Photography Basics for Beginners

Photography isn’t something that you can catch up on so easily. The equipment behind the scene, that is the camera can confuse you when you’re just a beginner. Hold on, we have no intention to frighten you. But, these are the facts that you need to know before you delve into photography skills. You have to try and test different settings, features, angles, and so on to get your picture-perfect shot.

Prepare yourself for countless mistakes. However, those mistakes will let you learn something new and different. Now, let’s start with some photography basics that will help you sharpen your photography skills. If you’re just an amateur, don’t worry; we don’t think that you’re going back empty-handed.

Start with having a Strong Grip on your Camera

Are you struggling with shaky or blurred shots? That can be just one of the outcomes of not holding the camera appropriately. One might argue here and replace the holding by hands with tripods. Since we believe that you’re going to use your camera by hand most of the time, it’s better that you start practicing how to strengthen the camera grip.

Hold the right side of the camera (body part, not the lens) with your right hand. Then, you should be placing your left hand beneath the camera lens. It will distribute the weight of the camera uniformly and give you a better result. Additionally, you can adjust the lens’s functioning with your left hand.

How to Hold A Camera | Getting Started | Nikon

Talking about the balance or handling the shakiness, still, pictures can be captured when you keep your camera closer to your body. If it still annoys you, then take help from something sturdy near you. Lean on walls or bend yourself and lower yourself to get an uncompromised picture. Practice more and it will be OK.

Introduce yourself to Exposure Triangle

Basic photography tips are incomplete without these three musketeers: Shutter Speed, ISO, and Aperture. Even for beginners, the Auto mode might not produce the best result and it can vary from camera to camera. That’s why a complete understanding of these three subjects is required. Let’s start with what they are and how you can handle the beginner days of your photography session.

Shutter Speed

Camera Basics #2: Shutter Speed

It is the measurement of how long the shutter of the camera remains open while clicking an image. You can easily interpret that more light can fall into the sensor if the shutter is open for longer. When you’re trying to shoot any spontaneous act then a swift shutter speed is what you require the most. Otherwise, you’ll get a blurred image if you neglect the shutter speed and keep it longer.

ISO

This term stands for International Organization for Standardization. It might not appear to be in relationship with camera exposure and all. This organization has set the sensitivity index of your camera. Displayed in whole numbers, ISO is the measurement of your camera’s sensitivity to light.

You might have seen those numbers beside ISO such as 100, 200, or something similar. What do they mean by the way? When the ISO is lower, it means that your camera is way less sensitive to light. On the other hand, a higher ISO will define a greater sensitivity towards light. 

What is ISO? Understanding ISO for Beginners - Photography Life

When you are shooting in daylight and outdoors then an ISO of 200 or 100 will be fine according to the light circumstances. But, if you’re shooting indoors or at night, where the lighting conditions aren’t good enough, go for a higher ISO. well, a higher ISO can be 400 or 800. Keep changing the ISO until and unless you get the desired outcome.

Aperture

This particular factor controls how much light the camera sensor will get through. Aperture can be considered the opening of the lens of your camera. When it comes to aperture, another factor comes into play. It’s called the f-number. The more the f-number will be the narrower the aperture will get. And, the vice versa is true. 

When you are trying to focus on a particular subject or want to isolate it, go for a wide aperture. That’s why portrait shots require a wider aperture. Why wider aperture? A wider aperture or smaller f/ number will keep the focus on your subject and minimize all the distractions from the surrounding objects. Keep the f/ number low such as f/1.2 or up to f/5.6. 

Aperture - Wikipedia

Does the same rule apply to group photos or landscape photos? Landscape photos require a fully opposite approach. Everything in the frame should have the same sharpness and to provide the same focus to everything inside the frame, a narrow aperture would be the best shot that you make. 

So, keep the aperture narrow or f/ number greater when you’re about to shoot a landscape. You can go f/22 or more for capturing landscape views.

When you are quite proficient with the exposure triangle, things get easier day by day. Keep experimenting with these trio factors in manual mode.

White Balance

This factor plays a huge role in satisfying the picture effects. However, most of the beginners stay unaware of this during their start-up days. We don’t want you to repeat the same mistake. White balance can assist you to capture colour more accurately. So, try adjusting the white balance. Or else, the pictures can take a particular hue or temperature.

What the ... White Balance? | Boost Your Photography

Well, you might adjust the white balance while editing the photos. However, when the number of photos is too many then it can be a hectic job. Therefore, it will be better if you manage the white balance in the camera settings. 

Now, white balance can be Daylight, Flash, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Shade, Tungsten, and Automatic White Balance. As a beginner, you might be confused by all the icons available for white balance. Take help from the camera manual and try different white balance modes.

A Few Photography Tips for Beginners

As we feel, you might be quite scared of using the manual mode. So, you can utilize Shutter Priority and Aperture Priority modes often. The Shutter Priority mode permits you to get a specific shutter speed and the camera decides the aperture on its own. Aperture priority mode is designed for you to set a definite aperture and your camera automatically adjusts the shutter speed. 

Shutter Priority mode is appropriate when you want to click a speedy image. On the other hand, Aperture Priority mode is fine when you want to blur out the surroundings. Well, we are not done yet;

  • Check the ISO value before you click any picture. And, there’s no offense in raising the ISO and examining whether it’s fitting the image.
  • Don’t take shots from a definite angle. Every angle has a different perspective to the same photo and you have to understand how it will appear the best. For example, when you are capturing a child or an animal, reach the level at what they are. However, it’s totally your choice and the circumstances of the image being clicked.
  • When you are clicking a portrait of anyone, keep the focus on the eyes of the subject. Eyes should seem sharp and bright. Select a particular focus point and target any of the eyes. When the first eye is at the focus, move on to the other eye without lifting your finger from the shutter button.

Finally….

We have some special takeaways for you before you leave. The golden hours of photography are early morning and evening. So, keep this thing in your mind. Additionally, avail some of the photo editing software because something can be mended by specific software support only. Bear in mind that not every photo you click might be awesome; they can be mediocre. 

Just keep practicing and again, learn from your mistakes. See you soon!

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