Photography is a fascinating subject because its spectrum of uses and disciplines levels is so diverse. You can become a novice photographer with as little as £25 worth of equipment; taking photographs for fun. Equally you can spend thousands upon thousands of pounds as a professional photographer.
Photography is also a subject in which you can never stop learning – this is because the skills required to practice it well are also extremely diverse.
Regardless of your level of expertise, there is a serious amount of fun and enjoyment to be had from practicing photography.
In this article we are going to assume you are a beginner, and will provide a list of photography tips for beginners to give you a broad view of how best to go about learning and practicing photography.
Photography Tips for Beginners
We have categorized our photography tips for beginners into several sub-sections so that depending where abouts you are on your photography journey, you can easily apply this guide to your situation, and hopefully pick up some useful tips as starting points to further learning.
Photography Tips for Beginners: Equipment
Whilst its very easy to start learning and practicing photography on a budget, equipment is something that you should think about seriously. It may be that you plan to spread out your investment in equipment over a long period of time, but as the saying goes: always use the right tools for the job.
Which type of Camera should you buy?
there are lots of different types of cameras on the market and they range massively in price. Budget will always play an important part in your choice of camera, but some other things you should think about are:
- features – does it do everything you need it to do? Is it designed for the area of photography you are interested in?
- Size – is the size and weight of the camera appropriate for the sort of places you are going to be using it?
- Expandability – Assuming you are a beginner, you photography requirements may change drastically as you grow in experience – is the camera capable of being expanded to suit your needs?
If you are interested in taking scenery photographs or other subjects that require concentration and patience, a tripod may be a good purchase. It will enable you to get a very steady shot. It will also allow you to have everything set up correctly in anticipation for your subject to become available.
Photography Tips for Beginners: Subject Matter
Subject matter is an area where there is a lot of photography tips for beginners. Its easy to decide that you like taking pictures of a certain subject – people for example – and then give no more thought to it. There is however much more thought to be given to subject matter.
Firstly, its a good idea to keep an open mind about the subjects you will photograph – for example if you like taking shots of people, nature may also appeal to you.
Once you have a few ideas in mind for subject matter, its a good idea to make a note on these on paper, or at least to keep a mental note of them. That way, when you are out with your camera, you will be alert to those subjects becoming available.
If you have a physical list, you can also “tick off” or make notes when you get shots in each particular area of interest.
Don’t rule out subjects because they are not visually appealing to you in every day life. Some of the most interesting aspects of photography – such as light and composition can add an entirely new layer to an otherwise uninspiring scene.
Photography Tips for Beginners: Composition
Once you have purchased your equipment and have a good idea of the sort of things you are interested in photographing, its time to really get out there and start shooting.
This is where the fun starts and you will really start learning all about the various aspects of a good photograph. Composition is one of the key foundations and of all the photography tips for beginners, its probably one of the most important.
Composition is the word used to describe the layout of a photograph – the positioning of each of the features in a scene, in relation to each other.
For the viewer, composition is ultimately about balance and attraction. A good stating point when thinking about balance is the famous rule of thirds. This rule will have you separate the view from your camera into 9 equal parts. The intersection of each line in that separation denotes a focal point for the viewer. Subjects should be aligned with those focal points.
For more complex shots you can use the rule of thirds and the alignment of features with line intersections to lead the viewers eye through the scene that you have captured.
Having said all of that, its good to read up on the principals of composition theory, let it sink in and then simple get out there and start snapping. In reality, when you look at the photographs you have taken, you should have a natural feel for the composition. It will come in the form of how the photograph makes you feel. If it has a bad composition it will generally feel unbalanced and not as aesthetically pleasing.
Photography Tips for Beginners: Exposure
Exposure is controlled by several factors including the speed of the shutter on your camera and the size of the lense on your camera when it opens (or the aperture). It is a vast and complicated subject that you will learn more and more about as you delve into the world of photography.
In simple terms though, the exposure is about how much light you let in whilst taking a photograph and how long you let that light in for. Taking a night scene for example would demand a long exposure time. With limited available light you would want to intake as much of it as possible.
On the other hand, taking a photograph of a fast moving subject such as a moving race car, you would want a very short exposure in order for the camera to capture the car before it had moved and blurred the shot (unless of course that was your intention).
Exposure is also an area that can bring much enjoyment from experimenting with. You can produce all sorts of wonderful effects by manipulating exposure – such as blurring high speed objects or creating light effects with nigh-time cityscapes.
Hopefully these photography tips for beginners have given you some food for thought as well as some ideas to put into practice. If your interset has been sparked and you would like to find out more about a particular area mention in this article, we would recommend “110 Perfect Photography Tips for Beginners” by written by Alan Turnrose and available online from Amazon.