It’s phenomena that every noob cameraman searches for photography tips for beginners to improve his photographic skills, like I did in my early days of photography. In this article, I’ll explain some ways to take great photos. These tips are very powerful, but they are not exhaustive. They come from Photography experts and my own experience throughout my career as a photographer. If you followed these tips properly (learn and shoot technique), you will be counted by community, amongst a good photographers list.
Although these tips are evergreen; can be used at any stage and they are worth repeating. If we categorize them, they should be broken down into three categories: before, during, and after photography.
So, let’s start the journey and learn some photography tips for beginners.
Read Camera’s User Manual
I am a bit bibliomaniac; read a lot and I love it. I even read the user manuals of every gadget I own to get the best use out of them. You can tune-up and tweak yourself by acquiring knowledge from the literature. You don’t have to ask from others for “How to”.
The benefit of the reading camera manual is to give the photographer a proper detailed guidance about the usage of camera and its functions. Even it contains information related to software settings of the camera. Reading your device manual also gives you full command of the device. Hence, you don’t have to ask about the functionality of your camera button from other photographers.
Learn Photography Basics
After becoming acquainted with your camera, it’s time to start learning about basic camera settings for photography. As a beginner, it is essential to learn about the three most important settings in photography: aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. These are what you should practice with before using full Auto. Remember that these three functions are the camera’s most important decisions. When you become familiar with aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, you should start clicking with manual settings. Manual Mode give you complete control on the settings, especially in darker subject. Try to shoot in RAW or RAW+JPG. RAW are the digital negatives having zero compression. It provides High Quality and promising options for post processing.
Learn Rules of Compositions in Photography
As a photographer, for me, the term composition meaning in Photography is “the process of arranging and putting elements (Light and objects) together by applying relevant perspective, to capture eye-catching and engaging photos”. It is one of the first and foremost fundamental photography tips for beginners to make their photos more eye-catching. However, newbies obsessed with capturing shots and barely go for creativity. They often forget to pay attention on composition.
Composition can be learned by taking photos from multiple angles with different camera setting for a single subject or location. Try, Try, and Try until your success.
Avoid Gear Acquisition syndrome (GAS)
Gear acquisition syndrome, or GAS, is a term applied to photographers who prefers to buy new and expensive gears for their photos. However, this can be cured by snapping the perfect picture with the tools they already have.
Remember, if you want to be a good photographer, avoid relying on pricey lenses or professional cameras, instead, upgrade your skills to next level for better perspectives. Don’t let technical specs get in the way of your innovative imagination! Learn different perspectives and compositions and apply them during photography. Indeed, the camera and lens quality play a vital success in photography; it is not as critical as your creativity. I know some Entry level DSLR photographers who take better photos as compared to those with mirrorless professional cameras.
Always believe in yourself because you are the one who is using the camera; not camera is using you.
The term “photography” is originated from Greek root word φωτός (phōtós) which means “representing light in lines” or “lines of Light” or “Drawing with light”. The most important factor of photography is light. for me, there is no good or bad light but it’s up to photographer how does he do formation and composition of light in his photo. A good photographer understands how to use the light and adjusts the camera settings accordingly. Practice different types of light and note down the settings for future understanding. For example, soft light is essential for better portraits. Harsh light kills the details.
Learn Underexpose and Overexpose
Underexpose means daker photos due to poor light and overexpose means too much brighter photos due to high amount of light. Both under and over exposure badly affects the photo details. luckily, the details of underexposure photos are possible to recover in post-processing, whereas details at the brightest part of the photos are destroyed due to light.
For correct overexposure and underexposure, you must have to work with camera settings, especially ISO, Shutter speed and shutter as well. Exposure compensation is another camera setting which adjusts the light up to three variables.
Take a Photo before field photography
Camera battery and memory card, check. This is the nightmare of a photographer – a memory card you forgot at home or walking into the field without power. This has happened to me before also with most photographers at least once in their lifetime. Either they forget their memory card or walk into the field without battery.
It’s an important thing to do before you head out for photography, especially if you’re going to be far from home. The best tip to tackle camera without battery or memory card condition is to always take a photograph before getting out from your room or house.
If you have any thoughts or personal experiences related to this topic, please share them in the comments below!
