The beginnings when picking up a camera for the first time are not easy at all. We would have loved that when we started with photography, someone would have given us some guidelines on what is best to do when taking a photo and the things that may not work so much.
Surely we would have saved ourselves a lot of trouble and headaches. That is why we are going to give you these 10 tips for beginners in photography. So that you learn as soon as possible and that perhaps this exciting hobby will one day become your profession. You may want to join the best photography workshops to learn more about photography.
Shoot in Manual
This is the golden advice. If you have bought (or have been given) a reflex or mirrorless camera, do not even consider shooting automatically. For that you have a mobile that takes great photos. Since you carry that extra weight, at least get more out of it than your smartphone’s camera.
It is true that at first it is complex and that if you do not practice it regularly it can even be frustrating. But photography is easier than it seems (at least to expose well). Remember that you are going to play with three parameters on your camera: ISO, shutter speed and aperture. By configuring each of them and experimenting you will achieve different effects.
Little by little, you will surely get the hang of shooting manually and there will come a point when you will do it mechanically. without realizing it Like putting the gears in a car. In automatic, on the contrary, you will never be able to develop your photographic creativity (beyond a frame that you can achieve as we said before with the mobile phone).
Shoot in RAW
You should consider shooting in this type of format that does not have any type of compression and from which we can get much more out of it than a simple and compressed JPG. All professionals take their photographs in this type of file.
Edit your photos
If before we told you as advice to shoot in RAW, post-processing the photos is closely linked. 100% of the professional photographs that you see in magazines, the press, advertisements, and RRSS are edited with some software such as Lightroom, Photoshop or Capture One.
The edition will give you that magical touch that you are looking for in your photography. And be clear, this is not cheating. It’s just an exercise in developing and adjusting, just like we did in the dark room with analog cameras.
You can make hundreds of adjustments to give your most personal touch to that scene you captured and unleash your creativity just by touching a few basic parameters. Desaturate or more saturate an image, crop it, adjust colors, work on its contrast, apply selective filters, etc.
Follow composition rules
Although it is true that in photography, just like art in general, there are no rules and for what one is valid for another it is not valid, we can follow certain indications to achieve more orderly and impressive compositions for the human eye.
Remember to follow the indications of the rule of thirds. That is, divide the image into equal parts with two horizontal lines and two vertical ones. The intersection points of these four lines are called strong points in photography and work by attracting the viewer’s attention. Placing the subject in one of those four points usually works very well.
Keep the horizon straight
It seems obvious but it is basic in photography. As a general rule, keep the horizon of your photos straight. A great photograph of a sunset on the coast, with the sun perfectly illuminating a small fishing village will be worth nothing or very little just for this nonsense. It is perhaps one of the easiest adjustments to make but one that many fans completely overlook.
The lines in photography are of vital importance and guide the viewer’s gaze throughout it. This rule, like all of them, is a general rule, but you can skip it if you have a clear intention to create some tension with a diagonal. Of course, remember that it has to be something very clear and, as we said before, intentional.
Experiment with new angles
If you notice, most novice photographers arrive at a statue, for example, take their camera, take a picture of it, usually from the front, and continue on their way. They have achieved the typical photo with the same effect as if you walked in front and looked at it. An angle, without a doubt, very unattractive.
Different angles that our eyes are not used to seeing are always much more impressive and achieve better results in the final photo. That is why drone photography captivates us so much, because we are not used to seeing many of the most common things in our environment with such different angles.
So take a risk and try photographing that statue kneeling on the ground or lying down with a low angle shot. Shoot your camera from one of its sides against the light and always try to avoid what in normal conditions the eyes of anyone walking standing vary. Many times lowering or raising the camera a little will achieve a very different effect.
Get closer to the subjects
Robert Capa said: “if your photo is not good enough, you were not close enough”. And this led him to the letter in his impressive war photographs that he took as a special envoy in various conflicts that he covered as a war photographer.
For now, you don’t have to risk your life like him to take a good photo, but follow this rule and don’t be ashamed to get too close when photographing something. Many times we prefer not to attract attention and take a photo without being seen. One piece of advice, if you are going to take a photo like this, don’t even bother taking out the camera. It’s not going to be good.
Many times we need a close-up or for the subject to completely fill the frame. So don’t be embarrassed and he takes a few steps forward to photograph what’s on your mind (and remember, ask permission which always helps).
Get focused and sharp subjects
This is another of the photography basics. And you have to be very careful with this aspect, because it will depend on whether the photo is worth something or whether we can delete it directly. This usually doesn’t have much room for error in later editing, so if you don’t focus correctly during capture, there will be little solution later on the computer.
Review your photographs well and repeat them as many times as necessary. Persistence in photography is often the key to success. Freeze your subject well with a good shutter speed so it doesn’t come out shaky or jittery, and focus just where you want it with your camera’s different focus systems and modes.
Get inspired by photos similar to the ones you want to take
In art, this often serves as a form of inspiration. It is one thing to copy, reproducing exactly something that someone else did before you and another thing is to take ideas from different photos and then form your own.
For example, if you are going to visit a city you can put it on Google and see the images that appear. Surely you will quickly begin to see different places to photograph, different times of the day with different light, different angles and ways of taking the picture… Little by little, you will get an idea of the possibilities that the site has and what approach you want to give it.
The same as if you have to take a photo of a sport that you have never photographed. It is a great idea to see photos of professionals in that discipline to see exactly what the athletes are looking for in those images. It will help you create that photo you want in your mind and thus be able to reproduce it later.
Leave home with a photo in mind
At the beginning, when one begins to take photos, this is very complicated. Rather, we go out with a camera in hand and shoot whatever comes up (beware, this is also very positive and greatly develops your photographic creativity).
Although the ideal is to leave home with the photo you want to get already in your head. For this, prior planning, study of the area, etc., is often more important than the photograph itself. You will have to master different elements to know what are the best conditions for the shot you want to take. But this exercise will make you find a way to reproduce that image and achieve the goal you set for yourself. Something will certainly be quite an achievement.