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Top Tips for Beginner Digital Photography

Top Tips for Beginner Digital Photography

Nowadays everybody basically carries around a digital camera in their pocket on a daily basis, so what are some tips for taking better photos. We decided to look at top tips for beginner digital photography so you can get better shots with both your phone and also a standalone digital camera.

A digital camera looks and acts like a traditional camera but with a few handy extra features. Complex camera designs are quickly leaving the marketplace because photographers want to take pictures and not be bogged down by difficult technology. Just look at a brand such as Leica and these are minimalist range finder devices which really test your photography skills.

A lot of aspects of digital cameras are identical to film cameras, a few things are slightly tweaked from film expectations, and some features are unique to digital photography. Some of the big differences can most certainly help you take better pictures than you ever did with a film camera.

For the best results from any camera, the main basics of photography still apply no matter how you capture an image. As an example, a tripod is always going to be important if slow shutter speeds are needed and big telephoto lenses are being used. Fast shutter speeds remain a key way to stop action, and f-stops continue to affect depth of field. The critical parts of a scene being photographed still need to have the focus centered on them. The dramatic light will always help make dramatic photos.


Digital Cameras Overview

Today’s digital cameras come in a variety of types. There is point-and-shoot pocket cameras to advanced DSLRs cameras that professionals use for sports. The type of camera you end up buying is a matter of preference depending on what you shoot. A professional regularly shooting sport might purchase a camera with high shutter speed but lower megapixel i.e 24mp whereas a landscape photographer might buy a slower but higher megapixel camera. There isn’t really a right or wrong type. These days you’ll find some models like the Sony A9 shooting up to 20 frames per second so you’ll never miss the action.

Basic point-and-shoot cameras can give great quality photos when they have the right lenses and sensors. Because point and shoot are completely automatic in focus and exposure, they literally just have to be pointed at a subject and clicked, hence the name. They do however have limited capabilities for controlling the image, although even very inexpensive cameras often have white balance controls. Some point and shoot cameras are exceptionally compact, able to fit comfortably into a pocket. This compact nature makes them ideal cameras to keep at hand so you won’t miss a great photo opportunity when it comes up. Of course, nowadays there is also usually your phone to use.

More advanced point-and-shoot cameras are also similar in that they mostly rely on automatic controls. This advanced group does tend to add some special features to make the cameras a little more flexible. Example features include exposure compensation, more white balance controls, limited manual settings, and others. The more advanced cameras are still quite inexpensive, and these cameras are a good introduction to digital and perfect for those looking a bit more seriously at photography.

Interchangeable-lens cameras are the type of cameras the professionals use. Digital SLRs offer all the same controls of a 35mm SLR, including lenses and these give you a wealth of focal-length possibilities to expand what you photograph. DSLR cameras are definitely much bigger than the other digital cameras however it’s the trade off between quality and convenience. DSLRs include complete and extensive camera controls, the best camera sensor and processing technology along with high levels of noise controls, and more.


Shoot Correctly From the Start

Probably our main top tip for beginner digital photography to get great photos from a digital camera is to do it correctly right from the start. You might be mistaken for thinking that with digital cameras not much effort is required when you have the computer to help however this is pretty far from the truth. Good photography is about the art and craft and about understanding the tools of the craft and using them well. A photographer needs to practice the ability to capture an image that then catches an audience’s attention and communicates an image or event well.


Basics of Photography

Likely one of the most common mistakes people make is camera shake. When you accidentally move your camera at the time you press the shutter, you risk blurring your image. If it doesn’t blur your image, then it will at least reduce the sharpness of the image. Keep those hands steady.


Mastering Exposure

The majority of point-and-shoot cameras have a simple exposure override ability, normally allowing you to overexpose or underexpose your photo. If a subject you are photographing is mainly dark then experiment by overexposing to compensate. If the subject is mainly light, then likely underexposure is the way to go. As an experiment try taking a test picture, look at it on the LCD on the back of your camera then check the histogram, and adjust your exposure compensation that way. Don’t be concerned about shooting four or five versions as you can delete the bad pictures later.


Photo Composition

A pretty basic rule of composition is known as the rule of thirds. Imagine that your viewfinder or LCD monitor is divided into nine equal-size squares. Compose your photo with your subject center-positioned at one of the four intersecting points. This should help you compose more aesthetic portraits.


Play With Zoom

Your basic point-and-shoot camera will probably have an autofocus zoom lens. You will discover that the ability to zoom in on your subject is fantastic. Use the zoom lens to compose your picture with the photo subject filling your frame. When you look through the viewfinder, look at the complete picture frame and how big the photo subject is in your picture, not just into the eyes of the person you’re taking a photo of.


Alter the Point of View

Another top tip for digital photography to consider is that when taking your picture, you consider the point of view. A photo can often be more interesting when taken from an odd angle. As an example, you might want to try and lie down on your back and look up at your subject, and this is a particularly dynamic approach when photographing children or pets and also less threatening to your photo subject. On the flip side of this, you could try climbing up to a higher viewpoint and looking down on your photo subject. Why not try both to see the different results and then delete the one you don’t like.


Copying Your Photos

Most digital cameras today come with multiple ways of transferring photos to a computer. Transfer methods will involve a cable, wifi, card or Bluetooth. Direct connections using a cable are now becoming less common and aren’t the best way for photographers to get photos onto the computer nowadays. Many of the pro photographers will still use a card reader instead of the wifi or Bluetooth.


Photo Editing

Last on our Top Tips for beginner digital photography would be editing. A great many photographers have tried to work with image-processing software such as Adobe Photoshop and found the whole process difficult, time-consuming and frustrating. We think a big reason this occurs is that much of the tips in books and classes take the wrong approach for photographers: It dwells on the software and not the actual photography.

When the photo editing software is “in charge,” the focus is not on the image. A huge amount of time and stress is on learning and memorizing all the functions of the editing software. Many photographers sit through classes that teach them about functionality such as selections and layers long before they had any idea why they would ever need to use them.

As a photographer, only you know your photos and what you want them to convey. Only you know how you want your photos to look and your photographic idea for the picture will guide you.

Experimenting and having fun with photography is another key idea for when you are editing your photos. In days gone by photographers had to be cautious or they’d have had to pay the price for experimenting and screwing something up that couldn’t be reversed. Remember when editing that there is almost nothing you can do to an image on your computer that can’t be undone. Get curious and let yourself go. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

We hope you enjoyed Top Tips for Beginner Digital Photography and let us know how your photos came out.


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Wikipedia: Photography

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