If you’re looking to start photography as a hobby, or even something that could be a profession one day, you be thinking to yourself that it could all be rather daunting. Well, photography for beginners may sound like it’s a challenge and a half, but with these helpful tips you’ll be on your way to capturing stunning photographs before you even know it.
Don’t be afraid to get to know manual mode
Yes, manual mode is possibly the most difficult, and when most of us look at cameras we tend to want to use the automatic mode. By using manual mode, you get to learn your camera, and all its settings. Give it a try, soon enough you’ll come to realise how best to shoot in varying lights and landscapes.
Learn the intimidating lingo
When you look at your camera and its settings you may come across words like ISO, shutter speed and aperture. These all sound Greek to us and may be difficult to understand at first, but it is imperative that you do understand the definitions and practicality of each of these words – after all, they will become second language to you eventually. Here’s a quick breakdown of the definitions:
ISO – this refers to light settings. The lower the ISO number the less sensitive your camera is to the light. So if you’re shooting at midday, you will be exposed to a large amount of sunlight and will need a lower ISO level. It’s almost like a light switch or side lamp. Also remember that the lower your ISO level, the clearer your pictures will be. This is the reason why many photographers say that it is best to shoot during the day in a room, when natural light is at its optimum.
Shutter speed – this is the amount of time that the shutter of your camera is open. A slower shutter speed will allow increased light to enter the lens and vice versa. Use slower shutter speeds when you have low light and a faster shutter speed setting when you already have optimal lighting, and want to capture movement.
Aperture – this fancy word refers to focus. The setting will help you adjust the size of the opening in your camera lens. The lower the F stop (the measurement of aperture) the more in focus one aspect of the picture will be. This refers to those gorgeous visuals with a focal point close up and a blurry background. Use higher F stops for images where you need focus on the background.
Get a tripod and use it well
If you’re still at the very initial stages of photography, you may think that a tripod is not something to purchase right now. Wrong. A tripod is one of the most useful tools when you take photographs, because it holds your camera absolutely still. You can slower shutter speeds way down and allow much light through on a steady standing. Tripods are also great when you have your image ready and want to run in to be in the picture yourself.
While you’re trying to find your own technique, make sure you follow some good photographers on social media platforms like Instagram – you can learn ideation and technique from their work which is always helpful. Photography is meant to be unique, artistic and fun. So don’t be too hard on yourself and have fun playing!