1. Keep your equipment ready and clean – Be prepared and ready with a charged battery or two, and check that you have sufficient media storage for saving your images in the camera. Remember to keep the lens glass clean and use recommended cloths. When changing lenses, tilt the camera at a downward angle to help reduce the incidence of dust landing on your camera sensor for less pleasing photo results.
2. What is your subject – Give thought to what you want as the main subject and make it the central part of the image. Experiment with isolating parts of your scene for a more substantial visual impact and taking photos in a landscape (horizontal) and portrait (vertical) camera orientation. Practice becoming more aware of distracting elements that don’t enhance your subject or scene, and do your best to eliminate them.
3. Crisp and clear detail - Take your time and allow the camera time to focus on your subject by gently pressing the shutter release button halfway down before fully pressing it to take the photo. Use a tripod, beanbag, rock, post, or even your vehicle to help stabilize your camera for crisp images. Check your camera and lens options for; vibration reduction (Nikon), image stabilization (Canon), or optical stabilization (Sigma). Engaging this feature helps prevent blur in your photos during minimal camera shake (movement) when hand-holding your camera. Remember to turn it OFF when using a tripod. Because this feature will attempt to keep the lens stable, it causes minimal camera shake, which is your goal to avoid.
4. Change your perspective: Recognize photo opportunities by changing your perspective and position. For example, consider photographing from different heights, such as from eye level, elevating yourself to a higher status, kneeling, lying on the ground, moving to another position relative to your subject, and using your intuition for creative results.
5. Observing the light - As you become more aware of your surroundings, you’ll begin to appreciate how your photos are affected by changing light throughout the day. Experiment using different lighting to your advantage and improve your results; for example, overcast daylight often reveals more detail than harsh sunlight, where areas are too bright, or details are lost in the shadows.
6. Take the photo –When time is of the essence or an opportunity presents itself, take a photo to the best of your ability, even if that means using the camera’s automatic mode. Avoid being caught thinking you must first figure out your settings, decide your perspective, and what lens to use, only to discover the moment has passed you by. Instead, prepare as best as possible according to your skill level to be ready for the moment. Then, when heading out on a photography adventure, have your camera within easy reach and ready for the opportunities.
7. Get it right in the camera. As your skills progress confidently, and you learn to do your best to get it right in the camera, you’ll avoid unnecessary hours of editing and sitting at your computer if that’s not your idea of fun. Initially, this may mean using the automatic camera mode as you become more familiar and comfortable with your camera while discovering what you love taking photos of. Alternatively, using your camera in the Program mode allows you to override the auto program to select and change settings such as aperture and shutter speed.
8. Protective UV and skylight filters – Filters may be used to protect the glass on the front of the camera lens. Using protective filters is a personal choice with pros and cons. Pros: they help protect the lens glass from scratches, dirt, and damage if it hits a hard surface or the camera is accidentally dropped. Filters help even out lighting contrasts, such as an evenly lit landscape but with too bright a sky – a filter helps block the amount of light in the sky. Cons: the filters will reduce the amount of light admitted in through the lens, even though it’s minimal and may be barely noticeable. Some question the logic of paying for good lens glass and covering it with a lesser-quality filter. Depending on your photo-capture situation, you may decide to use a protective or photo-enhancing filter.
You have been introduced to 8 beginner-friendly photography tips but without all the confusing technical jargon.
Often it's easy to overcomplicate photography, especially when you want answers to all your questions right now. I get that.
Even if your take-away is only one of the 8 beginner-friendly photography tips for now, you are adding to your arsenal of comprehension while having more fun taking photos.
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