How to take good photos with a digital camera?
With the rise of Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and other social media and photo sharing websites out there, more and more people have become interested in becoming a better photographer.
Of course, there are plenty of articles online that offer a lot of tips on how to improve your digital photography. These can tackle anything from choosing the best cameras and accessories to notes about composition, lighting, and other visual elements of photography.
But one thing that many people overlook is the importance of understanding their camera.
When camera vendors started offering affordable DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, a lot of people went out and bought one thinking that a better camera will allow them to instantly take gorgeous photos. Once they got their cameras however, a lot of them just set the dial to Automatic and left it there for the rest of their camera’s life. You’ll take sharper photos for sure, but they won’t necessarily be better.
Why it’s important to understand your camera
Many people attribute great photography to good, expensive gear, but that is not actually the case. No matter how many premium lenses you buy or how much you spend on your digital camera, you can’t get professional quality photos if you don’t know how to use your gear to its fullest potential. Without knowing what each button or dial in your camera does or how to change the settings in your camera to fit a specific scenario, there’s really no point in owning such a powerful imaging device.
Understanding how your camera works is incredibly important. Knowing key terms like exposure, aperture, depth of field, and shutter speed isn’t just for showing off; it’s also vital to taking really good photos. An in-depth knowledge of your camera allows you to get off the automated mode and get into the actual photography part. When you know what each button does and what each setting stands for, you can produce sharper, more brilliant, and more visually appealing photographs no matter the time, situation, or weather.
What to learn
For starters, you can read your camera’s manual to know the function of each and every button and dial on your device. Yes, it will likely be very boring and very technical, but the camera’s manual is the complete documentation you’ll find regarding your camera’s functions and abilities.
Next up, know the key factors that can affect your photos and find out how you can control those factors using your camera. The primary things that you need to learn are exposure or ISO, shutter speed, and aperture or depth of field. Once you’ve got a good command of these, you can move on to other aspects such as metering, understanding histograms, changing colors, and so on.
What you gain
Once you have at least a basic understanding of your camera’s functions, you can:
- Shoot under tricky lighting conditions,
- Experiment with creative shots such as blurring for motion or long exposure shots,
- Capture sharper images,
- Instantly know what settings to use for any given scenario,
- Avoid missing the moment,
- Finally, move on from the automatic mode, and
- Actually, make use of your camera’s full and amazing capabilities.
Knowing your camera from the inside out is not an easy task. In fact, many professional photographers go through their entire careers without completely mastering their gear! However, having at least a good working knowledge of the basic controls, functions, and settings of your camera can definitely pave your way to better photos.
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