Despite the abundance of information, the question often arises of giving some advice to beginners, or rather to those people who just want to take up photography. So, what can we say to those who really want to take photos, but don’t know which side to approach this business?
Do not chase expensive equipment
One of the most common misconceptions is that in order to take a good photo, you definitely need a good expensive camera and a lot of everything expensive. This is not true. Remember once and for all. A photographer takes a photograph, a camera is just a tool in his hands. The masterpieces of wooden architecture were created with just one ax. So it is with photography.
Having the most sophisticated camera, you will shoot the same “dull g …”, as if in your hands was just a cheap mobile phone. Yes, the technical quality of the images may be higher. But technical quality is not the main thing in photography.
Therefore, do not try to spend the last money on a new DSLR that has just appeared on the market. New models of digital cameras are changing so quickly that by the time you understand how to shoot, your top-end SLR is likely to become hopelessly out of date.
In order to start learning the basics of photography and quite significantly raise the level of your pictures, a rather simple “advanced” soap dish with an expanded set of settings and even a “smartphone” with a good camera is enough. I saw pictures of very famous photographers that they took on their “iPhones” and “androids,” simply because the camera was not at hand. And those were great shots. It is precisely because these people understood how and what to shoot, and why – the issue is secondary.
For the worst, look for a second-hand DSLR on forums and classified ads. A 2-3-year-old DSLR in excellent condition, quite suitable for learning to take pictures, can be bought 2-3 times cheaper than the one that just entered the market.
Do not chase the “megapixels.” They won’t make your shots better.
Therefore, the first tip is to start with a simple technique, learning the basics of photography itself as a process. When you begin to understand what you are definitely missing, buy another camera, but knowing exactly what you are buying and why.
Talk about sharpness
For beginners, frame sharpness is one of the main indicators of a high-quality image. So be it.
At its core, blurry blurry frames can have 4 main reasons
- “Shake” – camera shake at high shutter speed when you shoot in low light conditions. Moreover, the effect of stirring can affect when already at a shutter speed of 1/10 second.
- The movement of
the subject – not every subject is absolutely static, and even a slight
movement can “smear” the frame if, again
, you shoot at a fairly high shutter speed.
- Autofocus miss – autofocus systems are not perfect and can sometimes miss when focusing on another subject.
- Depth of field incorrectly selected
There are other reasons, more specific, but this is a separate
In 90% of cases, the reason for blurry pictures is precisely the shake. Remember the main thing – the longer the shutter speed, the more motionless your camera and the subject should be.
If you’re tired of
constantly “blurry” pictures, think of a tripod . Even an
inexpensive tripod can dramatically change the situation.
In addition, read about simple but useful tricks on how to fix a camera without a tripod if you don’t have it with you.
Keep the camera with you
The opportunity to take a good shot is often provided when this is least expected. Therefore, try not to forget the camera at home.
Do not try to purposefully “go to photography” as a job, hoping to catch a good shot. Just keep the camera with you if you went for a walk, went to some interesting place, or even to a meeting with friends. Perhaps it is then that there will be a chance to make a great shot. For such a case, a small compact camera is better than a hefty professional-level DSLR.
Think about what you want to photograph
Pay attention to subjects and subjects interesting for shooting. Even when you don’t have a camera with you. Note objects, think about how to do product photography them so that you get an interesting picture. This can be done constantly, on the way to work or study, and even while in the store.
If you find an interesting object, spend a few minutes to take a note in a notebook or on your phone – what, where and how you would like to take a picture.
Perhaps another time, even after a few months, you will have a free minute to purposefully return to this place and take a shot.
See the world through the eyes of a photographer
Are you sure that right at hand there is no subject for an
interesting picture? Maybe it’s a flower on the windowsill, a view from
the window, a bowl of fruit in the kitchen.
Train your photographic thinking. Try to look at familiar things differently, not the way you do it day by day.
