Photography 101

Photography is an exciting and growing hobby and profession. Becoming a photographer takes practice, an artist’s eye, and a passion for searching out the best shot possible. The added bonus of becoming a photographer is that you will have hundreds of photos to keep as memories for the rest of your life. And chances are your friends will always be asking you to send them your photos as well.

The first step to getting into photography is buying the right camera. Camera prices range from $50 to thousands depending on your needs. If you’re mainly looking to take photos in social situations or while traveling and your only requirement is that your camera isn’t cumbersome, a simple lightweight point and shoot camera will do the trick. However, most professionals will agree that if you want to get serious about photography and are interested in manually selecting the light, look, and feel of your photos then you will need to invest in a Digital Single Len Reflex (DSLR) camera. Popular DSLR (sometimes referred to just as a SLR) camera brands for hobbyists include Canon, Nikon, and Sony.

Once you have your camera then it’s time to get started. The first step is to practice – a lot! This means packing your camera wherever you go and all always planning ahead ten minutes so you have some time to take photos. No photo is too boring if you take the time to find an interesting perspective and adjust your camera for light. In time, you will learn how to appropriately adjust aperture, ISO, and exposure to get the exact photo you want. Some general photo taking tips for getting started include:

  • Fill the frame: Photos close up on their subject (unless it’s a landscape) usually look better. Remember to actually step up, not depend on your camera’s zoom.
  • Rule of thirds: This is a common rule of thumb in photography. By segmenting your shot into thirds and placing your subject matter so it takes up one third or two thirds of the frame you will usually end up with a good photo.
  • Light: Light is what takes a picture from okay to wow. As a photographer, you will learn to see where the light is landing on your subject matter and plan your shot based on how you can illuminate the most attractive part of your photo.