Taking beautiful photos is not a skill reserved only for professionals, especially nowadays with all the technologies that are more accessible to amateurs and people that have passion for photography, but are far away from professionals.
Regardless of your ambition and goals, having a solid foundation of the main concepts of photography is fundamental for getting a great “professional” picture.
We in FotoEventi Group know very well the importance of formation and this is why we train all our photographers before they start. Our intensive photography courses are mainly focused on the introduction to photography and basic concepts to be applied in the field of touristic photography, but he practices and hard work must continue on the working field.
This is why we have prepared a small introduction with 5 basic things to learn and develop in order to master the basics of photography. And we say “basic introduction” because photography is a is really diverse and varied field, but there is a common starting point from where you can begin building your skills.
1. Get to know your camera
Do you know the phrase “You have a Ferrari, but you don’t know how to drive it!”?
It is the same thing with cameras – event the best camera in the world will take horrible photos if handled by somebody that doesn’t know how to use it.
When we refer to the knowledge of the camera, we refer to the knowledge of all its buttons and the role that each button or combination of buttons has.
Each part of the camera can change an important setting, and if you do not know where and how to change it, you will not be able to get the desired photo.
Nowadays cameras can be really complex, so take your time to read the manual, follow online tutorials to understand the most important parts. Make some tests step by step so you can relate with the tool that you have in your hands.
2. Triangle Exposure (ISO, Aperture and Speed)
For many beginners in photography, the relation between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO can be very confusing. But once you understand how to make it work, you will feel great about your progress, evolution and results.
Aperture, shutter speed, and ISO make up the three sides of the exposure triangle.
They work together to produce a photo that is properly exposed. If one variable changes, at least one of the others must change as well in order to maintain the correct exposure.
3. Composition Rules
The composition allows us to create the story inside our photos and to give and specify the esthetics and the style. It is essential to know the basic rules, not only to achieve the right photo, but to improve your creativity as well.
Remember, in order to break the rules it is necessary to know them first ?
Some of the most important and common compositions rules are:
- Rules of thirds
- Natural framing
- Leading lines
- Usage of colors and contrast
Rules of thirds – © photo from https://cdn.shopify.com
Leading lines – © photo from Photo de Alex Fu
4. Observing the light
It is equally as important as exposure, composition, white balance, and the story being told within the frame.
Photography is all about capturing light information.
In order to learn photography and the process of making great photographs, you should understand light and how it works. But this is a little bit more complexed than just understanding the controls of your camera, so continuous observation, along with varied experiments over a period of time, will make you a master of lighting in Photography.
Lighting on an object defines a lot of things in your photograph: contrast, colors brightness etc. You must understand that light takes various forms during its journey from source of lighting until hitting the subject that you want to photograph.
Understanding light is a constant exploration and there are multiple avenues you can take to either begin or continue with your learning process.
5. Focus – An essential
Focusing is one of the most common struggles for anyone that’s beginning the photographic journey.
There are two ways to focus in digital photography:
- Manual focus: Using your hands to tweak the focus ring until you get to the best focus.
- Automatic focus: Using the camera’s and lenses’ internal motors to focus on a given subject.
Using manual focus or autofocus will depend on the type of photography that you do. For instance, in some genres like macro and night photography, it’s better to use manual focus. Yet, in other genres, like wildlife or sports, autofocus is faster and will make things easier.
As we have already said, the practice makes the master and it is the rule number one in photography!
Take your time to shoot, revise, adjust, improve and REPEAT! There is no bigger satisfaction than seeing the improvements in your pictures and people noticing your hard work.
Now you are ready to shoot!