My First 5 Photography Learns

Just before Christmas we invested in a new camera and since then I have had a couple of months of a steep learning curve as far as photography is concerned. I still don’t know very much about the science of photography, I don’t think I ever will know very much about that as to me photography will always be magic – Capturing a little bit of time forever is nothing short of magical and you don’t mess with magic! But on the way round my learning curve I have learnt a few things, not technical at all really.

Photography Learns

Don’t be scared of DSLR Cameras – I’d always stayed away from DSLR cameras, thinking they were expensive, needed hundreds of lenses, complicated and just scary! I bought bridge camera after bridge camera and never found one I could take good enough pictures with. Hubby told me that it was me, not the camera but instead I bought a DSLR and have never been happier. I can even take photos I’m happy with indoors! Amazing, something that has never happened before.

The best thing for me about my DSLR? The auto function! Auto will be my best friend until I learn some photography skills but even then, auto is easy, I can’t see a time when I won’t always revert back to the simplicity of an auto function!

Try and avoid using Flash – A photographer friend of mine told me to not use the flash unless I had to. That the key to good photos was good light. Since then I’ve been incredibly aware of the light – Even on dark, dreary, cloudy days there are times when the light is better than others and where indoors pictures will come out better. I also move to make better use of the light – Something I never did before! I change rooms, change where we are in the room, anything to make use of the light. 2 months later and I am yet to use my flash!

Find out how to change the White Balance – I had a Twitter conversation with Chloe from Sorry About The Mess after one of her blog posts mentioned White Balance. I’d never heard the term before but realised that this mysterious White Balance was the reason for a lot of my photos indoors in unnatural light coming out yellow. I’d always had this problem but thought it was normal and just the way indoors photos in the late afternoon/evening would be. Chloe pointed me in the direction of more information about White Balance and I had a play with my camera. I now know to play with the ‘WB’ setting when the light is artificial or on days where the natural light isn’t amazing. Definitely a great learn!

Play with your Timer – This is a very new learn for me and one that is a work in progress! I have used the timer once so far, to take our January Me & Mine photo. I already know that the timer has opened up the world of photo taking possibilities for us – Mainly allowing me to be in the photo but it’s also made me realise that I could benefit from having a remote control for the timer – This is now on my wish list! Main learn – Get everyone else set up and the camera in place & focused. Also, gorillapods are a great alternative to a tripod – More versatile and cheaper.

Always have your camera nearby – This one goes unsaid really but there were so many moments where I missed a great picture because the camera was packed away in the camera bag. I now keep it out of the bag in a safe but easily accessible place. Having it somewhere I can grab easily means that natural photos are much easier to take and I also take a lot more photos than I would if I kept the camera packed away.

What kind of camera do you have? Do you use auto mode, like me, mainly or do you know a thing or two about manual? What have been your main learning points?

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7 Comments

  1. February 27, 2014 / 7:11 am

    Fab post!
    I have a bridge camera, and LOVE IT! I doubt I have the patience for a DSLR. I stick mainly to aperture mode, tinkering with ISO, white balance and the other thing I can’t remember the name of when necessary.

    Totally agree with your ‘learns’, especially white balance, makes a HUGE difference!

  2. February 27, 2014 / 10:31 am

    Thanks for mentioning me, Donna! White balance really is a useful thing to know about. I agree with all of your tips, the last one especially – I spent ages with my camera packed away when Arlo was a young baby. Really regret it now that I’m so in the habit of always having my camera accessible. Doing a photo-a-day project can really help get you in the habit of having the camera out of the bag and ready to use at all times.

    • February 27, 2014 / 12:50 pm

      Thanks Chloe – Without you my indoors photos would still be yellow! x

  3. February 27, 2014 / 11:54 am

    The best tip I ever had was to always take the biggest, finest photo you can as well. You can always make a not-so-great picture smaller but if you take it in a lower resolution and it turns out to be a GREAT photo you want to blow up or crop or have printed you can’t make it bigger and better after the fact. Better to invest in a larger SD card or download pictures off the device in preference to having to take lower quality photos !!

  4. Helena
    February 27, 2014 / 9:52 pm

    I have a Canon 6D and the tip I would suggest is shoot in RAW. It retains more information so you have more scope for post processing, including changing the white balance.

    If you do use flash it’s a good idea to bounce it or diffuse it to get a more natural looking light, but that only works with a flash gun unfortunately.

    • February 27, 2014 / 10:10 pm

      Thanks Helena, great tips! I haven’t a clue about RAW, will google and go from there! Loving my photography learning curve. A flash gun is on my list of things to invest in along with a remote for the timer x

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