Beginners Advice

Beginning Photography Tips

As a new digital SLR photographer, you are looking for beginning photography tips on what camera to get and how to use it.

You’ll soon find that you’ll be overwhelmed by a lot of information too fast.

Relax!                      

Slow down and ask yourself a few questions.

Ask yourself why you want to take photos, why you want to own a dSLR camera and what you intend to do with it.

Next, read on for a few of the tips that I would suggest you take to heart.

  • Buy a camera you’ll use often
  • Keep that camera on you all the time
  • Take many photos
  • Review those photos
  • Experiment with your camera settings

These are beginning photography tips that I would suggest to new and enthusiastic digital SLR photographers.

Buy A Camera You’ll Use Often

As a photographer, I am usually asked for advice about cameras and the like. Most of the questions start out like this…

I want to buy a camera and I want to know what is the best camera I should buy…?”

I want to buy a camera and I want to know what is the best camera I should buy…?”

There is no particular answer to this but if pressed, I will recommend the cheapest digital SLR body and a general purpose lens with a large range.

The best camera anyone can buy is the camera that they will use most often! Why? Because great pictures aren’t the result of an expensive camera but the result of a creative photographer!

Keep The Camera On You All The Time

You’re a photographer now and you’ve got to prove it to yourself. Whenever you leave the house, make sure you’ve got the camera on you. Yes, it’ll be a pain, especially if it is a dSLR camera but having the camera on your person all the time will cause you to make use of it more often.

Photos don’t create themselves. You, as the photographer, are the integral role of the creation of a photograph. The more photos you take, the more refined your photos will be.

When you carry the camera on your person all the time, there are one of two results that will be experienced. You will either get sick and tired of carrying that camera or you will make use of it.

Keep in mind, however, that photo opportunities come unexpectedly and when you have your camera at the ready, you will be more inclined to take photos.

And…

Take Many Photos

… Take many photos! The more photos you take, the more experience you’ll gain. The more experience you gain, the greater the chance of your creating more of those “perfect” shots.

As you get more comfortable with the act of taking photos, you’ll be inclined to take many more.

More photos will always mean more practice. And more practice will keep your “photographic eye” open for more photographic opportunities.

If possible, try to photograph something everyday. It doesn’t matter what it is. If you search the internet, you’ll find many resources for a “PAD” or photo-a-day assignments as part of your arsenal of beginning photography tips.

Undertaking these assignments is a big responsibility but you’ll be proud of yourself for starting and finishing these assignments.

Start slowly. Take a photo a day for a week. If you like it, extend it for another week. If you don’t, stop. Take a break and then when you feel ready, start again.

Review Those Photos

Our beginning photography tips suggest that you take many photos on your way to becoming the photographer that you desire to be. In today’s world, memory and storage are cheap so you are bound to have hundreds and thousands of photos.

As an aside, I have already taken over 25,000 shots on my one year old dSLR body for my clients! That means 25,000 photos that I have to review!

I don’t suggest you take as many as these photos because you’ll be exhausted before you even start! But please do take the time to go over your photos and make notes.

You want to ensure that you are always consistent in your photography. If you read other beginning photography tips, you’ll find similar advice: taking photos is only one part of the equation. The other half of the equation is understanding and reviewing those photos!

Experiement WIth Your Camera Settings

And finally, please do experiment with your camera settings. Don’t be tempted to leave your camera on “Auto” mode and you be the camera’s shutter release finger!

You paid good money for that brand new digital SLR camera and by leaving your camera on “Auto” you are trusting “advanced digital technology” to do your creative thinking for you.

Yes, I admit that it may appear to be a daunting task to understand ALL of your camera settings but the point of learning is to take it in bite-sized chunks.

For one week, leave your camera on “Auto”. The following week, leave it on “Aperture” and take photos. And so on.

You’ll be surprised at the results.

Remember, these 5 beginning photography tips are to help you get started on being the creative photographer you’ve always wanted to be.

Love your camera. Love yourself. Love your photos.

How Digital Photography Lessons Can Benefit The Student

Digital photography lessons are available in many different forms, both through online learning and through offline resources such as college courses. The right course for you will largely depend on your own ambitions in the photography field, and whether or not they include any ambitions to become a professional. Some photography jobs demand a high standard of formal education, and are virtually impossible to enter without the right college course, while others can be entered by anyone who has the necessary skills.

