I have noticed during lockdown we have some new photography enthusiasts! Which I am loving. I think it’s a great way to make you appreciate your surroundings so much more by stopping and noticing the little things.
The way the light hits the trees, the buildings, the shadows this creates. Once you start you’ll be noticing little spots of magic everywhere.
But photography can seem quite complicated in the beginning if you have a camera that has all these different settings. What is ISO? What does the aperture priority mean? What does this change? Shutter speed?? I remember when I started learning all the nitty-gritty at 15/16 and I found it so difficult to get my head around (not a mathematician over here!).
These are the tips that I found the most helpful, my ‘ooooooh’ moments!
1. The aperture setting (f stop) controls the depth of field or in simpler terms, how blurry the background is.
The higher the number, the more is in focus, the lower the number the less is in focus.
2. Shutter speed controls how fast you can capture motion.
The higher the number = frozen motion.
The lower the number = motion blur (if you have seen images of fog-like waterfalls, this is how they do that!).
3. The ISO controls how much light your camera takes in.
The higher the number = more light, the grainier your image can be. Lower the number = less light, less grain.
Now, this is the part that helped me! Because now you have to figure out how they all work together.
4. Think of them like a SEESAW
5. If you feel stuck, use aperture priority or shutter speed priority.
This is different on all cameras but you should be able to find it in your manual! Aperture priority = you control how much you want in focus, your camera deals with the shutter speed. Shutter Priority = the other way around, want something moving fast in focus like your pet? Whack this up and the camera with deal with the aperture.
6. Don’t be afraid to experiment and take a LOT of bad pictures!
Like anything, you’re not going to be brilliant at it straight away! And you know what is awesome about digital cameras? You can just delete it. BAM, gone, no one has to know. You can just delete and try again. As long as you take a second to think about what went wrong!
7. If all fails, and you decide you just want to take pictures without all this hassle?
Use auto. (Don’t tell all my photography teachers I said that)
Not all of you will want to learn all the nitty-gritty and that’s okay. If that doesn’t sound fun to you, you do you. Hobbies are for relaxation, not stress.
8. Go through the Alphabet.
Honestly, I found this exercise so fun when I started. Just pick an item for each letter and away you go. Get funky with it.
9. Invest in some storage.
Whether it’s an external hard drive, cloud storage like Dropbox, you’re gonna need somewhere to put all the images! I would recommend cloud storage, hard drives can corrupt and are not very portable. But with a programme like DropBox, if you want to show family or friends your images all you need is the internet! Trust me, your computer Is going to fill up FAST.
10. Label everything!
I still make this mistake sometimes. Put them in a folder with a relevant name and date it! You’ll thank yourself later. Mine was a mess until my boyfriend set up the year and all the months into folders. What a revelation!
So, there you have it! Those are my top 10 tips for beginner photographers. I hope that I didn’t make anything too complicated or scary. The most important thing is to have fun. If you try the alphabet exercise, please let me know! I would love to see what you come up with. I will have to find mine or do it again with you. I would love to see what I did all those years ago! You can find me across most social platforms or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org use the subject line ‘alphabet challenge’ so I know you got the inspiration from here! Happy snapping,
My website: www.lucydack.co.uk
Find me on social media under Lucy Dack Photography.
Want some better tips for taking pictures on your iPhone? Check out my blog post: Top 5 tips for iPhoneography (lucydack.co.uk)