This week I wanted to post some tips for the beginners. Whether you shoot with a DSLR or a point & shoot, the concepts are the same. There’s a LOT I learned the hard way and a LOT more I still don’t know. But here are some tidbits that I thought would have helped me in the beginning …
1. You don’t need expensive equipment, so don’t go crazy! You CAN get great photos on an inexpensive point & shoot or entry level DSLR. The key is to shoot as much as you can. Keep your camera with you at all times, use it every chance you get. If you do that, you’ll know exactly what’s holding you back and what to look for when it’s time to upgrade.
2. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your camera. You can probably do much more on the camera you already have than you know. Read the manual about all the little symbols on it. There are tons of free resources for learning on the net (um, like my blog!). Try shooting the same subject using several different settings. It first you may need to write down what you did different but after a while you’ll start to see the effects your changes are making on your image. I always recommend isolating one variable at a time until you get the hang of what your seeing when you change the settings. For example, shoot in Av (aperture priority) all weekend and then all in Tv (shutter priority) the next weekend. Soon you’ll start to pick up which setting you’d rather use for certain situations. And don’t forget, you’re shooting in digital so who cares how many cruddy shots it took you until you got one you just love.
3. Learn the basic rules of photography. The amount of information on the internet can be overwhelming! Start one rule at a time. Maybe pair it up with a particular setting – “this week I’m shooting in Av and practicing using the rule of thirds”. You have to understand the rules or understanding your camera won’t help you much when it comes to creating a compelling image. Besides, you need to know the rules before you can break them, right?
With lots of practice and willingness to learn, you’ll see huge improvements in your images.