Top 8 Photography Tips for Beginners

Everyone loves a well-taken picture. Be it landscapes, abstract, fashion or any other object, images transcend a feeling that few things can achieve. We all admire stunning pictures but have you wondered about the work that goes behind them? Make no mistake; photography is by no means an easy feat. There are people who have been practicing it for years and still haven’t mastered it.

Starting out is the biggest obstacle in every creative field. If you can overcome it, you can achieve great things. For aspiring photographers out there, this article can be greatly influential.

So let’s discuss what tips beginners need to capture stunning images.

studio portrait

Photo by Raffaele Claudio Rossiello; ISO 800, f/2.8, 1/80 exposure.

Fill the Frame

Far, distant subjects in an image don’t appeal to anyone. Try to fill the frame with your subject. People will interpret it much better.

Be Quick

Suppose you’re capturing a bird sitting on your porch; the bird won’t sit there all day posing and waiting for you to set up your camera. You have to be quick and spontaneous in such situations Wait too long and you will lose the moment.

Compose Carefully

For professionals, clicking the shutter button is not enough as they have to compose their images with care. Watch out for the following:

  • Leveling the horizon
  • Keeping the subject in place
  • Cropping out elements that are unnecessary
  • Setting the perspective so that the viewer’s eye is directed toward the subject
tokyo rainbow bridge

Photo by Robert S. Donovan; ISO 100, f/11, 30-second exposure.

Remove Distractions

Focus on your subject and get rid of all distractions which take away from the quality of your photos. Watch out for the borders in the viewfinder of your camera.

Get the Depth and Aperture Right

To make images in detail, you have to set your aperture and depth of field in the right manner. Practice shooting a lot and you will eventually get things right.

Experiment with Shutter Speed

One of the most overlooked aspects is shutter speed. Don’t make the same mistake as many have made. Experiment with slow and fast shutter speed to capture different effects, like frozen moments and flowing motion.

Getting the Lighting Angle Right

Whether you want a silhouette effect or the sunlight on your face, you have to determine these aspects carefully.

new zealand photography

Photo by Chris Gin; ISO 100, f/11, multiple exposures.

Watch the Weather

How pictures come out greatly depends on the type of climate and environment. If the weather is cloudy, the output will also come out in muted tones. On the other hand, a bright sunny day will make for more shadows and more vivid colors.

About the Author
Dylan Flint frequently participates in landscape photography tours and is well aware of the all the landscape photography courses available in the region.

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One Comment

  1. Tom Jones says:

    I am not a professional and therefore not qualified to disagree with the author but I am experienced and will suggest some alternative approaches to the subtopics in this article.
    1. Fill the Frame. FRAME LOOSELY… then crop out the unwanted parts later. You might find you capture a more interesting scene and you will give yourself some options to make the image appear the way you saw it.
    2. Be Quick. TAKE YOUR TIME and ANTICIPATE THE SHOT… Life and photography are full of missed opportunities. Don’t focus on what you have missed because you weren’t quick enough. Focus on the present AND the future so that you and your camera will be ready when the scene and subject present themselves. If you just want to be quick with your photography use your camera phone or an inexpensive point and shoot camera.
    3. Compose Carefully. OK, although many of the composition issues in a photo can be fixed with basic, free post processing software (horizons, cropping unwanted parts of the image, applying the rule of thirds to the subject, etc.). Tell a story, emphasize your subject, get a proper exposure.
    4. Remove Distractions. OK, but again don’t stress on this one. A simple cropping can take care of borders. The distractions that are hardest to fix are things in the foreground and background which can often be fixed by moving your position (left, right, up, down) just slightly relative to the subject, zooming in or out with your zoom lens or moving closer or farther from your subject with a fixed lens.
    5. Get the Depth and Aperture Right. Depth of Field (DoF), hyperlocal distance, focal length to me is one of the most difficult components of getting a good exposure to comprehend and master. Take the time to practice some DoF exercises. Take note of the Aperture settings of the shots you take and look at the image to see the effect of the different settings. Really understand and practice the interaction of the three elements of getting a good exposure: Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO.
    6. Experiment with Shutter Speed. YOU CAN’T FIX A BLURRED IMAGE SO LEARN WHAT IT TAKES FOR YOU TO GET SHARP IMAGES… with the exception of artistic photography or scenes where you intentionally want to use blur to show or exaggerate motion, the most important goal you must have is to get the subject in your image tack sharp. A tripod can help, good handholding technique helps, vibration reduction/image stabilization built into your lens or camera can help, a good working understanding of your camera’s Autofocus system helps. If you are handholding, the biggest factor that will yield a sharp image is shutter speed. To freeze any motion use a shutter speed of 1/800 (running) up to 1/2000 or higher (cars). Adjust the Aperture and experiment with using Auto ISO to get a good exposure. Using higher ISOs introduces noise or grain into your image but if it let’s you raise the shutter speed to get a sharp image it is worth it. With the quality of sensors in modern DSLRs higher noise is less of an issue especially if you are not blowing the image up to make large prints.
    7. Get the Lighting Angle Right and 8. Watch the Weather. PHOTOGRAPHY IS ALL ABOUT THE LIGHT… so learn how it affects your image and what you can do to manage it, compensate for it, enhance it, adjust the camera settings (metering, exposure and white balance) or the lens (CPL and Neutral Density filters) for it.

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