As a new photographer, you can take some help from experienced professionals who have a lot to share. GreatBuyz brings you the essential photography tips and techniques that will help you become a better photographer. The bite-sized photography tips that we have curated for you will make you easily get in touch with your creative side when there’s a camera in your hand. We have tried to cover everything from basic photography techniques to creativity and composition. Now get ready to be taken on a joy ride and learn the wisdom of the professionals.
1. First Things First, Don’t Go Crazy Buying Expensive Equipment
If I am going to be a photographer, I need to have the latest hi-tech gadgets in hand. Right?
It is very much possible to learn basic photography techniques, even with the most inexpensive point and shoot cameras. When you are starting with photography, you need to learn more about composition and creativity, and once you have taken enough photographs, you will know when its time to upgrade.
Nikon D3500 Camera For Beginners
2. Avoid Camera Shake
A still hold over the camera is important to take good pictures. Unfortunately, camera shake is trouble that plagues even the most experienced photographers. Good news is some awesome photography tips can help you avoid the shake or blur.
As a beginner, you need to know how to hold your camera correctly. When holding the camera, you have to use both hands, one holding the body and other holding the lens. Keep the camera as close to your body as possible for support.
If you are handheld shooting, you have to adjust the shutter speed to match the lens’ focal length. When you set the shutter speed too slow, even tiniest camera movement can result in the entire picture coming out as blurry.
How do you know what the right shutter speed is?
The rule of thumb is to set the shutter speed above the focal length to minimize blurring. Mathematically it can be represented as:
1 / Focal Length (in mm) = Minimum Shutter Speed (in seconds)
For instance, if you have a camera lens of 100mm focal length, you must not set the shutter speed slower than 1/100th of a second.
A tripod or monopod will be of great help.
As a beginner, you will not have too much control over the camera no matter how hard you try. If the terminology that we shared above confuses you, you can pick the right tripod or monopod for your camera, so you don’t have to worry about blurred pictures at the beginning.
Benro T600EX Tripod
3. Get the idea of the Exposure Triangle
One of the most important photography tips is to master the three basics-aperture, shutter speed and ISO.
You can read a hundred photography tips and techniques, but you won’t be able to fully harness the power of your camera unless you master these basics. To become a good photographer, you need to know how aperture, shutter speed and ISO work and intricately study the relationships between these three controls.
These three variables are codependent, and when you change one, you have to make appropriate changes to at least one of the other two to get the photographs you desire. You can always switch to Auto Mode, but you lose control over manipulating these three controls to get the photos you want. If you do not want to be disappointed with the result, you have to take control of your hands.
Experienced photographers recommend learning one of the two modes-Aperture-Priority or Shutter-Priority. Several online camera skills courses teach you more about shooting in Manual mode.
4. Buy a Polarizing Filter
We did mention not to spend money on expensive gadgets, but if you are going to learn photography, you will need some basics to start.
One of the most basic photography techniques is to learn the use of various lenses. Now there are too many lenses to choose, but you must start with a polarizer.
A circular polarizer is ideal to start with as it is easy to use and supports most of the TTL (through the lens) metering functions such as auto exposure. The polarizing filter helps to improve the photographs by reducing the exposure and reflections from water, metal and glass. Reduced reflections help you capture more colour information of surroundings such as sky and foliage, adding that wow factor.
Polarizer filters can also act as lens protection for your camera as you can keep using them for all types of photography.
Hoya Digital Filter Kit
5. Learn to Use Flash Appropriately
Learning to use flash is an inevitable part of being a photographer which is why you need to know how to control that source of light. Cameras come with built-in and external flashes, and to be a confident photographer, you have to learn to use both appropriately.
Most beginners think that flash is all about brightening the nearby scene or subject. However, they can’t be more wrong. Adding light is the purpose, but it is not just to brighten the scene or subject. Flash is also used to set the mood, create special effects and emphasize on certain image elements. That being said, do not use flash indoors.
For indoor portraits, flash can look harsh and unnatural, which can ruin the entire picture. There are many ways to illuminate the scene and subject when taking photos indoors without using the flash.
Here are some photography tips to take photos indoors without a flash.
Push up the ISO, usually between 800 and 1600 that will make a big difference for the shutter speed.
Use the widest aperture possible to allow more light to reach the sensor for a nice blurred background.
Use a tripod an I.S. (Image Stabilization) lens gets great indoor pictures without blur.
If you have to use flash, then use a flash with a head that you can point to the ceiling at an angle.
