to how big the opening of the lens is while taking the picture. The larger the opening, the brighter the picture. Unfortunately, what is confusing is that increasing aperture number makes the lens smaller. For instance, if you take a picture with an aperture of 1.2 it will be brighter than the one taken with an aperture of 2.8. Apart from affecting the size of the picture, aperture also affects the depth of the field. This means taking a picture with a low aperture number will make everything that is at an outer distance out of focus. This implies that the image will have a shallow depth of field. On the contrary, if you take a picture with higher aperture number, the background and the foreground will be much more in focus. Although this is a difficult concept to master, it’s important especially if you wish to understand how to use depth of field.
- ISO- This defines how sensitive your camera’s sensors are to the light. If your camera has a higher ISO, it will take brighter pictures. However, it’s advisable to keep the camera’s ISO as low as possible since increasing it will not only increase the brightness but also the noise of the image as well. In fact, if you take an image with a camera with a high ISO you will see several tiny, randomly, colored dots in the image. These are called digital noise and they can ruin your photo if they are too much.
- Shutter speed- Before taking a photo, it’s also important to check how long the shutter is opened. A longer shutter will increase the amount of light that reaches the camera’s sensors resulting in a brighter photo. Alternatively, a shorter shutter will make the photo appear sharper. This is especially true if your object of focus is a moving object or you are shooting handheld. This is why it’s good to have a shorter shutter speed if you are taking a picture of a driving car or a running person. Avoid using a shutter speed that is more than 1/50 unless your hands are very steady. Also, remember that the units of a shutter speed are fractions of seconds hence 1/1000 is shorter than 1/50
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Here are some of the top 6 tips for beginners photographers
- Always use the right light- Typically, taking photos is about the quality, direction, quantity, of light and how it matches with the subject. To reduce the contrast in the scene and reveal details, always capture with a soft and a defused light. If you are looking for amazing results try experimenting with backlighting and taking pictures when the subject is light from the sides.
- Don’t focus on the quality of the camera- You might be stressing yourself with looking for the best photography equipment and you may believe that the machine you are using is not the best. However, this is not always the case since any camera can produce a stunning photo. Well, some cameras will produce good photos, but eventually, the success of any photo depends on the composition and not the camera. This means you should be careful about what you decide to include and the way you arrange it.
- It’s much better to shoot in raw- Most digital cameras will give you two options JPEG or RAW. Remember, if you save all your photos in RAW, all the choices that you make will be locked in the final image. If your photos are too dark or too bright then you will have to fix them which become difficult if you use JPEG. As compared to other file formats, JPEGs are really compressed hence the quality gets gradually worse as you try to edit and continue saving in the file. But if you do this in RAW, You can comfortably edit and process the images yourself
- Pay attention to the shutter speed- If you are not careful, it’s easy to end up with a blurred photo. This may be due to the lens not being focused in the right place or a wrong auto-focus mode has been set on the camera. What can make the difference is the choice of the shutter speed. Essentially, your shutter speed should be equivalent to the focal length of the lens or even faster if you want to get sharp hand help pictures.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes- Remember professional photographers did not wake up one day and start taking great photos. They started by fumbling awkwardly with dials and buttons and even became discouraged when their photos did not turn out well. However, they kept on working hard until they became great photographers. In fact, it can even take you a whole year to become a good photographer.
- Select the ideal mode for the job- If you wish to take the best shots you need to use semi-automatic shooting modes. For instance, when controlling the depth you should choose aperture priority. On the contrary, if you wish to move the shutter speed, select the shutter priority.