If the lessons are to be comprehensive enough to allow the complete beginner to achieve a high standard, they will need to start with the fundamentals of how a photograph needs to be taken in the first place. This is not as simple as it sounds, and there is little fundamental different between the front end of a digital camera and one which has been made in the previous era of film cameras. The shutter still operates in the same way, to pull light into the mechanism which processes the photograph. Any tradition wisdom you have from previous experiences with film cameras will still be perfectly valid. There are many useful tips which can reduce the need to rely on modern software.

The lessons which you take should give you the confidence to shoot in different lighting conditions, and to take photographs whenever the opportunity presents itself. Photographers who specialize in still subjects are able to choose the optimum conditions for the photograph to be taken, but those who are seeking to take action shots do not have that luxury. The are still ways to create an image which is more easily edited, and the great advantage of digital photography is that this editing is easily possible. Editing is still more effective if you can produce a quality photograph to work with at the start.

Taking digital photography lessons will allow you to understand and use the complex industry standard software which manipulates digital images, and which can create virtually any effect that the photographer chooses. This is Adobe Photoshop, and it is not cheap or easy to use. You will need to be prepared to spend upwards of $500 on this complete state of the art solution, but it will be the only photograph manipulation program you will ever need. You will have the ability to correct obvious errors, as well as to enhance the result with effects.

It is not absolutely necessary to own this software, or to know how to use it, if you are only seeking to take photographs for your own purposes. There are other free software programs which can give you some of the functionality of Photoshop, including Paint.NET, which will allow you to open Photoshop files, as long as you have a certain plug in to go with it. Amateur photographers can still produce reasonable results without having to go to the extreme of buying software which will probably be more expensive than the camera itself.

Although digital photography lessons should be complete by themselves, there is never any harm in giving yourself an advantage by reading up on the subject in advance. There are many resources online which can give you graphic illustrations of what is possible with modern digital photography, and in some cases you can even attempt to manipulate photographs yourself through an online interface. Don’t try to learn too much too soon, but do give yourself the best possible chance by laying a foundation for the courses to come. You can them hit the ground running and gain the greatest advantage from your digital photography lessons.

Find The Right Online Digital Photography Classes

Online digital photography classes have the potential to take any beginning photographer to any level they would choose, including the status of professional photographer if that is desired.

There are many excellent tutorials which can get a beginner quickly up to the level where they are taking effective shots, and then to the level where they have an effective understanding of the individual settings on a camera. There are also classes which can take the user beyond that level to the stage where they are taking professional standard photographs.

For a beginner, it can be important to just get into the game as quickly as possible and to begin taking some useful photographs. This is possible with entry level cameras, because they offer the function of being able to set their settings to automatic, eliminating any possible error which the user may make. Using these automatic settings, anyone should be able to take photographs of a reasonable standard. They will not be of the same quality as the photographs an experienced camera user would take with well defined manual settings, but the development of these skills needs to unfold over time.

It makes sense to take a large percentage of your initial photographs in the open air, and to photograph objects which are going to remain constant. This way, you can return to the same object many times to try out different settings. You can take photographs early in the morning, when the sunlight will be casting extreme shadows in one direction, and then in the evening when the shadows will be in completely the opposite direction. You can also take photographs from different distances, and from a slightly different angle. All of this will be valuable experience, and will help you progress quickly with online classes.

The higher levels of online digital photography classes will also concentrate on the ability of the digital photographer to manipulate the image once it has been downloaded to a computer. This is the major ability which separates the modern photographer from their predecessor using film. Anyone can perform basic editing using free software, although these free programs are often not well documented and come with a steep learning curve. If you want to take it further, you can always learn to use the industry standard Adobe Photoshop software, which is well documented, and which has all of the features a professional standard photographer needs.

Online classes can take you to the level where you can derive genuine satisfaction from amateur photography, and they can even help you reach the level of a professional photographer should that be something you would want to do. Many photographers, such as wedding and portrait photographers, are self employed and need no qualifications or licensing to be able to operate. In other industries such as journalism, a formal degree is definitely needed. You can now achieve this degree standard education without the need to spend several years at a college campus, through the new online learning platforms.

There are a great many online digital photography classes catering to photographers of all standards, so it is important to find the right one for your current level and the level you eventually want to achieve. Take your time to study the different courses on offer, and to read any independent reviews. If you are new, it will be best to start with one of the free basic courses to keep risk to a minimum, and then when you have a basic understanding of how the camera works, you can progress to paid online digital photography classes.