There is the concept of ” preliminary visualization .” A good photograph is created long before you pick up the camera. Taking up the camera you should already mentally see the future frame.
Many stories are right in front of your eyes, perhaps even in the room where you are now. Learn to see what others do not see and perhaps you will be able to make a masterpiece without even leaving home.
Enjoy the process
For 90% of photographers, photography is a hobby, not a job. A hobby should be fun. In photography, you should not only enjoy the end result. You must learn to enjoy the process. From the process of studying and reading materials from photography, from viewing other people’s photos, from trying to create something of their own.
Having studied the basics, you can significantly improve the quality of your pictures, but to make a real masterpiece, you will have to learn a lot, try a lot. Take calmly the failures, trying to understand what you did wrong and how you should have done it.
Only in this way can you achieve true mastery.
Learn from others
Now there is a lot of information about how to become a photographer – books, useful articles and tips for beginners. Use this information. But use consistently. Do not try to understand the meaning of a multi-page article about lighting schemes if you still do not understand what an exposition is.
Try to create your personal consistent learning plan. It may be worth attending several workshops or webinars designed for beginners.
Also, study other people’s work. You can just try to copy. There is nothing wrong with that. Copying other people’s works is an integral part of training at any art school. Look at someone else’s photo and analyze what exactly attracted you to it. Just a beautiful view? Or maybe lighting? Random passerby caught in the frame?
The only thing you should not do is do not immediately try to copy masterpieces. For starters, choose work that is slightly better than yours. Going to the next level – choose more complex ones and so on.
Improve your skills gradually, step by step. Do not try to immediately climb to the top of the tree, in the best case, just wrap your skin, in the worst, you will fall down.
Analyse your pictures and don’t worry
If you are unhappy with what happened, do not rush to throw the camera in the far corner. Analyze your pictures, think about what is wrong, why it was not possible to do what you wanted and what you would have to change. And next time you will not make the same mistake.
Ask to criticize your photos of those who know more than you. Perhaps they will indicate errors that you do not see. But be tolerant and prepared for the fact that your work can be torn to pieces.
Do you think that those photographers whose work you admire create masterpieces with the click of a button? You are mistaken. I’ll tell you a secret, returning from some kind of photographic tour, a professional photographer brings with him gigabytes of footage and thousands of frames.
But only a few frames from this session really go to work and appear before the viewer, who will admire the picture. Everything else goes to the trash.
I know the case when it took the photographer 5 years to make the “same shot”. Every year he returned to the same place, but only once did he receive the light, the time and the weather that he needed.
Do you think he was worried about this? Not at all. He just remembered about this place and when the opportunity was presented, he tried to do what he intended. But this did not stop him from doing other things and creating other masterpieces.
Get to know your camera better
If you bought a DSLR and constantly shoot in auto mode, then what is the use of this DSLR? Good shots are rarely taken “automatically.”
Read the instructions for your camera. Find out what aperture, shutter speed, aperture priority, exposure compensation, mirror pre-lift mode and much more mean.
When you understand the meaning of different parameters – try to use them, do not hesitate to experiment with the settings.
You will be surprised how you can remove the same subject in different ways, just by changing the settings.
Start with the basics
The amount of information about a photograph can be dumbfounded and confusing. Take your time. Start with the basics – the rules of the third, articles on composition, the basics of lighting, technical issues such as depth of field, exposure, etc. For example, start with this old but still relevant article about the basic rules of photography.
Yes, new shooting techniques and techniques are appearing, but the basics have been unchanged for decades. And without knowing the basics, do not rush to move on to more advanced shooting techniques.
This is probably the most important tip. Shoot, shoot and shoot again. This does not mean that you, as a madman, should take pictures of everything, trying to replace quality with quantity. But the more you shoot and analyse the footage, the faster you will understand what needs to be done.
Learned basics will be forgotten without regular practice. And your goal is to drive them into your subconscious mind so that your hands automatically set the necessary parameters on the camera while the brain is busy with which angle is better.