It all started with a photograph for me. As a new photographer, these are some of the ideas that have helped get me going. Update: Also check out our Digital Photography Tips for Beginners Page.
Yes, just one photograph that I wanted to click and when I held the camera and looked at the world from behind the lens, those few moments revealed a whole new world for me. I decided to see the world, travel around and see it with a new perspective, a new word was waiting for me behind My Mini Lens.
There is a saying, Rome wasn’t built in a day. I love photography as a hobby but prefer Mobile Photography over any other mode. Here are some ideas which helped get me going as a beginner photographer, and can help you too if you are looking forward to developing photography as a hobby.
1. Put away the craziness for buying an expensive DSLR camera :
As a beginner photographer, start with the camera in your hand, your mobile camera. Nowadays most of the mobiles come with a decent camera. If you really want to buy one, then start with a budget point and shoot camera. It’s possible to get really nice photographs from a point and shoot camera.
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2. Practice is the way to perfection :
Practice, Practice, and Practice. Remember, practice is your way to perfection. The more photographs you take, the more you would know about your skills, your camera, and your constraints. Shoot some photo, preferably of the same subject from some unique perspective and at different points of time, and do a critical analyze the results. It will polish your skill. The more photographs you shoot, the better you will know about your camera needs and the right time to upgrade.
3. Shaky Hands, use a tripod :
If you have shaky hands, it’s worth buying an inexpensive tripod. Once you see the results, you will be more satisfied with your work and learning curve. Consider trying camera burst mode or timer function with the tripod.
4. Your camera is your new buddy :
‘Oops moments’ for a photograph comes mostly when you expect it the least. You might find an unexpected opportunity and if you are not ready you will just miss it. I keep my mobile always on camera mode if locked. Even on the lock screen, the camera is just a swipe away for me. It helps me to grab those one-time moments for photography. For point and shoot cameras, they are easy to fit in your pocket or bag. Prefer carrying them around.
5. Make a photography list :
If you encounter a place or scene where you can come back, prefer taking notes and add it to your photography list.
This is for the times when a Mobile camera is not enough, you are not carrying your camera with you and you want to come back later to take that shot. Ensure that you mention all details like, time of the day, light, ambiance etc. to be back on the same time.
6. Your subjects are around you all the time :
Well, you can say that what could be there worth taking a shot in your room or your terrace, balcony or backyard. What interesting could be there on your street or neighborhood! Now, try looking to the same with your camera with new perspectives. Try some combinations, think out of the box, do some light tricks or shadow tricks, and you will see the results getting better. With a unique perspective, simple subjects make the best shot.
7. Have patience and enjoy the journey of learning :
The best part of having photography as a hobby, that I love most is, you are never out of new things to learn. like photography is never running out of things to learn. Inspiration is all around you. Look at everything with the eyes of a photographer and you’ll see opportunities you never noticed before.
8. Take advantage of free resources to learn.
Browse through Instagram, Flickr, websites like the GIMP, Google Images etc. explore work of others and learn. If you can, then join meetups for photography and participate in photowalks.
9. Experiment with your camera’s settings.
You would be surprised when you come to know what powers your point and shoot has hidden under the hood.
Read the user manual, understand your camera, explore settings and capture some images in each configuration. Look at your photographs on your computer and go through the file properties ( EXIF data ). It helps a lot to develop your skills.
10. Learn the basic rules of composition :
World of the internet is full of resources that can help you in developing your photography skills. It’s not always about the camera, the photographer’s perspective and composition of images also play very important role in making a great photograph. Check out this article on composition for a start. Meet and discuss with more experienced photographers, learn from them about the technique. Know the rules and once you know, feel free to break them.
11. Be regular, make photography a routine :
Like I said above, Practice is the key. Try taking some photographs every day. Preferably if it can be around the same subject. If daily is not possible, make sure to give it some time on weekends. It will help you in putting the theories you read in practice.
12. Experiment, take that step :
With a digital camera or Mobile, the only cost of error is “FREE”. Break the barriers, try all that you can, click whatever you want. Play with your shots, use photo editing softwares to adjust and you will find yourself with a new skill.