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4 Digital Photography Tips for Beginners

July 9, 2012

beginning photography

Any beginner doing digital photography can often get confused by the numerous settings and options on their digital camera. Yet even before getting into the technicalities of how a dslr operates there are a few different things you can do to achieve good shots from the get-go.

Assuming you’ve just started using you dslr, we’ll take a look now at 4 different photography tips for getting the most out of the easiest setting on your dslr, the automatic mode.

1. Camera shake. Anyone regardless of their experience can still suffer from the dreaded camera shake that can cause blurring in shots. Now although your camera is on an automatic setting and is unlikely under most circumstances to choose a shutter speed that will cause blurring, it won’t hurt to get the right technique down-to-pat.

What to do: Holding the dslr with both hands either side of the camera body, or one of the hands holding the lens for support and the camera body, position your elbows inwards, with your upper body and stomach supporting them. This will give you a super-steady base for taking shots with little if any blurring.

2. Composition. Composition is sadly overlooked by most beginners in photography, many believing that simply taking a shot in the same way as a snap-shot is good enough. Certainly a dslr may make it appear much better than what it may have looked like with a point and shoot camera, but there are some useful rules of composition that may help spice up your shots.

What to do: Read more information about Photography’s Rule of Thirds, a composition technique that has been used since before the dawning of photography and throughout the ages by painters. When taking a picture of a horizon, make sure it takes up only one third of the upper frame of the photograph.

3. Dynamic-Tension. Some action photography shots can fall really flat simply because of a lack of dynamic tension. Dynamic tension is basically a shot taken in such a way as it looks like something will happen next.  This adds tons of interest to the viewer of the photograph.

What to do: When you take a picture of a person moving or doing some sports for example, make sure their body movement shows them just having the full extension of their movement, or be about to exert themselves to that full extension. A photograph of a boxer winding up about to hit his opponent is a perfect example of dynamic tension.


4. Lighting. Probably one of the most important, yet seldom understood, aspects of digital photography is lighting. In truth photography is all about lighting. Although your dslr does have an in-built light meter, it doesn’t always make the right choice exposure wise.

What to do: Now at this beginning stage it’s well to understand a few basic points before trying to understand the complexity of apertures and shutter speeds. Firstly, try not to take photographs of subjects with the light behind them, as mostly this will result in darkness in the subject as the light meter is reading the amount of light behind the subject.

Another useful point at this stage to know about lighting is that lighting coming from the side of a subject will result in more detail in the final photograph. You will especially see this result in peoples hair when doing portrait photography.

Find out more digital photography tips here on my home site.


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