- Expensive gear is not required. Start your photographic journey with the equipment you can afford and don’t be tempted to spend huge amounts of money! All you need is a DSLR camera and the kit lens it came with. Later on, if you find that you want to go further with your photography – then buy equipment as you can afford to advance.
- Stand steady. One of the most common problems encountered by photographers is blurred photos. Tripods are a valuable accessory. As well as keeping your camera rock steady, they allow you to take a photograph in tricky light and with slow shutter speeds.
There are other ways to get a sharp shot. Holding the camera correctly, leaning against a solid object or resting your camera on a small bean bag will all help. If hand holding the camera, make sure your shutter speed is fast enough.
- Keep your camera with you all the time. I often put mine into the boot of the car before I leave the house. You’ll find photo opportunities are everywhere once you learn how to see them. If you don’t have your DSLR camera with you, use your phone to take a shot.
If the scene is good enough, you can always return later with your proper camera.
- Don’t overlook the ordinary, everyday scenes. Some of my favourite pictures have been taken locally or of people that I know well. There is a wealth of opportunities in your own home and garden. This is where you will learn to “see the picture”.
- A different light, a familiar shadow. Sometimes, simple images are right before our eyes!
- Take time to read about photography. Read your cameras instruction manual and learn what the dials and buttons do. YouTube is a great resource for tutorials. I have a few videos on my channel and will be uploading more in future. You can subscribe here.
Look at the work of other photographers. Look at photos in magazines that you read to see how they are shot. Online, there is so much free information, forums and websites that offer a wealth of tips, tricks, free software and tools. Apart from your camera, you do not need to spend lots of money to start your photographic journey.
- The most important tip is to just get out there and use the camera. Digital photography allows a lot of freedom to shoot and delete, so shoot loads.
It’s important to know your camera and be able to operate it easily. You should spend some time familiarising yourself with it. All the various brands have the same features and controls but they may be in different locations. On this course we’ll look at these controls in some more detail but here’s a basic overview.
The Camera Body
The body is the main part of your camera. Most brands are very similar. Your camera should feel comfortable in your hands and the controls should be within easy reach. Some have different degrees of weather sealing and most are not waterproof.
The lens is the eye of the camera and will have the greatest effect on the ultimate image quality of your photos. There are lots of different lenses. Some, such as zoom lenses allow you to get closer to your subject and can zoom into ranges like 70mm, 120mm, 200mm, 300mm and so on.
A wide angle lens will allow you to capture a very wide field of view. These are often used for landscape photography or astrophotography. Prime lenses cannot zoom in or out and come in specific focal lengths.
All lenses can provide specific features, so it’s important to know when to use each. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be talking about these different lenses and how each affects the photographs you take.
The sensor is a small component inside your camera that captures light filtering in through the lens and records it. This light is then processed inside the camera and saved to your memory card as an image.
The quality and size of the sensor will determine the quality of your photos. Most DSLR cameras today have sensors capable of producing perfect images that will print up to A4 size and bigger.
The Memory Card
The memory card is where your images are saved. Memory cards come in formats such as SD cards and CF cards. Some have different speeds and will help to determine your camera’s performance.
Get the fastest memory card you can afford as this will help to speed up your workflow, especially when shooting continuously, as you would when photographing sporting events. They also come in various capacities. You should get the best memory card that your budget allows.
We’ll take a look at what cards are available to you and how they impact your camera performance.
The battery affects how long your camera will continue to operate for. Generally, more expensive batteries last longer. However, I have found the standard battery in all cameras to be sufficient for most uses.
Using Live View on your camera will use up your battery quicker than when composing images through the viewfinder.
A battery for a Canon camera will not fit into a Nikon or any other camera or vice-versa.
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.Back To The Hub