photo tips for the amatuer.

I noticed lately that a few of my blogging friends have recently upgraded their point-and-shoot or iPhone camera to a DSLR. I also noticed that you're going through the same scenario I went through when I first got my baby DSLR. SO, I thought I'd write down a few tricks I've learned in the months of practicing, reading, class-taking, and reading I've done. I don't even pretend to be an expert in this area (I'm definitely still an amateur), but I've learned a ton and am still learning more. Read on if interested, if not, I'm not offended.

1. Read, read, read. Most photographers will tell you to read your camera's manual. While I'm sure this is a very useful and worthwhile endeavor, I can't read manuals. It's hard for me to get through a non-fiction book, let alone an informational manual. However, I looked up a manual online and skimmed parts of it, or looked for what I needed to know, like what buttons where for a certain function.
The kind of reading I'm talking about is articles. Lots of photographers will put tips online for people like us! One of my favorite photographers for this type of thing is Natalie Norton. She also writes articles for DPS, or Digital Photography School, a website choc-ful of tips, tricks, and tutorials written by pros. Here are links to a couple of my favorite articles: moving towards manual settings and why it's OK to shoot in auto (sometimes). There are SO many resources out there.

2. Practice, practice, practice. You can read something until you're blue in the face, but until you get out there and just shoot, you won't learn a whole lot. I took a class this summer that helped to guide me in what to practice and taught me how to better use my camera. One thing I learned is that while it is useful to have the ability to shoot thousands of images with digital, that doesn't mean you should. Nicole's class taught me that you should practice as though you are shooting with film, and each image will cost money. So instead of taking hundreds of mediocre pictures hoping for a few good ones, practice taking your time to really set up a shot, and shoot.This isn't always practical, but I find that when I relax, and take my time, my photos turn out so much better. If you were to look in my archives, you would see how far I've come. I learn more and more every time I have a shoot.

3. Find inspiration from photographers who know. I'm still trying to find my niche, find my style. But I'll say that I've been influenced and inspired by photographers who know what they're doing. I think inspiration is important, but remember to find the way you like to take pictures. You don't need to have the same image as every other blogger out there! Some comments I've gotten on my pictures are that I find the simple beauty in the details. I love shooting the details. Even when I'm doing pictures for a family, I like to zoom in on a toddler's shoes on the wrong feet, or stand above and shoot their hair and eyelashes. My style is to find those little details that make life beautiful, and that make people unique. I'm still working on it, but that's what it's all about. I'm constantly inspired by photographers who have this same outlook on life.

4. Shoot in AV or AP mode. This is called "Aperture Priority." I started using this mode after I'd sorta learned manual settings. It gives you way more control than auto, but it chooses your aperture for you. I still don't know a lot about how to change aperture, so this is an excellent tool to use. It's even been recommended to me by professional photographer friends.

5. Learn how to change your white balance. Have you tried to take a picture indoors without the flash and have it look totally orange? Or taken a shot in the shade that's too blue? Knowing how to change the white balance will adjust your camera for different light situations, and is much better than relying on auto WB. Try googling how to do this for your specific camera make and model. On mine, there's a button on the top near the flash.

6. Post-processing, or editing. Personally, I love images that are crisp, natural, and not overly processed. I've also learned that editing cannot replace good composition and really knowing how to use your camera. Once I figured out how to use my camera, I loved being able to go into editing and only tweaking a couple of things, like adjusting the exposure. I use the premium version of If you buy a year-long subscription, it costs about $2 per month. There are a lot of things you can play with on there. Before I got Picnik, I used iPhoto and Picasa.

Well, that was way more than I thought I'd write. Hopefully it's not too much or too overwhelming. One last thing, here's a link to my "Picture This" board on Pinterest, where I pin things such as inspiring images, and tips, articles, and tutorials relating to all things photography. If you have any questions, feel free to email me: miss.kylie.elise [at] gmail [dot] com. Oh, and I'd love some feedback and for you to share any tips and tricks you've learned!

1 comment :

  1. This is such great information! I'm going to make Race read this! And it's definitely good for me to read as well!


Thanks for reading! I love reading your thoughts, too :)