With our society becoming increasingly tech-savvy and visually stimulated, there has been a steady increase in the availability of resources non-professionals can utilize to improve their credentials.
Becoming an expert in anything requires a process, so studying the basics will be essential in starting on the right foot. Below we will cover six photography tips for beginners to either get you started or improve on what you already know.
1. Find the right camera for your project
iPhones nowadays can take professional-grade photos and are already at many individuals’ disposal. However, there is a vast difference between the capabilities of an actual camera and the average smartphone.
Below are some standard professional cameras and what you should know about them.
DSLRs (Digital Single Lens Reflex)
Most common among professional photographers, these cameras contain an interchangeable lens and a body. The unique part about them is that they have a mirror feature that allows you to look through to focus on the frame of a final shot.
The lens of these cameras is actually what makes them high-quality. With dozens of different ones, getting various high-quality images with just one camera is easy.
Overall, DSLRs are recommended for those that want to pursue photography seriously and are willing to spend a little extra for a camera. Click here to find the best DSLR camera for your budget.
For those interested in 360 photography or shooting virtual tours - here’s what you need to know about 360 cameras.
The main thing to consider when looking for a 360 camera is what you intend to shoot. Specific cameras are designed for particular needs, whether landscape, action shots, buildings, etc.
Since so many variables go into making this decision, such as where stitching takes place, could you look at 360 rumors for a knowledgeable resource for picking a 360 camera?
The most common type of camera for non-professional photographers, point-and-shoots, are higher-quality cameras that are easy to carry around.
Brands like Canon and Kodak are great examples of these cameras—they’re budget-friendly, good quality, and can fit in your pocket.
Is this camera best for you?
Since they don’t have interchangeable lenses and are designed for convenience, we recommend point-and-shoots for beginners seeking photography as more of a hobby than a profession.
Here are some recommended point-and-shoot cameras for 2020.
2. Know when to use a tripod
If you’re part of the group opting for a DSLR or 360 camera, this tip is for you.
Tripods aren’t always necessary -although beneficial to beginners- but are critical features to specific types of photography.
For instance, if you intend to work a lot with landscapes or long-exposure photography, investing in a cheap tripod to ensure super-sharp images might be worth it.
As for 360 cameras, you’ll want to invest in a quality tripod. Due to the nature of taking a panoramic image and the shots you’re trying to capture, it’s essential to have the right equipment.
3. Don’t go crazy with filters or edits
Rule of thumb: if you are working with a high-quality camera and are educated on different functions and lenses, you shouldn’t need to use filters.
The tale of an excellent photographer is the ability to produce a quality image the second a picture is taken. So heavy edits may make photos look amateur or as if there’s some compensation.
And if you’re conducting a photo shoot for a business, such as real estate, clients will expect a truthful and informative image, not one with a fun filter.
So unless you are just satisfy a hobby, you can try to learn the ins and outs of your camera to understand its capabilities before turning to filters and edits.
4. Learn how to work with exposure
Exposure is typically one of the first and most essential steps for getting a good shot.
A photographer’s term for adjusting a camera to work with lighting; below are three parts of exposure beginners must know before conducting a photo shoot.
ISO -or International Standards Organization- is the sensitivity of a sensor due to specific lighting conditions.
Whether done manually or automatically, the goal of ISO is to determine how much light the camera needs to get a good shot.
Lower ISOs are generally used when there’s more light and vice versa—the trick is to play around with a few different settings during a shoot to see which looks best for your scene.
Shutter speed is the light allowed into a camera lens through a shutter opening and closing.
The faster the speed, the less light that comes in—however, the increased rate also allows more action you can capture.
Shutter speed will be critical when taking a shot that isn’t a portrait or other still scene. Depending on whether or not you’re opting for a sharp or blurry image, speed should be increased for sharp action shots or decreased for a blurry picture.
Speed is up to technical and creative preferences, however.
The aperture is the hole in your lens that allows light to pass through. The amount of light depends on how big the gap is. Aperture is measured in f-stops, represented through fractions—the higher the number, the less light there is.
For example, the high aperture is represented by a low f-stop but allows more light. This setting is best for soft-light images because it will enable the camera to catch details.
Conversely, a higher f setting -or less light- is better for playing with depth of field or getting a focused shot.
5. Read up on post-processing
There will likely be some post-processing with any photo shoot, but that doesn’t mean going heavy on the edits.
This process should be more about adjusting saturation and shadows to make a photo come to life. The goal is to accentuate or highlight the focal point while keeping the original image intact.
If you want more about post-processing, please review this comprehensive photo editing guide.
6. Learn from old photos and other photographers’ work
With most of the world under quarantine, it’s the perfect time to fit some research into your schedule.
Whether it’s an online gallery, photographer profiles, past work, or even social media, piecing together what makes a photo work can help establish your process as a photographer.
About The Tourbuilder Blog
The latest news on Google Street View, virtual tours and photography, along with tip and insights from expert photograpers in the virtual tour industry.
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