words Al Woods
Camera devices are ubiquitous nowadays, given the advent of smartphones that come with multiple cameras that are almost as sophisticated as bigger DSLR equipment. So it’s no surprise that everyone has become a budding photographer, posting beautiful pictures on Instagram that can reach millions of people every day.
However, there are a few basics that anyone dabbling in photography should know, especially since the overreliance on filters or special effects is quite limiting. If you’re looking to expand your photography knowledge, read on below for a few tips to help keep your skills up to date.
Keep it Simple
One common mistake enthusiastic photographers make when they’re first learning the nitty-gritty of their craft is going out of the way to purchase expensive equipment. This is usually because they believe that they need to upgrade to professional-grade straight away, even if they haven’t had the chance to learn more about the basics of photography yet. It’s really a chicken or egg situation – but it shouldn’t be that difficult. The idea is to learn and practice taking as many photos as you can with the equipment you already have, and after a while, you will be able to understand the concepts of lighting, ISO, aperture, and so on.
Without practicing, the over-complicated equipment you’re purchasing is not going to be worth much. The same goes for software such as Lightroom, Photoshop, or After Effects – don’t purchase them right away. Instead, try researching and practicing to learn about them first, as our friends over at this invaluable website recommend. Looking into the necessary resources first and learning to make the most of the guides available out there is an important first step.
ISO is one of the most basic tenets of photography. It’s basically a camera setting that will either brighten or darken a photo according to your needs. As you increase the ISO levels, the pics will grow brighter, and if you decrease it, then, of course, the photos will be darker. This should be one of the first things you practice as it enables you to become familiar not just with your camera, but with the sorts of scenery you’d like to capture as well.
Experiment with Panoramic Photography
Panoramic photography is a technique that has become increasingly popular recently. Essentially, it uses different kinds of specialized equipment or software that manages to capture photographs with horizontally elongated fields of view. This allows you to grab more of the view or landscape ahead of you in photographic form, and these unique pics make excellent content for various social media platforms such as Instagram as well as other media including websites and magazines.
To start out, don’t worry too much about purchasing anything special. Most DSLR cameras have a setting that you can experiment with and many smartphones have a built-in panorama feature as well. Try those out first to better understand how panoramic photography works. Over time, you can look into different software to help up your game if you decide that taking landscape photography is for you.
Use the Aperture to Add Drama
Aperture is another pillar in photography that everyone should try to understand. Basically, it refers to the opening of the lens’ diameter through which light passes. It is measured in f/stops each of which is given a numerical value such as 1.4, 2, 2.8, etc. Lower f/stops tend to offer more exposure while the higher f/stops give much less. You need to practice with this as much as you can so that you get a handle on the concept since it might seem counterintuitive at first, but it becomes more comprehensible once you give it a go.
It also helps separate the subject from the background by controlling the focus, making them more prominent. A fun technique you try is to play around with the aperture to add a bit of extra drama to your photos.
Capture the Motion Blur
You might notice that as a novice photographer, taking photos with lots of movement can be a bit challenging. In that case, give the shutter priority mode in your DSLR a try. Essentially, this technique helps you create beautifully dynamic images of moving people, animals, crowds, or pretty much any subject that moves with great speed in their natural habitats. This is especially helpful to learn if you’re interested in capturing powerful images of contemporary life.
In the end, lots of practice, a willingness to experiment, and a desire to learn new techniques will be an integral part of the process. Once you get the basics down, you will be enjoying the fascinating world of photography soon enough. Remember to have fun with the equipment you already have, and try not to overcomplicate things.