DSLR Photography: Learning to take better photographs
Learning to take better photographs with a DSLR comes with experience. It has to be learnt. Practiced even. I am sharing the tips here that have helped me… this is part of a series. This post can help you in buying your first DSLR.
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So… you have bought your very first DSLR and you have read your manual and you take pretty amazing photos on Auto Mode with or without flash. Then you start feeling uncomfortable and try your hand at the Manual settings and trying to get your camera off the Auto Focus. It turns out so bad that you want to scream that you will never make that mistake again. But… you do want to make that mistake again… you want to keep on making mistakes till you get it right!
If you are like me, that is your story too. The first night that I had my camera with me, I stayed up past 2am to take pictures of everything and anything in my house. Kids, furniture, smudges, the rug, the label behind the rug… everything. Then I read and read the manual till I was sure, I knew everything there was to know.
I wrote about reading the manual when I shared How To Buy a Camera. If you haven’t read it… hop on and come back. (I’ll wait! 🙂 )How else can you learn to take better photographs? Here is what I do:
- Practice. Keep on trying. There is nothing that beats practice. Try to find your own style. Don’t just take photographs, observe them too. Learn to recognise what does what. Don’t go for the accepted norms or what others say work. Find out for yourself. Experiment, play, enjoy your camera.
- Shoot eveything, all the time. Take pictures of everything that you get your eye on. And… then look at your pictures with a very keen eye. Take your camera everywhere and play with it in all kinds of light and conditions. I discovered some amazing stuff this way!
- Get into a company of peers. Look for photographers online, offline, in books, collect info by not just reading but talking to them too. See videos. Nothing teaches better than a teacher. Join clubs, forums, groups.
- Participate and Compete. You can find groups that host competitions and learn alongs. You can learn from them. When you join forums or groups, there will be many that you will come across. Even if you are not comfortable sharing your pics, take a few yourself and observe others.
- Jump in with both your feet. You cannot learn something unless you are passionately interested, I feel. Buying gear isn’t the same as becoming a photographer. Look at photopraphy everywhere. Try to copy what you like. Copy others styles too. Teach yourself. Remember when you first started to ride a bike? Yeah like that.
The best place to find articles and material on photography (and a lot of everything) is Pinterest. Find boards on photography and then move on from there. Here is my board if you want a starting place. I discovered photo ladies. Here are the details of what we are doing. If you are a lady, come join us we are a fun group.
If you are a Food Photographer and looking for a book that will help you take yummy pictures of your food, I highly recommend you try Tasty Food Photography by Lindsay Ostrum. Click here to view more details (Please note: This is an affiliate link. You will not be charged extra but I will be compensated from the author for the sale.)
photo credit: Louish Pixel via photopin cc
Great tips! I'm still trying to master my DSLR:)
Can anyone ever! 😀 Every photographer I read posts like 'look what I discovered'. That is the beauty of it, I feel.
I love my DSLR and feel like I am always learning something new. I haven't shot much on manual but I use the programmable and AV settings a lot. There's still a great deal to improve upon for me.
Great tips. I have a DSLR but don't really have a desire to use it. I know it's better than the i phone but it's hard to get passionate to use it. 🙂
Lol! I know how difficult it is to go around with it!
We are always learning Michelle…