It can be tough to find good tips for beginners in photography. If they aren’t assuming that you’re a monkey fumbling around with technology far beyond you, they’re throwing out technical jargon that really is beyond you! Let us offer some tips for photography that bridge the gap between the two. While this list is far from exhaustive, it should be enough to help you transition away from your smartphone camera and into something better. Good luck!
1. Update Your Tech
There’s a lot to love about vintage cameras, but they require a certain amount of skill and precision to use correctly. If you’re still on the level of basic tips for photography, you should invest in a digital camera that will do most of the work for you. You can take your time learning about its settings and how to use or adjust them to your liking, especially if you buy a DSLR from a name brand that includes a technical manual.
2. Dissect Your Camera’s Parts
There are many parts to your camera. There are also many ways that you can customize it with extras and add-ons, including:
You don’t have to buy all of these right away, but familiarizing yourself with them can give you a basic level of knowledge to build upon as you improve your talent behind the camera.
3. Embrace the Rule of Thirds
The “rule of thirds” is one of those photography tips and tricks that can turn you from a hobbyist into a professional. Imagine that there’s a 3×3 grid superimposed over your photo – some cameras even offer a setting that places a temporary grid over your screen view – and arrange your shot along these lines. Instead of always putting your subject in the dead center, you can play around with different squares for interesting, dynamic shots.
4. Get Creative With Your Light
This is one of the most useful photography tips that you’ll find anywhere. If you don’t like the illumination of your setting, change it! Lower its intensity with a diffuser. Funnel it through domes and softboxes. You can even buy polarizing filters that will reduce glares and reflections from the light of the sun. There are endless tools out there for manipulating the lighting of your photos, so don’t be afraid to use them.
5. Change Your Shutter Speed
If you’re wondering how to take good pictures, shutter speed is usually one of the contributing factors. High shutter speeds will help you capture quick-moving objects in a “freeze frame” kind of way; slow shutter speeds will result in deliberately blurred photos that give the illusion of movement. If you want a crystal-clear photo of the car in the middle of the race, use a high shutter speed. If you want the car to have blurry lights trailing behind it in an impression of acceleration, use a slow shutter speed.
6. Switch Between Raw and JPEG Mode
This is one of those tips for photography that everyone should know. Your camera has two modes:
- JPEG mode will automatically adjust things like color, light, exposure and noise to give you album-ready photos as soon as you take them.
- Raw mode will give you completely unprocessed photos that will require a round in Photoshop before they’re presentable.
JPEG mode is recommended for beginners since it does all the heavy lifting for you, but raw mode is something that you’ll need to tackle eventually since it offers far greater control over the photography process. Try switching between the two during your photo shoots to get used to them.
7. Find a Focus Point
Do your vacation photos always come out looking blurred and distorted? The problem is with your focus. You’ll need to find a focus point for every single one of your photos before you click the shutter button, so start getting in the habit of letting your eye drift around the room until you find something suitable. Fuzzy pictures are the bane of professional photographers, so if you take any tips for photography to heart, take this one.
8. Invest in a Tripod or Monopod
Tips for photography simply aren’t complete without the suggestion of a tripod or monopod. Not only can they help you stabilize your camera and get clear, sharp images of your subject, but they can also be used in conjunction with things like self-timers to help you take portraits and family photos. You’ll appreciate this level of flexibility as you tackle photography tips and tricks for beginners.
9. Play With Landscapes and Portraits
You might already be familiar with these terms since they’re everywhere in photography tips, but in case you aren’t, “landscape” means horizontal while “portrait” means vertical. You can completely change the perspective and scale of a photo by switching between these viewpoints, so it’s always good to experiment. You might even be able to create a good hybrid photo by overlaying them.
10. Make It Interesting
You don’t need to be a professional photographer to understand the value of this tip: Is the photo interesting? Would you praise it if it passed across your Facebook feed? If the answer is no, you might need to peruse more tips for photography until you can compose or create something that’s worth a second glance.
11. Jot Down Your Desired Photos
In the world of basic photography tips, this is one that’s often tossed by the wayside, but it shouldn’t be. It’s generally quite helpful for newbie photographers to make a list of the photos that they’d like to get during an activity or gathering. For example, if you’re shooting a birthday party, your list might look something like this:
– The crowd singing “happy birthday”
– Your child grinning with cake all over his mouth
– The first present being opened
12. Mind Your Color Balance
You don’t often see this in photography tips and tricks for beginners, but it’s worth learning sooner rather than later. The color balance of your shot can have a big impact on how much or how little you can edit it in post-processing. If you aren’t yet able to recognize or alter them by eye, invest in color gels for your camera that will do it for you.
13. Edit Your Photos After the Fact
Speaking of “post-processing,” this is just a fancy word for Photoshopping. One of the biggest tips for photography that you’ll find is “learn how to Photoshop” because it’s such a commonplace thing among both hobbyists and professionals. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find digital images that aren’t Photoshopped these days. It isn’t considered cheating. It’s just part of the process.
Whether you’re embarking on a new career or just looking to improve your beach vacation photos, these tips for beginners in photography should help you along your journey. Alternatively, you can also give our article on basic photography tips a read. If you have any suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments! Our readers are always open to more tips for photography!