Photography Courses

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.

Use Digital Photography Courses To Build Your Knowledge

Digital photography courses are able to take the unpracticed amateur to the same level as the trained professional, as long as that amateur is prepared to go through the intense training which is necessary to achieve that standard. There are many amateurs who do not have the desire to reach that exalted level, but just a desire to get the best results from their camera without expending too much time. This can also be achieved, as there are both online and offline courses aimed at every level of photographer.

The first important principle you will learn on a digital photography course is that there are few fundamental differences between the techniques used in new photography and those used in the past. The way in which the camera operates at the most basic level is little changed, as the shutter still allows light into the mechanism which has been designed to capture it. It is the manipulation which is possible with digital photographs which sets them apart, and the best results will be achieved from this manipulation when the initial photograph has been taken in the most effective way. The techniques of taking effective photographs are never to be overlooked, even if you have powerful software.

You will also need to learn how to effectively manage a portfolio of your own photographs, and this does require very different techniques from managing and storing analog photographs. A digital photograph, just like any other file, needs to be cataloged with a numbering system, or file management system, to allow you to find it easily again whenever you need to. If you are taking photographs on many different subjects, the best system will be one which starts with these categories. You will also need to learn the vitally important skill of backing up your files.

The major focus of digital photography courses will be the manipulation of the images which have been taken, as it is this which separates digital technology from the previous film based era. There is now the potential for photographers to correct common errors such as red eye, which can completely ruin photographs which can never be taken again. The tool which is used for these repairs is known as Adobe Photoshop, and it is certainly not cheap software at over $500. It will, however, allow you to get the best possible results from your endeavors, as long as you can spare the time to learn to use it properly.

It is possible to use free software to carry out some limited enhancements to digital photographs, and this free software can even open Photoshop files if it has the right plug in attached. You will not have the same range of options that you would get with the paid version, but you may not need them if you are only going to be carrying out limited edits. It may also be useful to learn what you can do with the free software before taking the step of investing in anything better, because then you will have a greater understanding of how effective the paid software will be.

There are many digital photography courses to be found online, and many of these can be sampled for free. They will not be as comprehensive as the paid materials, and they will certainly not show you the techniques in as great a detail as you would get from a paid offline course. They can be especially useful for absolute beginners who want to give themselves something of an edge when they go to take on more comprehensive digital photography courses.