So you have decided to start a new hobby and would like to start taking photos, but don’t know where to start? Here are some tips to get you started taking photographs.
Use the best camera you have or can afford.
I often hear in-depth discussions or conversations about camera gear, from all types of people. There are also people out there who will go out and buy thousands of pounds of equipment in the hope of being a better photographer. Taking a great photo is about getting the basics such as exposure or composition right. There is no amount of camera gear that will teach you this, and some may limit you, as you may spend more time trying to work the camera rather than taking photographs. You can always upgrade as your skill level increases, but try to get a good camera with manual controls as you get better at taking photographs, but don’t let the camera stifle your creativity.
Don’t be scared to get it wrong.
A big part of learning photography is trial and error, and even professional photographers started off learning the basics. We do have an advantage in the modern age of digital where we can take numerous shots without worrying about the expense of developing, and having instant feedback on the back of the camera. I am sure I am not the only one who used a roll of film, sent it off to be processed and a week later getting our prints back only to be disappointed by the shots we received back. Today we can take many shots, review them on a camera or computer and discard the rubbish shots. So the moral is don’t be scared of those poor shots, as sooner or later there will be a shot that you are over the moon with.
Learn the basics.
There are more resources than ever to learn a skill these days, most are just a Google search away, so learning the basics are easier than ever. The best topics to start are Aperture, Shutter Speed and Composition but there are many others.
Get it right in camera.
This is a tip I have learnt the hard way after hours of editing. The importance of getting the shot right when taking the photo is important, and as good as modern software is, it can’t fix every mistake you’ll make in camera. If there is a piece of litter in the shot and you can move it, then do it, don’t just think “I clone it out later” only to find that it’s in a difficult place to remove. If you get it right first time them it will save hours of work later.
Get out there and take photos.
I often hear of people buying equipment only for it to be used on special occasions. Photography is like any other skill, it takes practice to be good at it and you won’t get better if the camera is sat on your shelf. If you have a small backpack then pack your camera in there and take it with you, when you go to work, you never know if a good photo opportunity will greet you, and you will always have the camera on hand. I can’t tell you the number of shots I have missed by not having my camera with me.
I hope this helps you to get started in your new hobby and please let me know how you get on, in the comments below.