Check your camera Settings
Always double check your camera setting before getting into the field. Initially I did a lot of clicks due to the manual settings only because of not checking the settings. It will help you to get the desired photo right on time.
Impatience may be a bad quality of a photographer, but it can also be a good one. It is one of the many characteristics of a good photographer. You may have to walk for miles and wait for hour for a single click. Sometimes you can a perfect click with a minute.
Remember! your one click can make your Professional Photographer around the globe round the clock.
Clean your Camera Lens
A dirty and dusty lens can only capture the blurry photos. The best way to clean DSLR lens is use an air blower and soft-bristled brush, similarly, lens cleaning fluid to a microfiber cloth should be used. Always wipe your lens in circular motion from corner to center, gently.
Review your photos
Some photographers do not recommend chimping- reviewing photos soon after snapping them – because it can lead to missing out on the best shots. If you have enough time, feel free to review your photos and correct your mistakes for better composition. In case of very precise time, avoid chimping and focus on capturing.
Take photos from different angles
Move around for better composition. instead, tenting your tripod on a single place, make it flexible, change the height, position, and location for better click. Use Zoom-in and Zoom-out feature of your lens, if available.
Lean how and when to use tripod for better photos
There is always Tripod are used to enhance the quality of photos and stability in composition. tripods are good choice for low light photographs and a group photo at the end of an event. I usually pick tripod alongwith other accessories. Please always choose lighter and quality tripods.
Learn When to use and when to avoid built-in flash
Built-in Flash photography can work well for a lot of different situations, but it is not perfect as external flash. For example, the built-in flash on your camera does not work well as a bounce flash or an external flash. Another reason to avoid flash photography is that it can cause red eyes for portraits in low light settings. also, your camera has a limited-sized battery, which drains quickly. This becomes even worse when you use the flash.
Don’t Use a cheap filter even UV Filter
Whenever a person goes to the camera shop, the salesman suggests buying a UV (Ultraviolet) filter for the lens protection. Usually, we get a cheap filter for a $3 or $4. These types of filters are another source for getting blurry photos. Avoid using such filter unless you badly need it. If you are having a cheap filter throw it away.
Use weather protector for Camera
The cameras are manufactured with very strong, weather-protected material. Compared to the camera body, the camera lenses are not as weather-resistant. Therefore, taking photographs in bad weather is bad for both the camera and the lens. You should avoid taking bad weather photographs, e.g. at the beach or the mountains when there is a lot of dust in the air.
Learn Basic Photo – Editing or Post Processing
Mostly, Photos may need a little tweaking specially color management. Color management is important for many reasons, one of which is post processing. True colors are only achievable through color management. In the past, negative films were processed in darkrooms, nowadays this is being done on computer with the help of photo-editing software. All photographers do some form of post-production on their photos to recover image details and bring reality to the photo.
Photo editing or post-processing is not as complicated as it may seem. Basic photo-editing includes, but is not limited to, cutting the unnecessary parts of a picture (cropping), adjusting the temperature and tint of a photo (white balance adjustment), enhancing details with exposure correction (shadows/highlights), color correction and enhancement (saturation/vibrations).
Backup your photos at Multiple Locations
Photographers with non-technical background might ignore this photography saving tip, but it is one of the most critical aspect followed by every photographer. because data stored in the single location could be destroyed at any time. I do recommend storing data in two latest technologies External Solid-State Drive (SSD) and online cloud storage services like iCloud, google drive and DropBox etc.
Personally, I have stored my photos on my three laptops with Encryption and compression, two SSD portable hard drives, Mega.Nz and Google Drive.
Organize your photos
The sole purpose for organizing photos on your computer, even everything, provide ease for finding, editing, and sharing functionality. Organizing photos will give you two benefits easy to access and less chance to get deleted your photos.
First and foremost, task every photographer must done by a photographer for storing photos is to change the DCIM folder with a suitable title according to the event.
Next, everyone has its own way to organize the photos, some people create Year -> Month -> Event folder whereas some photographers organize their photos according to event and then by putting their name like, Wedding, Engagement, and birthday etc. I do organize my photos and video in a Photography picture folder with Event name and year, sometime complete date.
