Got a digital camera. Now what?
Read our digital photography beginners’ guide!
Mastering Digital Photography can be overwhelming at first, what with all the buttons, lights and fancy functionalities. We aim to make the process of learning digital photography that much easier. Here’s a step-by-step guide to digital photography that will have you taking photos like a pro in no time:
Step One: Choosing a Digital Camera
Digital or Film ? which is better?
Whether to choose a digital or film camera is almost a no-brainer ? while the purchase price of a film camera may be lower, you have to factor in the cost of developing film. Inexperienced photographers can shoot reams of film with precious few decent photos to show for it ? an expensive exercise. A digital camera becomes the obvious choice. For beginners, a compact or low-end SLR digital camera should suffice.
What is an SLR digital camera?
A single-lens reflex (SLR) digital camera is one which uses a mirror and pentaprism (a five-sided reflecting prism) to direct light from the lens to the optical viewfinder on the back of the camera. This distinguishes it from the basic point-and-shoot camera, with which you’re probably familiar. SLR cameras work in much the same way as the human eye ? with the mirror and prism system flipping the image so that we see it the right side up.
Tips for buying a digital SLR camera
- For in-house or documentary photography, you will almost always use a wide-angled lens
- For wildlife or sports photography, you will need an interchangeable lens
- Remember, you get what you pay for ? generally, the more expensive the camera, the more sophisticated the features and the better the quality of pictures.
- Whether to buy a new or used camera is up to you ? the used camera market is extensive, and you can pick up good, high-end cameras for a fraction of their original price.
- In general, it’s better to find a brand you like and stick with it ? accessories, such as speedlites or lenses, tend not to be compatible between brands. ????
Step Two: Using a digital camera
It’s not as hard as it looks! Here are some tips for using a digital SLR camera:
- First, read the manual? - make sure you understand your camera settings,? especially shutter speed; aperture, white balance, ISO and focal length
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with your camera settings ? using your camera on manual, rather than automatic, forces you to become familiar with the camera settings and hones your photography skills
- Always take more than one picture of an object, and take photos from different angles
- Use the One Third Rule ? make sure the object is positioned one third of the way from the left or right; never position it in the middle of the picture
- Whenever possible, use a tripod or mono-pod
- Concentrate on taking good photos ? don’t rely on image manipulation software to fix poor photography
- Using your flash during daylight can help remove shadows cast on objects ? particularly useful trick for portrait photography
- Use as small an aperture as possible to increase the overall sharpness of your photos ? this photography technique works especially well in landscape photography
- To create a warm feeling in a scene, use filters ? you can even create a filter by holding your dark sunglasses or spectacles close to the camera lens.
Step Three: Learn photographic terms
There are a bunch of buzzwords associated with photography. Here are explanations to some common photographic terms:
Aperture ? an aperture is an opening, or hole, through which light travels. Aperture controls the amount of light which is let through to your digital camera’s image sensor during exposure. The maximum aperture setting is when the lens iris is open to its fullest, while minimum aperture setting is when it’s at its smallest.? As a general rule of thumb, use a wide aperture when shooting in low light and narrow aperture when shooting in bright conditions. A small aperture is also used to obtain an extended depth of field.
Aperture is measured in units called f/stops, which relates to the focal length. f corresponds to a fraction of the focal length. So, f/4 means that the diameter of the aperture is one quarter of the focal length; f/8 means the aperture is one eighth the focal length, and so on. Thus, if you set your camera lens on a focal length of 40mm and your aperture on f/4, then the diameter of the aperture will be 10mm.
Depth of Field ? describes the amount of the scene which is in focus; in other words, how much of the picture to the back and to the front appears sharp and in focus. Depth of field is affected by:
- The focal length of the camera lens
- Your aperture setting ? the smaller the aperture, the greater the depth of field Focusing distance.
Each of these three factors has a time and a place, being used for different effects.
ISO (International Standards Organisation) ? Even though ISO was initially used on film cameras to indicate a film’s sensitivity to light, most digital cameras now also have ISO settings. The higher the ISO setting, the more sensitive the sensor is to light. High ISO settings, therefore, are suited to taking photographs in low light conditions.
Step Five: Download digital photography ebooks
Want to learn more about photography? Download Dan Fieldman’s digitalphotography eBook ? Your Guide to Digital Photography.
Take a full eight weeks (56 days) to review Your Guide to Digital Photography, go out and take pictures, play with your camera settings and have fun!
If, for any reason, you aren’t 100% satisfied with your newly acquired digital photography skills, Dan will refund you your money. If you don’t see a dramatic improvement in the quality of your digital photos, simply send an email to Dan to get 100% of your investment back.
That’s right ? if you don’t like the package, just let Dan Fieldman know within 56 days, and he’ll immediately refund you the purchase price. That’s not all ? you can also keep Your Guide to Digital Photography ? plus the bonuses ? free of charge!
Talk about a great deal ? you can’t get fairer than that. And, what’s more, if you can’t get a refund from Dan, Clickbank will ensure you get it anyway. What are you waiting for ? download this digital photography eBook now.