5 Photography Basics Every Beginner Needs to Know

Almost everyone has that one friend who always seems to take perfect pictures. It’s almost like they employ magic on their cameras. Of course, they don’t use magic, but they may know some essentials that you don’t.

The good news is that you can also learn how to take and how to edit photos like a champ. Like most art forms, there are photography basics that help you avoid bad pictures and take good ones.

If you’re just starting your photography journey, keep reading for five tips for beginner photographers.

  1. Camera Equipment

For most beginner photographers, you’ll start out with a basic point-and-shoot camera. These cameras don’t let you change many settings, but they let you practice things like composition. They’re typically more affordable as well.

Once you get some practice, you’ll likely move up to a DSLR camera. These cameras typically let you adjust all of the main settings, which gives you a lot more control over the images. These cameras also cost substantially more.

  1. Photo Editing Software

You may wonder how to edit pictures. Don’t immediately run to the most famous or expensive options.

These programs are usually meant for pros. That means many functions and a steep learning curve. Start with a basic editing program and upgrade when it no longer meets your needs.

You can also keep an eye out for specialty software options, like a free image flipper.

  1. Light

Good images start with good light. Bad light almost always gives you bad pictures. Whenever possible, use well-lit areas or create one with portable light sources.

You can offset for lighting a bit by adjusting the ISO, shutter speed, and F-stop settings on DSLR cameras. Point-and-shoot cameras typically automate these adjustments, if not always well.

  1. Holding the Camera

Shaky hands cause a lot of really bad pictures. Even mild unsteadiness in your hands can throw off the image capture.

When you hold the camera, you want your arms close to or even braced against your body. That stabilizes your grip and the camera itself.

A tripod can also stabilize the camera, but it limits mobility.

  1. Rule of Thirds

While it doesn’t always apply, a good place to start with image composition is the rule of thirds. In essence, the rule of thirds advises that you imagine the image divided into thirds. This applies vertically and horizontally.

Once you do that, you should put important image elements along those invisible lines or where they intersect. This gives your image a balanced composition.

Using Photography Basics

The camera equipment and editing software typically come first. You’ll buy a camera and many computers come with basic photo editing software.

Understanding the way light affects your pictures can only come with practice. Once you get a DSLR, you can play with the ISO, shutter speed, and F-stop in different lighting conditions.

As for holding the camera and using the rule of thirds, you must simply practice.

Looking for more consumer tech tips? Check out some of our other tips articles in the Tech section on this site.

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