Godox Thinklite TT685 TTL Flash for Canon Cameras
6. Create a Sense of Depth
What makes 3D so much more immersive than plain 2D? It is the sense of depth that appeals to the viewer.
Depth is also an important part of photography. Especially when you are photographing landscapes, you have to create a sense of depth that makes viewers feel like they are there in the scenery.
To create a sense of depth, you will have to keep the aperture small ideally f/16 or smaller and use a wide-angle lens for a panoramic view. This will keep the foreground and background sharp that will give a clear sense of scale and emphasize on how far the distance is.
Pro tip: Use a tripod if possible, as small aperture pictures usually require a slower shutter speed.
Canon PowerShot SX620HS Camera For Panoramic Photography
7. Choose the Right ISO
ISO is the variable that decides how sensitive is your camera to light and also controls the graininess of the image.
Working with ISO can get quite tricky, which is why you need to know how to set the right ISO setting to take high-quality, impactful images. The right choice of ISO depends on the situation.
When using a tripod-As a tripod stabilizes the camera, and you can use slower shutter speed, you can use a lower ISO
Depth of field needed-If you do not want a large field depth, you can increase the aperture to allow more light to enter and it allows you to lower the ISO
Is the subject moving-If the subject is moving then you need higher shutter speed and higher ISO
Artificial lighting-If you are using some artificial lighting or a flash to brighten the scene, you lower the ISO setting
How much the image will be enlarged-As mentioned ISO decides the graininess, so you have to set the ISO depending on how much you expect to enlarge the image
If it is dark-You have to use higher ISO setting 400-3200 to make the camera more sensitive to light and avoid blurring
Learning about ISO is one of the most basic photography techniques that will serve you well.
Best Canon EOS 800D 24.2MP Digital SLR Camera for Beginners
8. Learn to Use The Right Backgrounds
Though backgrounds take the backseat of your picture, they still make an essential part. You cannot expect to capture the most honest and appealing photographs without the appropriate backgrounds. This is why you need to learn about using the right background in the images.
According to experts, taking pictures with low-end backgrounds such as muted greys help bring out the attention to the subject. A fine basic photography trick as a beginner is to spend some time shooting free headshots of the passersby. This will give you an idea of what you want to include in the background and how to capture appropriate details of the subjects.
The approach is simple; you have to only keep the elements in the photograph that do not create any distraction and get rid of the rest. When you are beginning, you can choose plain backgrounds with neutral colours and simple patterns. Your objective is to draw attention to the focal point of the picture and not the background with a colour patch or some odd building. If you are putting the model off centre in your photograph, then it becomes more important.
Canon EOS 200D-Best Digital SLR Camera for newbies
9. Pan to Create Motion
Panning is one of the basic photography techniques that is used in capturing subjects in motion. As a beginner, you are going to find it difficult to capture subjects in motion which is why you will need to learn how to pan to create motion.
The easiest way to capture a subject in motion is to choose a shutter speed two steps lower than necessary. Therefore, for 1/250 focal length, you will keep the shutter speed to 1/60. This will allow you to easily focus on the object in motion and take clear pictures. Also, keep your finger halfway down on the shutter to lock the focus and remember to follow the subject as it moves.
For perfect panning, you can take a tripod to capture clear movement lines and avoid camera shake.
Canon EOS 77D 24.2MP Digital SLR Camera-Valuable features in budget
10. Have Fun With The Shutter Speed
You are learning photography which means the whole arena is your playground. Do not be afraid to play with variables to get interesting photos. The shutter speed is one of the controls that can create some interesting effects.
For instance, when you are taking a night time shot, try setting up your camera on a tripod and set the shutter speed to 4 seconds. Now when you capture moving objects, you will see clear light trails following. On the other side, if you set the shutter speed lower to around 1/250th of a second, you won’t be getting any trails; instead, you will freeze the action of the object.
To learn faster how to work magic with shutter speed, try shooting moving objects with varied backgrounds such as beach, crowds, cards at different shutter speeds. You will get shots with blurred movements and freeze frames.
Remember that whenever you are using the slow shutter speeds, you have to keep the camera stabilized to avoid camera shake.
Nikon D5300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera-Best Nikon camera for beginners
To become a good photographer, you need to master the basic photography techniques first. Spending thousands on shiny gadgets won’t make you a fine photographer; instead, learning from the photography tips we have shared here will help.
If you can utilize these tips, you will be able to take pristine shots even with a modest digital camera and a standard lens. Master the basics, learn to use the composition, experiment with backgrounds and above all, enjoy taking photographs. This is all it takes to go from a novice to a professional photographer.