People take pictures with their cameras or smartphones all the time, but not everyone can call themselves a “photographer.” It takes a dedicated level of interest and hard work for anyone to get into photography, make it a hobby or excel in a professional manner. This is a guide to basic photography that can get started and put you on the correct track right away. Whether you’re unable to begin or just a newbie, here are a few tips you must know that can get you off the ground.
Find your inspiration in Photography
What do you like taking photos of? Do you like capturing portraits the most? Are you a sucker for stunning landscapes? Or do you simply want to capture every moment, trying out different genres of photography that you might find interesting? Whatever your motivation is to start photography, use it as your inspiration and follow your creative instinct. Introspect and understand why a certain form of photography inspires you.
Also, it’s wise not to overlook ordinary subjects of day to day life. At times, you might not see anything worth capturing in the living room but try looking at the old familiar places with a new vision. You never know, an interesting trick of light might be at play. Often times, the best shots employ the most simple concepts.
Have patience and enjoy the leaning process
In photography, it’s always quality over quantity. Just taking loads of pictures won’t make you a skilled photographer overnight. Before clicking each picture, take a few seconds to study the scene, focus on your subject, and watchfully frame each shot. Do not count on getting a great shot with every snap. There’s always room for improvement. In photography, you’ll never run out of things to learn. Try to observe the surroundings with the eyes of a photographer and there won’t ever be a dull moment. Stay inspired and get going!
“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
– Ansel Adams
Invest in a good Camera
Buying photography equipment for the first time can be a daunting task. Start off with an inexpensive digital SLR or mirrorless camera. Get about one or two lenses, a basic tripod and a flash to along with it and you’re good to go! For those who are just beginners at photography, you can also purchase budget mid-pro mirrorless cameras. They are not only lightweight but also deliver professional and high-quality images.
Avoid investing in expensive equipment at the beginning of your learning phase. It is actually possible to get nice pictures with inexpensive gadgets too as you’re learning. The more pictures you click, the more experience you’ll gain and will eventually know what kind of camera to invest in when it’s time to upgrade.
Remember to keep your camera with you all the time. As they say, the best camera is the one that you have with you. Amazing photo opportunities often come up when one least expects it. Keeping your equipment simple would be a smart call. Just carry a small camera bag and a tripod and be ever ready to take advantage of unexpected opportunities.
Photograph what you love. Fall in love with your photographs.
Play with perspective and take pictures of things you love. When you focus on what you love, photography becomes more enjoyable. If you’re passionate about landscape, nature, pets or people, go for it; no specific section ever results in a bad photograph! Go, get up and start clicking pictures of things that get your heart racing.
This will keep you motivated in photography and allow you to overcome obstacles in learning without breaking a sweat. It is very much important to be consistent. Try to be on track and photograph something new every day. It need not be perfect all the time but what’s important is that you keep clicking pictures. The more you do so, the better you’ll get at it. Make sure you practice regularly to ensure you don’t forget what you’ve learnt.
Know your camera and get your basics right
Go through the manual and decipher all those little symbols. While exploring, try to shoot your subjects using multiple settings to learn about all the effects. This way, you’ll be able to find the settings that best suit your preferences. While looking at the photograph on a computer, you can recall the settings used by checking the EXIF data (in files properties).
With the advent of the internet, the amount of information about photography techniques is often overwhelming. Knowing the rules are essential as it gives you more creative control when analysing them later on. Get familiar with the rule of thirds, the exposure triangle (the three most important elements – Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO) to get your photographs to resemble your vision.
Experiment is the key
Don’t be afraid of short road bumps on the way. The more mistakes you make, the faster you’ll learn and grow. At the end of the day, the real value lies in turning the mistakes into lessons that build your skills. Be open to new techniques and styles and expect to make mistakes along the way. Experience is the best teacher of all time. The best way to practice and incorporate what you’ve learned is by actually going out there and taking pictures.
In your free time, you can also attend photo walks and workshops organized locally. You can meet fellow photographers and even find someone who can inspire you creatively. A mentor, a friend or a loved one in the same domain can teach you a lot about photography tricks, give you useful camera tips or share learning experiences. Always be open to guidance and tips from more experienced photographers.
So what are you waiting for Grab your camera, get moving and start clicking!