5 Key Elements Beginner Photographers Should Focus on first

5 Key Elements Beginner Photographers Should Focus on first

Photo by Migrant Worker Jumiati

Starting out as a beginner photographer can be overwhelming, with so many options, settings, and techniques to master, it's hard to know where to begin. But don't worry, we've got you covered with 20 tips to help you get started on your photography journey.

First things first, don't feel like you need to have the most expensive gear to take great photos. Start with what you have, whether that's a smartphone or a basic DSLR, and focus on learning the fundamentals. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Learn to hold your camera properly
    Holding your camera correctly is essential for getting sharp images and especially how to press the shutter. Press the shutter button steadily down, not to "jab" the release. Try taking a deep breath, exhaling about halfway, then pressing the shutter button 

  2. Learn the basics of composition
    Composition is the art of arranging elements within a frame to create a visually appealing image. It's a fundamental aspect of photography, and one that you should learn before diving into more technical aspects of the craft. You do not need to know all. Focus on a few and learn to the point of being intuitive at it. Some basic principles of composition include the rule of thirds, leading lines, and symmetry.

  3. Take advantage of online resources
    With a plethora of online resources available for beginner photographers, from YouTube tutorials to online courses and forums at a swap, there really isn't no excuse for not learning. Take advantage of these resources to learn new techniques, get inspiration, and connect with other photographers.

  4. Some information to remember by heart 
    i. Wide aperture is best for portraits: A wide aperture (low f-number) creates a shallow depth of field, making your subject stand out.
    ii. Narrow aperture is best for landscapes: A narrow aperture (high f-number) creates a deep depth of field, ensuring everything in the frame is in focus.
    iii. Make a habit of checking the ISO before you start shooting: It's easy to forget to adjust the ISO after shooting in different lighting conditions.
    iv. Learn to read the histogram: The histogram is a graphical representation of the exposure. Reading it can help you ensure proper exposure.Eyes should always be in focus: When shooting portraits, ensure the eyes are in focus, as they are the focal point of the image.
    v. Pay attention to the background: A cluttered or distracting background can ruin an otherwise great shot.
    vi. Invest in a tripod: A tripod can help you get sharper images, especially in low light conditions.
    vii. Shoot in the early morning and evening: The golden hour, just after sunrise and just before sunset, creates soft, warm light that is ideal for photography.

  5. Practice, Review and Learn from your mistakes: 

    The more you practice, the more familiar you'll become with your camera, and the more confident you'll be in your abilities.

    It's also important to review your photos critically. Look at your photos with a critical eye and ask yourself what you like and what you don't like about each one. Try to identify what you could have done differently to make the photo better. Were the settings wrong? Was the composition off? Did you miss the focus.

    Once you've reviewed your photos, it's time to learn from your mistakes. Make note of what went wrong and think about how you can improve next time. Don't be afraid to experiment with different settings or techniques to see what works best for you.

    Don't be discouraged by mistakes, but rather see them as an opportunity to learn and grow. With practice, critical review, and a willingness to learn, you'll be well on your way to creating beautiful, compelling photos that you'll be proud to share with the world.

    Happy to hear if you have anything else to add in the comment section ;)


Chin Hock



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