As a newbie, photography can be overwhelming because photography is about more than pointing a camera
and pressing a button. It’s about getting a shot to match your vison. Here are some must-learn tips when you are just starting out in photography.
The Exposure Triangle
In order to capture a good shot, you must know the exposure triangle. When taking a photo, the camera
opens its shutter and starts to let in light through the lens. This light hits the camera sensor, which is then processed as an image. Three factors affect the resulting image.
- 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 background blur. The Canon EOS Rebel T51
is enabled with a depth-of–field preview button allowing you to see if you’re satisfied with the amount of blur in your image.
- This indicates how long the shutter is left open, often stated in the form of 1/200 sec, 1/60 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. Slower speeds will allow for motion blur.
This determines how sensitive the sensor is to light, simply stated as 100 ISO, 400 ISO, etc. Higher ISOs allow you to take photos in darker situations, but the trade-off is a “grainy” look. That’s why photos in the dark often have flaky spots.
Half the fun of photography is in the development. The difference you can make to a simple portrait with an editing program is astounding. Yes, you can edit JPEGs in Photoshop, but RAW captures so much more information. You’ll be amazed how well you can save under-exposed shots, or how much more flexibility you have available during the editing process when you have shot your images in RAW.
The Rule of Thirds is incredibly important in photography. This is a composition technique where you line up your subject on an intersecting point of two lines of an imaginary grid that resembles a tic-tac-toe board. This can easily be achieved by using the Viewfinder Grid on cameras like the Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Change Your Perspective
Don’t just shoot your subject straight at eye level every time. Change your elevation, your angle, your distance, or try a combination of all three. You’ll be surprised by how different your shots feel with these changes.
The most important step in totally engulfing yourself in the world of photography is to say good-bye to your kit lens. Canon
produces affordable prime lenses found at Beachcamera.com that will greatly boost your confidence and passion.
The golden hour occurs generally about an hour or so before sunset and an hour after sunrise, and produces some of the most gorgeous light ever. These are the times when you should be taking your landscape shots. If you’re doing an outside shoot with a model, you’ll want to use the same time frame because the sunlight tends to be much softer than when the sun is high in the sky. During the golden hour, you can have your subjects look towards the sun and not have to squint or shield their eyes.
Whether you’re hoping to build a photography career or just doing this as a hobby, these tips will get you started.