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10 Photography Tips for Beginners

Updated: Dec 8, 2019

It's the season of giving! Get a new camera during Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Or maybe you're hoping to open up a new one Christmas morning. Either way, here are some tips to help you get started with photography!

1) Holding the camera

One thing I love to take pictures of is the outdoors. Nature offers a lot of beautiful photo opportunities and it's often I see other hikers doing the same thing. It's easy to tell who knows what they're doing and who doesn't by the way they hold their camera.

The best way to hold a DSLR is to have your right hand around the hand grip and your left hand positioned under the body of the camera and use your fingers to adjust your focal length and focus. Keep your elbow tucked in.

2) Exposure

Become familiar with aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Those will be your three settings for correctly exposing your image when shooting in manual mode. Memorizing these settings and their functions will also help you achieve the look you desire; for example, shallow versus wide depth of field.

3) Remember 1/60

When shooting hand held, your shutter speed shouldn't be slower than 1/60. This is a general rule of thumb and you may be able to go a little slower given your ability to keep your hands steady. However, ideally, any shutter speed under 1/60 should have your camera positioned on a tripod. You don't want to have a correctly exposed image be blurry because of camera shake. Take the time to set up a tripod and shoot away.

4) 2- Second Delay Timer

Most DSLRs have a 2-second delay timer that allows the camera to take the photo two seconds after hitting the shutter button. If your camera is on a tripod, I suggest utilizing this function as well. This helps prevents any camera movement appearing in your photo that may occur from you hitting the shutter release or slightly moving the tripod.

5) Don't Abuse ISO

While ISO can help expose your image, it will also result in more grain. Depending on the brand and model of your DSLR will vary on ISO's effect as you increase it. Generally you want to keep your ISO 400 and below.

6) Shoot With a Purpose

Although digital photography has made taking images much easier, still shoot with the intent of capturing an image in mind. What are you trying to achieve with this photo? Is there emotion, lots of action going on, or are the colors of a landscape extra vibrant? Whatever the situation is, there is a story to be told. Any good photography can capture a nice image; great photographers tell a story with an image.

7) Experiment

Going off the last tip, don't be afraid to experiment. Get high, get low, move around and see what perspectives come across unique and best express what you are seeing. There are endless ways to manipulate a vision and create an original image; that's what makes photography an art. Allow photography to be cool and unique for you.

8) Changing a Lens

It's important you know how to properly change lenses on your camera in order to prevent any damage. Using Canon for example, if there is a lens already on the camera body, hit the black button on the body where the camera and lens meet. Twist slightly and the lens will detach.

Have your body cap or next lens ready to go. The less time your DSLR sensor is exposed, the better. You don't want the sensor to get dirty or damaged.

Canon lenses will have white dash or red dot on the lens that you match up with the red mark on the camera body, located on the top of the silver ring. Line the lens up and twist carefully to attach the lens.

9) Practice

Practice, practice, practice. Like learning any other new skill, practice will make you better.

10) Invest in Learning

There are so many helpful resources out there to help you grow as a photographer. YouTube and Lynda have plenty of tutorials to watch for learning photography. And don't forget to stop back here at A Fire to Inspire to learn more!





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