BEGINNER PHOTOGRAPHY TRAINING TIPS FOR NEWBIES

What does it take to get good at photography? Photography training the proper way can make learning how to take great shots a breeze, whereas other methods will make you never reach that artistic and “clean” quality in your photos.

“For a flower” captured by Nikhil G

There are two essential parts to photography that you should learn as a beginner.

CAMERA CONTROLS

Although photography is often looked at as an art where magic happens, if you don’t know how to use a camera then you won’t get anywhere. Fortunately, camera control basics are pretty easy to get a grasp on.

There are automatic controls and manual controls on virtually every camera. Even phone cameras have some manual settings. In general, for photography training you’re going to want to learn what all the manual controls are and how to use them.

To start, there are two very important controls to know: shutter speed and aperture. These both control the amount of light let into the camera. By controlling both of these settings you affect the light exposure as well as the depth of field of the shot. In addition, you can do cool action shots at high speeds or shoot a photo at extremely slow speeds and make water look like clouds.

Your goal as a beginner should be to learn how to use an SLR (or DSLR) camera on full manual mode. This means setting the aperture, shutter speed, ISO, focus, and a number of other settings. Don’t worry, it’s not hard. Once you get the hang of it, it’s actually something you wish every camera had.

Photo captured by Kameron Barney

While automatic controls are very convenient, they prevent us from taking the photo that we imagine when seeing a scene to photograph. Photography training enables us to see a scene, imagine how we want it in your minds, and then take the shot and match our vision to the end result.

CREATIVE COMPOSITION

The next important part to photography training is learning composition, or how to properly arrange the contents within the screen of your camera. This is an ancient art with techniques and traditions dating back to the beginning of art history. The same techniques that apply to painting, drawing, etc. apply to this. A good idea is to get some books on composition for any art (except music) and learn the techniques there.

Some basic examples are the “rule of thirds” and “leading lines.”

The Rule of Thirds. This rule states that instead of placing a subject at the center of the image, offsetting them to the left, right, top or bottom.

Leading Lines. Use the lines around you to point towards the subject of interest so that the lines lead the viewer into the photo.

Although these examples are basic, they do make a big difference in your photos if you’ve never consciously taken pictures with them in mind.

“Sunset” captured by Robert S Molchan

When you have both of these two parts of photography training down (composition and technical camera usage) you should have no problem getting better at photography. The next step from there is refining your style and developing your artistic eye.