Photography is one of those professions that can be termed as a ‘calling’ profession. Even with the best photography teachers, you cannot become the best photographer, if the art itself is not in your heart. So many people mistake photography for just a push of a button or some flickering of the flash and your good to go.
Pal, it takes more than that. You must know things to do with white balances, angles, Crop factors, filters plus a whole bunch of other things that you would never learn in photography school.
The good thing is that with the right combination of skills and interest in learning about this area, you can still become a professional photographer even without any prior attendance to photography school. In this piece, I will highlight some basic photography tips and tricks that will be of help to you especially if you are a newbie.
All the same, I want to imagine that you own a camera to start with. If you do not have one already, read our reviews on some of the most recommendable cameras under different price ranges and make a point of buying one. My focus in this article it to teach you basic skills that will work on any type of camera, whether it’s your smartphone’s camera or you grand mum’s old film camera. I won’t entirely base the article on DSLR photography tips, though that topic forms a chunky part of this article. Here we go!
☼ Basic Photography Tips for Newbies
→ Understand Your Camera: Ever since the first camera was designed in 1685 by Johann Zahn, cameras have come in so many designs it would take a century to learn how to take professional images with each of these cameras. Therefore, the first step you make as an aspiring photographer is to understand the camera that you are going to be using. What I mean by this is that different cameras have different procedures of using them so as to get an optimum result.
Different cameras have different applications and the level of difficulty in using one type of camera is different for another camera. So as to be on the safer side, you must, therefore, understand what type of camera you are using and the mechanism behind how it works. This way you will be able to know which camera is the best for each situation. Basically, a camera has three crucial elements:
- Aperture: This refers to the width or the diameter of the hole inside the lens. A decrease in the size of this hole means a decrease in the amount of light getting in. This factor is really significant in SLR cameras.
- Shutter speed: Shutter speed refers to how fast or how slow light recording happens on the sensor or the film. During a normal shoot, the mirror in the camera flips and triggers the opening of the shutter, which in turn allows light into the film or sensor for recording.
- ISO: ISO controls the light that a sensor captures. It is the feature that determines sensitivity in a camera. The higher the ISO value, the more sensitive the sensor will be to light, but this also implies higher digital noise and of course a little implication on the camera’s battery.
→ Work in the day: Unfortunately, photography has to be done when there is enough light whether you are using an SLR or a film camera. It is all about balancing darkness with natural light so as to get exemplary pictures. Landscape photographers, for instance, wake up early in the morning so as to take breathtaking photos of the scenery at the crack of dawn. Without this golden light, the images are just a work of excess glare or a total dark mess.
→ Master the art of white balancing: Now, this is where professionalism and precision matters. You might have the best SLR camera in the market and be in the right time of the day for taking high-quality photos but if you cannot be able to manage the whites on your camera, you are doomed. Any good photographer must be able to adjust the white balance in the camera in line with the light conditions out there.
Failure to this and you will get images with yellowish and bluish traces, which actually obscure the image. The bluish color on photos indicates high temperature, which is measured in Kelvins. While the orange or yellowish color is the result of low color temperature.
→ Exposure and Type of lighting: The reason why natural light is preferred over fluorescent lighting or any other type of lighting in photography is because nature itself is able to balance this color temperature effects. The type of lighting you use will highly influence the color temperature on your photos.
Exposure, on the other hand, is the degree of light reaching the sensor. In short, it’s the result of combining ISO, aperture and the right shutter speeds. Although exposure isn’t as important to learn about as a newbie, but the sooner you learn about this factor the more chances you get to hone your photography skills. In the meantime, you can still be using automatic modes so that you get the best results.
As you grow your photography skills, you will understand things to do with exposure compensation. And why automatic mode is still the best setting in those light conditions where you are not quite sure of the exposure value to set the camera to.
→ Stabilization: Since most of the cameras used nowadays are SLR cameras, stabilization continues to be a major letdown for most newbie photographers. When shooting in low light in an SLR, not even the LED flash can eliminate blurriness 100% completely. Any slight movement too is easily noticeable on an SLR in these low-light conditions.
For this reason, you need to adjust the camera’s inbuilt stabilization feature to get the calmest photos from your camera. If you still realize that there is some bit of shakiness in your photos, purchase a tripod stand. This will reduce the blur effect significantly, plus you will not get tired with a tripod stand.
→ Shutter lag: At least with the new SLR camera models, we have in the market today, shutter lag is not much of a problem. In simple terms, shutter lag is that uncooperative moment between pressing the shutter button and focusing on your object. Shutter lag is the reason why old time photographers used to ask their subjects to “say cheese”.
In the span of time your subjects utter the statement, you can press the shutter button down as your camera will have recovered from the lag. If you are not using an SLR, half-pressing the shutter button and then pressing it fully once you are ready to take the shot could help.
With these photography tips and tricks, I am optimistic that you can now take professional class images even as a newbie.