How to learn basic photography

So you got the photography bug and you are not sure where to start. The first thing you need to do essentially is to get a camera. Practice, practice, practice. There is a lot of resources online today that will help you through your journey from a really raw beginner to someone a bit more intermediate and even expert.

How to learn the basics of photography: Man taking photo of food

Buying the right gear is key to learning the basics of photography

Photography is a journey, I would say sometimes photography has no destination. It’s an art and you can always find ways to improve. There is a technological aspect to it. So cameras are always getting better, sometimes more complicated, they can do more than ever before. Whereas in the past photography was really just still images, now a lot of the cameras on the market can apply filters, create video and video format is in big demand and so you really need to learn how to use a camera. And the best thing to do is to try to get a camera that can let you practice the exposure triangle. That’s going to be your biggest challenge, is to understand how to set up your camera with the exposure, aperture, shutter speed. You do not have to jump right into manual mode right away. You can put your camera on semi-automatic and maybe just have the aperture in a manual mode and put the rest in automatic and let the camera take care of ISO, auto white balance at the beginning, slowly and gradually take over all the functions. I will be honest with you, at the very beginning, the camera did a much better job adjusting the exposure for me and it gave me a little bit more time and space to practice how to frame better and put less emphasis on fiddling with the dials.

Canon 5D Mark III and Canon lens 85mm f1.2

Practicing is the only way you can improve your photography

But you really need to practice and there’s going to be a learning curve. So my suggestion would be to purchase a camera that has manual capabilities. My recommendation would be to go with not the new cheap cameras that are made for beginners. I know that would be tempting to go with a brand new camera, but I would suggest to go with camera that has been on the market for at least five, even as long as ten years. I started with a Canon Five D Mark One, a DSLR several years ago and it really, really taught me how to get my exposure right. The megapixel at the time were limited and at 15 megapixel, it was not much to write home about, the phones are doing much better job nowadays, they are much more capable. But that camera really taught me how to actually use all of the proper settings and so get you a Canon 5D Mark One on the used market and spend the next year practicing. There afterwards you can upgrade to something more advanced, more professional, but really start there and I think you will be really better for it.

Where to practice can be a difference maker

Next thing you want to do is try to shoot every day, try to learn something new every day. Framing, get the white balance right, get the exposure right, go out there, walk the streets of your town, take pictures of buildings, take pictures of people, and really practice, practice, practice. Then you can jump to the other things, like editing and all of the post processing work that is a job in and of itself, but really get yourself a decent camera. And then, like I said, shoot every day as much as you possibly can, and then you’ll see after a few months how much better you get. 

By following these steps, you will become a decent photographer in no time. Have you started your journey, leave me a comment and let me know what has been your biggest challenge when you started learning photography?

Published by Samatar David

Ottawa-Gatineau Wedding Photographer

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