Beginning Photography

Photography is a wonderful hobby or career that is accessible to almost anyone who is interested. The great thing about photography is that anyone can pick up a camera and start taking pictures, but if you choose to learn more advanced methods there can be a steep learning curve. Then again, there are a few common pitfalls that you may wish to avoid if you’re just getting started.

Gear Everywhere!

With all of the photo equipment available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the possibilities. Tripods, extra lenses, filters, darkroom gear, timers, lights, reflectors – the list is endless. If you don’t have a solid understanding of what you’re able to do with your camera, you’ll never be able to truly master the use of all of the accessories. Start off small with a basic digital SLR or a basic 35mm camera and only one lens. When you feel like you’ve pushed that as far as you can, then start looking for some fancy attachments.

Not Every Shot Will Turn Out

In the beginning, it’s common to miss a lot of great shots. In fact, not only will you miss a lot of great photographs, you’re also going to mess up on photos you were able to take. That’s why you should generally take every picture (that you care about) at least twice or at least closely look at the digital image in the LCD screen to make sure it turned out. This will help teach you about the subtleties of your camera’s inner workings, as well as provide a bit of safety in knowing you won’t miss the important things. Besides, in the day of digital the cost of shooting thousands of images is no more than shooting only ten.

Don’t Use Your Flash

You don’t need it. An automatic flash will at best teach you to ignore complex or difficult lighting situations and will at worse ruin your images. You should turn your flash off and get used to working with natural light and your camera’s settings so you can further develop your photography skills. You can take pictures without a flash in almost any environment. All you have to do is be a little creative in how you use the light that’s available.

Improve Your Composition

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to put your subjects in the exact center of the frame. This can create unnecessary space in your pictures and make them less interesting. Picture the frame or viewfinder of your camera as a cropping tool so you’ll always compose exactly what you want in your picture. Good framing is something that doesn’t take long to learn and will improve your work for a lifetime.

Point and Shoot

Simple digital cameras with giant LCD screens on the back are certainly tempting, but if you’re hoping to learn about the art of photography and challenge yourself to improve, you’re probably not going to get anything out of one. Many beginners pick these cameras due to their convenience and affordability, which is absolutely fine if you’re only intending to use it for non-professional or artistic purposes. If you want to understand photographs and the ways in which you can create them, you need to start with the right tool for the job.

Overall, these five mistakes are easy to avoid and won’t cause you much harm if you happen to stumble into one now and again. When learning photography it’s important to establish good habits and skills early on so you can continue to build upon a solid base of knowledge going forward. By regularly taking pictures and avoiding these common pitfalls, you’ll be taking great quality pictures in no time that you’ll be happy to share with others.