Store your method at your ease but you must hold this habit forever for everlasting of your photographs.
Think out of Box
Photography is not for the lazy people with dull minds. The more you dig deeper about photography you will find something new and interesting. Observe and discover new areas of photography as much can, you will have your right area of photography.
When I had held my camera first time I captured objects around me, tried different shades of lights for same object, captured trees and nature and captured and even tried wildlife photography with 50mm lens on Nikon D3200. From a single bed, messy room to the street photographer, I give a try to bunch of photography fields.
Say Hi! to Photographer Fellows
The benefit for networking or meeting with other photographers is a great source of learning while having less resources; improve your camera skills, get inspired for photography career and get exposure in the community. People love to share their stories, ideas, and techniques; hence every new camera holder to get reward. always open your heart to heaven of learning new things.
The best way to meet with other photographer is participating Photo walks and Photo exhibitions; whereas, attending Meetups, joining Online Photography Groups, Forums and Taking photography classes are grate ways to greet the photography gurus and newbies. Another way is to arrange a photography event by yourself if you have potential to arrange it.
Use all the available modes
Modes are the modes of the camera, for capturing moments. use them freely and widely they give you a lot of space to save time and get better result than manual mode. Landscape mode comprises of great algorithm to capture sceneries, similarly sports mode deals with sports actions.
Take Extra battery
For a photographer, carrying a spare fully charged battery can means staying on the field for long period of time and capturing more awesome images. Sometimes photographers travel very far in search of better shots. using built-in flash can consumes and drain battery quickly.
Invest in Quality memory card
When I first started photography, I wasn’t paying attention to speed of memory cards. I had no idea how much it would affect my photography. resultantly, I lost two of them. One was damaged with memorable shots and the other was broken in the laptop’s card reader slot.
A high-speed memory card significantly increases the performance, especially shooting in burst or continuous mode. A slower and poor-quality SD card puts the photos in camera’s buffer zone for storing which requires more CPU and resources; also leads to overheating and possible melting of the SD card.
A quality memory card has an extremely fast read and write rate; deliver very High performance; reduce overheating issues. whereas a low-quality card has very poor access performance and quickly overheat the camera, specially shooting in raw format.
Visit your Photo Archive for better stories
I love checking out my old photography collection every two months. There I find some eye-catching new compositions from archive that I had forgotten. Similarly, I do also laugh on myself to see some freaky shots.
Another benefit for looking into old photos to identify your weak points in photography.
Avoid carrying extra accessories
I know some of my fellow photographers who carry all their photo equipment in their bag-pack – not just the camera, but also the lens cleaning kit and external flash. Remember you don’t need all your camera accessories for every photography. Hence, only keep only camera with a suitable lens.
Learn and Break the Photography Rules
Photography is an art, and as with all arts it has rules and boundaries. Learn the basic composition rules and standards of photography defined by the gurus to make your photos creative. A master’s creative ideas become rules than world observe his creativity. A good photography style is all about knowing how to use your rules well and then breaking them in the most artistic way possible. Like “Rule of Third” was first used by John Thomas in 18th century and Leonardo Fibonacci is considered the father of “Golden Ratio”.
Remember composition rules differ from the civil rules. Never think of breaking photography laws governed by a state. like, there are certain civil rules and laws that govern photography. For example, in the United States, you must have consent when taking pictures of a person.
Avoid comparing yourself with others
As a beginner photographer, comparing your work to other photographers particularly with seniors can make you sad and discourage your eagerness about photography. this does not apply to all the beginners, but most of us give up after one failure. as opposed to comparing try to learn from other photographers.
Wash your camera and gears after Photography
Clean your camera, lens as well, soon getting into your home from Photography field. Similarly, we take bath after a long tiring work or journey or getting back form work. Cleaning your camera including gadgets increases the life of your gears and make them shiny by removing rusty and dusty stains on the body.
Remember clean your camera and lens body with a special camera cleaning kit or a fiber cloth. Avoid using cheap stuff which
Pack and place your camera at safe location
Clean your camera, lens as well, soon getting into your home from Photography field. Similarly, we take bath after a long tiring work or journey or getting back form work. Cleaning your camera including gadgets increase the life of your gears also puts shinning by removing rusty and dusty stains on the body.