Photography is fun and rewarding. But if you are starting out as a photographer, you may be thinking that this can be expensive and a little intimidating.
In this article, we look at four essential beginner tips that will help you to capture beautiful images and become a better photographer.
1. Understand light
What is light? Light is energy. It can be created using different types of light including sunlight, light bulbs, candles, torches, flashlights, lamps, even a child’s torch. As a photographer, understanding light is important as it can give your images depth, richness and vibrancy.
2. Learn about your camera
If you are new to photography, it is vital that you take the time to understand your camera and how to use it. If you are using a digital SLR camera, your camera has controls such as shutter speed, aperture, f stop, ISO, autofocus, white balance and metering. The more you use these settings, the more familiar you will become with the camera.
3. Understand exposure
Exposure refers to the amount of light allowed into the camera. Exposure can be affected by the following factors:
a) f stop – This controls the amount of light allowed into the camera. A lower f stop allows more light in but can cause image noise (i.e. spots or graininess). A higher f stop allows less light in and causes less image noise.
b) ISO – This is the sensitivity of your camera to light. A higher ISO number means that your camera is more sensitive to light. The higher the ISO the more likely you are to get noise and graininess.
c) shutter speed – The shutter speed controls how long your shutter is open. A higher shutter speed allows less light in. At the same time a higher shutter speed can cause blurring of moving objects.
d) aperture – The aperture controls the size of the opening in the lens. A larger aperture allows less light into the camera. A smaller aperture allows more light into the camera.
The best way to improve your understanding of exposure is to take some easy shots of a candle or bulb. Try varying your f stop, shutter speed and ISO. This will help you to build up your photographic vocabulary.
4. Learn your settings
There are thousands of combinations of settings that you can use when taking photos. Your camera has settings for everything from aperture to shutter speed to ISO to white balance. To understand how your settings work together, it’s a good idea to use your camera’s manual setting. This will allow you to explore your camera’s settings. For example, you can choose different f stops, then shoot at the same shutter speed.
By playing with settings you will soon develop a greater understanding of how your camera works and be able to capture the perfect shot.