When you first start out as a photographer the most important thing you need to learn is how to properly use your camera. Not just what all the buttons do but the basics that can be applied to any camera you try out in the future. Learning how your camera works and some photography tricks will have you taking beautiful pictures in no times.
Start with Manual Settings
Leaving your camera on full auto will get you some half decent images even for the beginner, but as you learn more it will limit your results. Your camera doesn’t know on its own what you’re trying to focus on. It doesn’t know how shallow depth of field or how much motion blur you want in your pictures.
Getting The Right Exposure
Three elements determine exposure:
- ISO – Do you know how sensitive your camera is to light, the higher your ISO the brighter your pictures. Bear in mind that increasing your ISO also increases the noise in the picture. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make as beginning photographers. If you take a photo with a high ISO, you look closely at the picture there a bunch of randomly colored dots in the picture, these are digital noise and you can ruin the picture
- Aperture – How large is the opening in the lens when you are taking a picture, the wider the lens the brighter the picture. It gets confusing when the aperture number is increasing the lens is getting smaller. So in practical terms a picture with an aperture of 2.8 isn’t as bright as a picture with an aperture of 1.2.
The aperture affects the depth of field in the pictures. Picture with a low aperture number everything in the background will appear out of focus. If you look at some food blogs they use this technique to take pictures.
- Shutter Speed – When the shutter is open the light hits the camera’s sensor and the longer the shutter is open the brighter the picture. A shorter shutter speed makes pictures look sharper. You need to be aware of your shutter speed if you’re shooting pictures of moving objects. Moving objects need a shorter shutter speed and still pictures still need longer shutter speed.
Shutter speed is measured in fractions of seconds, if you are taking the pictures while holding the camera, don’t use a longer shutter speed than 1/50 unless you have extremely steady hands.
If you’re a beginning photographer white balance may seem a little weird to grasp. People see white as a color, but white doesn’t actually exists so you have to tell the camera what’s white. If you leave the camera’s white balance set on auto it will try and figure out white on its own. If a big portion of your picture is white no problem but that’s pretty rare.
Setting the white balance manually according to the lighting on your subject give you more correct colors, and the colors will look more vibrant in your pictures.
If you are taking photography inside, for example boudoir mattress photography, open the windows and let the natural light flood the room
Here is a video that demonstrates all the settings on your digital camera that the beginning photography can play with while learning.