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Top tips for new photographers

Things I wish I knew

By laraPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

As I looked back at some photographs I captured over a decade ago, I couldn't help but notice how subpar they were. This retrospective made me realize the extent to which I've evolved as a photographer. It also got me thinking about the valuable lessons I've learned during my 10 to 15 years as a photographer, which prompted me to create this article.

Greetings, everyone! I'm excited to bring you this article because as I delved into my past work, I uncovered seven key insights that have significantly contributed to my growth as a photographer. These revelations span various aspects, from camera techniques to more abstract concepts like understanding light.

**Tip 1: Utilize Aperture Priority Mode**

First and foremost, I advocate for using Aperture Priority mode on your camera. This choice is more about optimizing your camera's efficiency. Many people I've encountered shoot exclusively in full manual mode, which can work but may not be the most efficient way to achieve the desired exposure. When photographing landscapes, depth of field is often critical. Aperture Priority mode allows you to prioritize your chosen aperture, and your camera will automatically adjust the shutter speed to maintain proper exposure. To fine-tune exposure, use exposure compensation. This approach is particularly helpful when you need to act swiftly to capture rapidly changing light conditions.

**Tip 2: Master Your Histogram**

Understanding and effectively using your histogram is crucial for achieving proper exposure. The histogram is a graphical representation of your image's tonal values, ranging from shadows on the left to highlights on the right. The goal is to expose your image as far to the right side of the histogram as possible without clipping the highlights. By doing so, you ensure that you capture the maximum amount of data and minimize noise in your shadows during post-processing.

**Tip 3: Nail Down Your Focusing Technique**

Focusing correctly is a common concern for photographers. The ideal method depends on your camera and lens combination, so take the time to understand your specific equipment. When shooting ultra-wide scenes, like with a 10mm lens, focusing at infinity often works well. But always consider your gear and what suits your situation best. I'll delve into this subject in a dedicated article soon.

**Tip 4: Embrace Simplicity in Composition**

Simplifying your composition can dramatically enhance your photos. Don't overcomplicate your shots. Analyze your scene and identify the core elements you want to convey, then remove everything else. This minimalistic approach can lead to powerful and visually appealing images.

**Tip 5: Experiment with Different Lenses**

Lenses are often overlooked in favor of camera upgrades, but they can profoundly impact your photography. Different lenses open up new creative possibilities. Try zoom lenses, prime lenses, and experiment with varying focal lengths. Each lens has its strengths, so understanding how to utilize them effectively can elevate your photography.

**Tip 6: Mind Your Position**

Where you stand plays a pivotal role in your photography. Instead of rushing to set up your camera in one spot, take a moment to explore your surroundings. Moving a few steps to the left or right, changing your height, or adjusting your perspective can drastically improve your composition.

**Tip 7: Understand the Power of Light**

Light is the essence of photography. Understanding how light interacts with your subject and the environment is fundamental. Great photos are often a result of being at the right place at the right time when the light is optimal. Sunrise and sunset are golden hours for a reason, and embracing this aspect of photography can lead to extraordinary results.

In conclusion, photography is a journey of constant learning and growth. I encourage you to share your own top tips and experiences with others keen photographers.

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