Photography Tips for Beginners Whenever I think of a useful photography tip, I always write it down for later. Most of them are forgettable, but a few are so important that I try to tell them to as many photographers as possible. This article contains 20 of the best. These bite-sized photography tips are easy to understand, covering everything from beginner camera technique to creativity and composition. If you’re learning photography, this list offers some wisdom you may find helpful along the way.
1. Use the Camera You Already Have
Camera gear is not all that important.
There are countless cameras, lenses, and other accessories on the market today. We spend a lot of time reviewing them at Photography Life, and it’s true that some are better than others (or better suited for a given job). But once you’ve tested enough of them, the real takeaway is that pretty much everything today is excellent. The differences are almost always minor, especially at a given price.
2. Work with Your Composition
To take engaging photos, you need to be engaged with what you’re doing. Don’t just fly by on autopilot. Instead, put thought into your composition and try to make your photos as good as possible.
That starts with knowing the basics of how to compose good photos. Don’t cut off important parts of your subject with the edge of your frame. Keep your horizons level, and try to eliminate any distractions in your photo by adjusting your composition.
3. Learn Which Settings Matter.
There are a lot of camera settings, and it takes some practice to get them right, especially as a beginner. Even advanced photographers won’t always do everything perfectly. But it’s worth learning how to set your camera properly, and which camera settings matter the most, so you have the best chance to take the photos you want.
4. Don’t Overexpose Highlights.
When you are picking your camera settings, it is critical to avoid overexposing highlights in a photo. The reason? It’s simply impossible to recover any detail from white areas of a photo. Personally, I prefer the sky in my photos to have nice texture and color, rather than being just a big, featureless blob, and I bet you do too.
It’s pretty easy to keep your highlights intact. But this is where shutter speed, aperture, and ISO are so important. These are the only camera settings that directly affect the brightness of a photo (ignoring flash settings, of course). Even exposure compensation – an important setting itself – just tells your camera to change one or more of these three variables.
5. Know When to Use a Flash – Photography Tips for Beginners
Flashes aren’t just meant for dark environments.
Don’t get me wrong – they’re great if you need some extra light. Get an external flash, tilt it at the ceiling, and use a relatively long lens (50mm or longer). Everyone you know will be amazed at the quality of your event photos. It’s the easiest way to get good results without actually knowing what you’re doing.
But flashes are useful outdoors, too, even in the middle of the day. If you’ve ever heard of “fill flash,” this is why it’s so important. You can fill in ugly shadows on your subject just by using a gentle flash – and most people looking at the photo won’t even be able to tell.