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Basic Guide for Beginning Photographers

Basic Guide for Beginning Photographers

If you are just starting out in photography and you don’t know where to begin, we’ve compiled a collection of basic equipment to get you started as well as some essential rules for taking great shots right away. So what are you waiting for? Grab your camera if you have one already, or grab your laptop and get ready to order what you need from because we are going to tell you about everything you need to get started.

Basic Equipment

Camera- Don’t go crazy buying the most expensive equipment right away. Your first camera has to be “just enough”.  It’s possible to get very nice photos with an inexpensive point and shoot like the Canon PowerShot.  If you want to purchase a DSLR, a good entry-level camera to start with would be the Nikon D3400 or the Canon T5i.  These cameras have just enough features. The more photos you take, the more you’ll know about what kind of camera to get when it’s time to upgrade.

Camera Features- There are a few features beginners need to look for in a DSLR camera especially.  A cropped sensor is something to look for because they allow for the camera to be smaller, lighter and much more affordable.  The number of megapixels a camera has affects the amount of information the sensor is able to record. In other words, the more megapixels, the more detail your photos will have. A camera with 16 megapixels or more will suit beginners just fine. The number of frames that a camera can shoot in a second matters mostly for photographers who want to shoot moving objects. The more frames you can take in a second, the better chance that you are going to get exactly what you are trying to capture. Look for a “kit” which will come with a lens and a body. Having a kit lens is a cost-effective way for beginning photographers to get their gear at a good price. Tripod- A tripod is worth getting, especially if you have shaky hands. For even more stability, use your camera’s timer function with a tripod. Basic Rules to Learn The Exposure Triangle- Photography is all about manipulating and capturing light. When taking a photo, three factors you’ll need to learn about and practice with affect the resulting image.
  • Aperture — The size of the lens opening, often stated in the form of f/2, f/5, f/11, etc. The smaller the number, the wider the aperture opening. The wider the aperture, the more light is let in. Aperture size also affects depth of field which affects, for example, background blur.
  • Shutter Speed — How long the shutter is left open, often stated in the form of 1/200 sec, 1/60 sec, 5 sec, etc. The slower the shutter speed, the more light is let in. Shutter speed also affects sensitivity to motion. Faster speeds will freeze motion, and slower speeds will create motion blur.
  • ISO — How sensitive the sensor is to light, simply stated as 100 ISO, 400 ISO, 6400 ISO, etc. Higher ISOs allow you to take photos in darker situations.
 Rule of Thirds- When focusing on your subject, mentally divide the image into thirds using two vertical lines and two horizontal lines, then place the main subject at any of the four intersections. Change Your Perspective- Don’t get stuck in a rut by taking all of your photos straight-on from eye level. Vary your shots by changing your elevation, your angle or distance from the subject.

Various Other Tips

Keep Your Camera with You at All Times- Photo ops often come when you least expect it. If you can keep your equipment relatively simple, just a small camera bag and a tripod, you might be able to take advantage of some of those unexpected opportunities. Make a List of Shots - For those times you can’t carry your camera around, keep a small notebook or use the notes feature of your smartphone to jot down places you’d like to come back and photograph. Make sure to note any important details, like the lighting, so you can come back at the same time of day or when the weather’s right.  Don’t Overlook Ordinary Subjects - You might not see anything interesting to photograph in your living room or your backyard, but try looking at familiar surroundings with fresh eyes. You might catch an interesting trick of the light or find some unexpected wildflowers in your yard. Often a simple subject makes the best shot.   Now that you have some of the basics of photography, you’re ready to go out in the world and take some fabulous shots with your equipment from  Just remember practice makes perfect!
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