Start at the Beginning

We’re just a few weeks away from the height of the photography season. The holidays give shutterbugs and their cameras a major workout. But, what if you are just getting started with the popular hobby?

If you are just getting indoctrinated into the world of photography, the best thing to do is practice, practice, practice. However, before you can get shooting, you must be comfortable with your camera. While it may sound obvious, there is no substitution for reading the owner’s manual. Camera manuals are filled with useful information, including tips and hints to help you use proper camera settings and other functions.

If you are taking pictures with a point-and-shoot digital camera, pay close attention to the various modes, such as portrait and outdoor, and remember to adjust the modes depending on your subject and location. If you are shooting with a traditional film camera, then focus on film speed, as it will affect the quality of your images. Low speed film (such as 100 and 200) is best used in brightly lit rooms or outside on a sunny day. Meanwhile, high speed is best used for shooting in poorly lit areas and for action photography.

In regards to framing a stellar shot, consider composition. This refers to how the subject matter is framed in the picture. Beginners should employ the Rule of Thirds when shooting. The rule suggests that you think of the photo area as a 3×3 grid. Instead of placing the main subject in the middle of the center square, put it in one of the four corners of the center square. Some cameras even have a “grid” feature that can be turned on and off, making it easy for beginners to follow the rule.

Another tip to remember when composing a photograph is to eliminate distracting backgrounds. You can do this by adjusting your angle, zooming in or shooting above or below the subject.

What tips would you offer beginners?

Related Articles:

Telling A Story With Your Shots

Natural Framing

Snapping Frameworthy Shots Of Your Kids

Spicing Up Your Shots

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.