Despite the abundance of information, there is often a question of giving some advice to beginners, more precisely to those people who just want to take up photography. So, what can you say to those who really want to take photos, but do not know which side to approach this case?
Do not pursue expensive equipment
One of the most common misconceptions is that in order to shoot a good photo, you need a good expensive camera and a whole lot more expensive. This is not true. Remember once and for all. A photographer takes a photo, a camera is just a tool in his hands. Masterpieces of wooden architecture were created with the help of an ax alone. So with the photo.
Having the most heaped 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 SLR that has just appeared on the market. New models of digital cameras change so quickly that by the time you understand how to shoot, your top-end mirror is likely to become hopelessly obsolete.
In order to begin to study the basics of photography & quite significantly increase the level of their images, a simple “advanced” soapbox, with an extended set of settings, even a “smartphone” with a good camera, is enough. I saw pictures of very famous photographers, which they did on their “iPhones” & “androids”, simply because the camera was not at hand. And they were great pictures. Precisely because these people understood how & what to shoot, – the issue is secondary.
At the worst, look at the forums, the ads mirror the second-hand camera. 2-3-year-old SLR in excellent condition, it is quite fit to learn to take pictures, you can buy 2-3 times cheaper than the one that just entered the market.
Do not pursue “megapixels”. They will not make your pictures better.
Therefore, the first advice – start with a simple technique, studying the basics of the photo itself as a process. When you start to understand what you definitely do not have, buy another camera, but knowing exactly what you are buying & why.
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Let’s talk about sharpness
For beginners, the sharpness of the frame, one of the main indicators of a quality picture. So be it.
At its core, blurred frames can have 4 main reasons
- “Shvelelka” – camera shake at high exposure, when you shoot in low light conditions. The effect of shagging can affect when already at an exposure of 1/10 seconds.
- The movement of the subject – not every subject is absolutely static, & even a small movement can “blur” the frame if again you shoot at a fairly long exposure
- Auto Focus Failure – AF systems are not ideal & may sometimes miss, focusing on another object.
- The depth of field is incorrectly selected
There are other reasons, more specific, but this is a separate conversation.
In 90% of cases, the cause of blurred pictures is scraping. Remember the main thing – the more shutter speed, the more still your camera and the subject should be fixed.
If you are tired of constantly “smeared” pictures, think about the tripod. Even an inexpensive tripod can dramatically change the situation.
In addition, read about simple, but useful techniques, how you can fix the camera without a tripod if it is not with you.
Keep the camera to yourself
The ability to make a good frame is often provided when you least expect it. So try not to forget the camera at home.
Do not try to “go to the photo” purposefully, as to work, in the hope of catching a successful shot. Just keep the camera to yourself, if you went for a walk, went to some interesting place or even to meet your friends. Maybe then it will be a chance to make a great shot. For such a case, a small compact camera is just better suited than a huge professional-grade SLR.
Think about what you want to photograph
Pay attention to interesting subjects for shooting. Even when you do not have a camera with you. Note the objects, think about how to photograph them so that you get an interesting picture. This can be done constantly, on the way to work or study, even being in the store.
If you find an interesting object, take a few minutes to make yourself a note in notepad or on the phone – which, where & 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 & make a frame.
Look at the world through the eyes of a photographer
Are you sure that there is no subject for an interesting picture right at hand? Maybe it’s a flower on the windowsill, view from the window, a vase of fruit in the kitchen.
Train your photographic thinking. Try to look at the usual things differently, not as you do this day in and day out.
A lot of stories are right in front of your eyes, maybe even in the room where you are now. Learn to see what others do not see perhaps you will be able to make a masterpiece without ever leaving home.
Enjoy the process
For 90% of photographers – photography is a hobby, not a job. Hobbies should bring pleasure. In photography, you should enjoy not only the final result. You must learn to enjoy the process. From the process of studying and reading materials on photography, from viewing other people’s photos, from trying to create something your 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 it easy to fail, trying to understand what you did wrong and how to do it.
Only in this way you can achieve real mastery.
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Learn from others
Now in bulk 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 the multipage article about the lighting scheme, if you do not yet understand what an exposition is.
Try to make up your personal plan for successive training. Perhaps worth a visit to several master classes or webinars designed for beginners.
In addition, study other people’s work. You can just try to copy. In this, there is nothing shameful. Copying someone else’s work is an integral part of learning in an art school. Look at someone else’s photo & analyze – what exactly attracted you to it. Just a beautiful view? Maybe lighting? The casual passer-by got into the frame?
The only thing you should not do is do not try to copy masterpieces at once. Choose to start those works that are slightly better than yours. Go to the next level – choose more complex and so on.
Increase your skills gradually, step by step. Do not try to climb straight to the top of the tree, at best, just wrap your skin, at worst – fall down.
Analyze your pictures & do not worry
If you are unhappy with what happened, do not rush to throw the camera into the far corner. Analyze your pictures, think about what is wrong, why it did not work out what you wanted and what you would have to change. The next time you do not make the same mistake.
Ask to criticize your photos of those who know more than you. Perhaps they will point out errors you do not see. But be tolerant and ready for the fact that your work can be blown to ashes.
Do you think that those photographers, whose works you admire, create masterpieces by clicking on one button? You are mistaken. I will 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 goes to work and appears in front of the viewer, who will admire the photograph. Everything else goes to the trash.
I know the case when the photographer took 5 years to make the “same frame.” Every year he returned to the same place, but only once he received that light, the time and the weather that he needed.
Do you think he was worried about this? Not at all. He simply remembered about this place and when an opportunity was given, he tried to do what he planned. 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, what’s the use of this DSLR? Good pictures are rarely made “on the machine.”
Read the manual for your camera. Find out what the aperture means, shutter speed, aperture priority, exposure compensation, pre-lift mode, and much more.
When you understand the meaning of different parameters – try to use them, do not hesitate to experiment with the settings.
You will be surprised at how differently you can take one and the same thing, just by changing the settings.
Start with the basics
Do not hurry. Start with the basics – the rules of thirds, articles on composition, lighting basics, technical points, such as depth of field, exposure, etc. For example, start with this old, but the still relevant article about the basic rules of photography.
Yes, there are new techniques and tricks for shooting, but the fundamentals are the same for a long time. And without knowing the basics, do not rush to move to more advanced shooting techniques.
Probably, this is the most important advice. Shoot, take off and shoot again. This does not mean that you, like a madman, should take pictures of everything in a row, trying to replace the quality with quantity. But the more you shoot and analyze the footage, the faster you will come to understand what you need to do.
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 right parameters on the camera while the brain is busy with what aspect is better.