Photography has become one of the most popular hobbies among people of all ages, so it isn’t a surprise that so many people are interested in reading the latest yet simple photography tips, guides and lessons. In this post we’ll give you a detailed list of some of the most important photography tips for beginners. Follow the advices below, and we assure you that the next time you go out shooting pictures, you’ll end up with the best images you’ve ever captured.
1. Learn the Basics of Composition
Putting the object of interest in the middle of your photo isn’t interesting. Read about the Rule of Thirds and apply it the next time you take pictures in order to achieve a more dramatic composition.
2. Adjust Exposure Compensation
When your camera isn’t in manual mode, the camera’s software will try to analyze the photo and adjust the darkness and lightness of the image. However, when in full auto mode you may not achieve the desired effect, so don’t forget to use the exposure compensation feature in order to make the photo brighter or darker.
3. Learn Your Camera’s Modes
Every camera comes pre-loaded with a bunch of automatic modes that you can use for different pictures. Learn their settings, and use the right camera mode the next time you are planning to photograph scenery, people, near/far objects or other composition.
4. Observe the White Balance
Every camera automatically adjusts white balance in order to get the best quality and light of the photo. Taking photos outdoors or indoors will require the usage of a specific white balance present, so check if your camera automatically detects the best mode. If it can’t, then try adjusting the white balance manually.
5. Pay Attention to Lighting
Meaningless if you are shooting indoors or outdoors, you mustn’t forget that lighting is something that you must take into consideration before taking a photo. Check where the light comes from and adjust your position in order to get the best effect. For example, photographing people while the sun is behind them will rarely lead to a good photo.
6. Be Careful with the Flash
Some photos will look 10 times more dramatic and better without turning the flash on. If it’s too dark, then check if the flash will work well – in some cases using the flash in complete darkness will result in bad lighting and colors that ruin the image. So Don’t use your flash all the time.
7. Use a Flash Diffuser
It doesn’t matter if you’ll use a DIY flash diffuser or a professional one bought from the store. The diffuser spreads the light coming from the flash and significantly improves the quality of photos taken in complete darkness, but it will bring you many other benefits as well.
8. Buy a Tripod or Monopod
In many cases the only way to get the perfect shot is to have your camera absolutely still in order to be able to adjust every aspect of the photograph. However, doing this just with your hands won’t be easy as it would be if you had a monopod or tripod. Thanks to this neat little object you can take your time to adjust the frame to perfection.
9. Quality over Quantity
If you have been into photography for a just a few weeks, then you are probably eager to share all your work with your friends. However, whenever you take pictures, you’ll end up with a large number of poorly composed or out of focus photos. Don’t upload those, because they make a bad impression. Instead, browse through your shots and pick the best ones.
10. Post-Processing is a Must
Even the best photos can benefit from some retouching. Don’t think that using an image-editing program is a bad decision – many of your photos will be significantly better with a few simple final touches such as cropping or adjusting colors, brightness and levels.
11. Be Wise & Bold
Many beginners are afraid to break certain guidelines, because they are afraid what other photographers will say about them. Don’t become this type of photographer – don’t be afraid to try new things, settings, modes, compositions and ideas. The bolder you are, the better your shots will be.
12. Minimize the Distance
Digital zoom can sometimes be handy, but it is ten times better to get physical near your target instead of zooming in. This will reveal more details, and will make the final image much clearer and better.
13. Catch the Moment
As a photographer, you’ll need to be ready to shoot some photographs at any time. The perfect moment for a photograph may last just a second, so be prepared to capture the right moment.
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14. Learn to Focus
Using the right focus setting is essential if you want to capture the best photographs. Sometimes using lower depth-of-field is the better decision, especially when talking about photos of individual objects such as pets, people, flowers, etc. However, if you are planning to photograph a bigger scene, then you should use great depth-of-field in order to get a fascinating, clear and focused photograph.
15. Play with Shutter Speed
It’s amazing what effects can be achieved by tweaking the shutter speed of your camera. If you are shooting a waterfall, river or creek, then slower shutter speeds will produce better results. On the other hand, if you are trying to photograph an object that’s moving quickly, then using a faster shutter speed will produce the desired result.
16. Check the Weather Forecast
If you are planning a trip to take some great photos, then don’t forget to check the latest forecast. If the weather conditions surprise you, then it is very likely that you won’t be able to capture the desired shots, especially when you are shooting outdoors.
17. Don’t Make Your Life Complicated
You don’t have to tweak absolutely every single setting of your camera. Keep it as simple as possible in order to make your hobby easier and more enjoyable. Simpler semi-automatic modes usually work well for most beginners.
18. Direct Eye Contact is the Best Choice
If you are photographing a person, then try to make direct eye contact with them. This means that you may have to duck or climb higher in order to find the right position, but trust us when we say that the final result will be worth it. Photos captured from a lower or higher position are often far worse than expected.
19. Use Plain Backgrounds
You want to focus on your object, not the background. Find a place where the surroundings aren’t distractive and you’ll be able to focus solely on your object.
20. Use Your Flash on a Sunny Day
Sunny weather can cause some problems for photographers. If you are photographing a person who is in front of the sun, then you’ll need to turn your flash on, on sunny day in order to light up the front part of their body. See how to shoot under sun?
21. Learn the Characteristics of Your Flash
Camera flashes work at different range. Most modern cameras have a flash that is effective for objects up to five steps away. Check your manual to see your flash’s capabilities and position yourself according to this information. This way you’ll be sure that the flash will light up your objects nice and well.
22. Experiment with Vertical Pictures
This is a pretty obvious tip, but it still worth mentioning. Some scenes just look better when photographed vertically, so don’t hesitate to rotate your camera sideways the next time you are taking a photo.
23. Direct Your Pictures
If you are photographing people, then give them positioning instructions. Tell them where to stand, how to stand, and where to look at. Direct your pictures and the final result will always be satisfying.
24. Always Use Full Resolution and Full Quality
Spend a few bucks on a bigger memory card and you’ll never have problems storing your shots. If you are camera supports taking shots in RAW format then definitely use this option! RAW pictures’ quality is lossless, so no compression will be applied to the images you capture.