A Beginners Guide on How to Get Started With Photography
This blog is all about “A Beginners Guide on How to Get Started With Photography”. Everyone starts their respective journey differently. The same thing follows for photography as well. Not everyone starts photography or show interest towards camera right from the schooldays. Some starts as a compulsory lesson in college or through a online/offline photography classes or some just gets motivated from others or by seeing any shots from NatGeo or Discovery on television. Later one was my story though :).
The thing is, there is a starting point of everything which in-turn increases your interest towards doing that thing and gradually it converts into passion and then later you become a professional.
Before going ahead with all this, you should know Photography is a bit expensive hobby and you will need to vast amount of information to discover if you starting this from scratch. Here in this blog I have tried to consolidate each point from beginning. These points will surely help you to move in right direction :
Find Out What Inspires You :
Before you buy or do anything else, You need to ask yourself these question …
Do you enjoy traveling, trekking and taking pictures of your journey? Or snapping photos of running kids and capture their expression?
Do you like to have an all-rounder who likes to capture everything, or would you rather simply capture the moment as it unfolds in front of you?
Or Are you more interested in one genre like sports or macro or landscapes ?
By answering all this question, you will make your journey more beautiful and you will never be bored of it for sure. This will keep motivating you in this entire journey and from this point you can better determine on where n how to start photography.
Get Motivated… Get started
Just go out n try clicking lots of images with different settings like change in white balance/ISO/aperture/shutter speed/focus points /different angels. You may not get desired result for few weeks, but slowly you will feel that you are clicking better pictures now than what you were few days back.
The Best Things in Life Don’t Come Easy
Choosing your Camera:
Should you go for Nikon or Canon or some other brands like Pentax or Sony ? What features an entry level camera should have ?
Choose your first dslr based on the feature not its brand. Nikon and Canon are great because they offer you best possible specification available in market and you will get lots of lenses to choose from from wildlife telephoto lens to macro lens or a prime lens. You can always rely on these 2 brands.
On the other hands there are other brands like Pentax and Sony. They do create wonderful cameras but they lag because their lens options are not as wide as Nikon or Canon. I have a huge respect for Pentax, they create weather sealed cameras even for beginner and they build are top notch. Sadly in most of countries their sales and service are not available. If you are countries like USA, then i would say you must consider Pentax before going for Nikon or Canon.
As a entry level DSRL no one looks for higher frame rate, more n more focus points or a fancy flip out screen. The main objective should be first to learn how to operate and make full use of manual functions available in DSLR.
We also should explore market to know what feature we should expect from a entry level DSLR. Our main priority should be high image quality, enough focus points, enough compatible lenses in case if you want to upgrade or a good battery life which gives you at least 600/700 shots before it needs to charge again. AT this level don’t expect cameras with full frame sensors (FX) or more than 30 focus points with tilted screens.
While choosing your first camera, you should consider below points :
Know Your Camera Better
Get comfortable with your camera, it could be mirror-less, point n shoot or DSLR. Know which could be the best setting according to the scene you are composing. Its always good to know strengths of your camera or lens along with weaknesses, this also helps you to select and frame your shot.
Small techniques likes, how fast can you change ISO or Shutter speed number if you need to. Is there any shortcut for it ? Questions like number of focus points in your camera, maximum ISO it can reach, how to change focusing and metering modes ! All this needs to answered by you before going ahead for shoot.
If you have a DSLR then obviously you must have detachable lens. So you have to know your lenses as well. You can go for portrait shoot with your telephoto lens. Similarly you should be knowing what is the maximum aperture I can get in this camera, zoom range and at what aperture and setting this lens works best.
Learn How to Use Lights :
Understanding light is essential to becoming a good photographer. If nothing else, learn light. Watch how light coming in from different angles creates different shadows and highlights. Watch how placing the light behind, in front or to the side of what you are photographing changes your results. Look at other images and try to guess where the light is coming from, and if it’s flash, studio lights or sunlight. You can simply google for image and check out how those photographs are captured from different angle and different lighting conditions.
Get to Know Fundamentals of Photography :
If you have jumped from point n shoot to DSLR then AUTO mode must be favorite for you, coz most often it does the job quite accurately. But there is some reason we have manual mode to adjust each setting as you want.
If you want to go to next level of photography, get accustomed with manual mode in DSLR. It will give you option to adjust each small setting from Aperture, ISO, shutter speed, WB, focusing techniques , depth of field and many more. This way you will things will be clear for you and you will know how each setting affects the final image.
You have the DSLR now and you do know the basics. Now start clicking tons of images and filter few best ones and get social media feedback or image contest. Don’t just shoot with Random setting or in auto mode. Try to click one single image with different settings and observe the difference among them. This will help you to select the best setting in different conditions.
Don’t upload your pictures on any unprofessional site. Try uploading your shots to Flickr, 500px and many more where you will be getting good feedback from rookie and professional photographers too. Another most important point is, Don’t get discouraged with negative comments and pump-up with positive comments. Utilize this negative comments and feedback to your own good.
Use Manual mode :
Start out by learning what aperture, shutter speed and ISO is, and find the exposure meter on your camera (usually on the bottom or side of the viewfinder, which is the hole you look through. Then try programed auto, usually “P” on the mode dial. This mode chooses the settings, but allows you to flip through a few different options. From there, you can try out aperture priority mode where you choose the aperture, and shutter priority where you choose the shutter speed. Once you’re comfortable there, using full manual mode won’t be such a huge step outside of your comfort zone. Click here to know different Modes available in DSLR.
A Little Bit of Post-Processing :
There will be a time when you will shoot a picture of flowers and later you feel “Wish this yellow was little more saturated”, or in a landscape shot there could be a shadow in most part of the image due to dark clouds. You don’t want too much shadow which will make your photograph darker.
This is not a compulsory point, but yes these are the add-ons which will make your image more appealing and beautiful. For this you need to learn little bit of post-processing. Start with your in-camera “RE-TOUCH” option. Here you can saturate colors and selective color is also possible. Later you can jump on Lightroom/Photoshop/Snapseed and explore your editing skills.
But do remember, over editing or higher saturation can also eat the originality of image, so be careful while editing. You can select RAW file from DSLR to apply this effect.
Photography is a rewarding hobby, and it can even become an enjoyable career if you truly do it from heart. But, everyone has to start somewhere. When you are starting at the very beginning, find what inspires you, then get a camera with manual modes. Shoot everyday and take your camera with you everywhere. Learn about light and manual modes. But, make sure to enjoy yourself as you do—take a break if you get frustrated, and don’t give up
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