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randomosity: Beginner Photography Tips & Some of my pics

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Beginner Photography Tips & Some of my pics

I took a class at the Missouri Botanical Gardens with (FB) and it exceeded my expectations times 100! I can't say enough good things about the instructors and the class itself. It truly was phenomenal! Just wanted to share a few shots that I got, before I share some tips. I love them! Please don't be too harsh if critiquing - this is the first time I've ever used my camera outside auto mode. :)

I don't think I have the eye for photography, but I absolutely loved taking these pictures. I could've stayed outside all day shooting flowers and waterfalls. I am excited to save up for my next lens... one that can zoom in a bit more than the one that came with my camera (which, by the way, is a Canon Rebel XS and is amazing). I like taking pictures of landscapes, wildlife, etc. With portraits there are just too many variables, ya know? Is the subject squinting? Sweating? Frowning? Screaming and crying and not wanting their picture taken? With flowers, what you see is what you get. No surprises, unless the wind is blowing or it starts raining!

I have been reading up on beginner photography tips this week and just wanted to share a few with you guys.

The rule of thirds.  Imagine a tic tac toe board on your photo. You place the important elements where the imaginary lines connect. Click here to read more about the rule of thirds. You can break this rule, but it's a good rule of thumb to keep in mind. This is mostly a guideline, not a rule like the name suggests.

Use your own eye. Don't try to take photos like other folks do. Sure, you can use all the tips/tricks that you find online (take some, leave some), but you want to develop your own artistic viewpoint to share with others. For me, photography is about passion. I love bugs and flowers, so of course I enjoy photographing them. Most of us are parents and have a passion for photographing our children. Find what you love, discover your own style, and stick with it.

Don't delete while you are out shooting. I did this a lot on Saturday. Every time I looked through my shots, I found some I didn't like and I deleted them. When I got home, I went to find the others that I was going to delete but didn't have time to. They actually looked great! One of my best shots I almost deleted because I didn't like how it looked when I played it back. So don't delete until you have reviewed them on the computer.

Buy a UV filter for your camera. It's much easier (and cheaper) to replace a UV filter ($10!) than your actual camera lens ($100s!).

Learn how to manually focus. I didn't even realize what "AF" and "MF" meant on my camera until my instructor told me to switch to manual focus. If I only learned that one tip from the class, it would've been worth it. Try it, and you'll see what I'm talking about. It literally made a world of difference.

That should get you started on working with your DSLR camera. If you have any questions (or suggestions) let me know. I'll try to find the answer for you. Check out other helpful articles below.



At June 29, 2011 at 12:08 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

I think your pictures are really good, love the flower with the 'visitors!' I don't know anything about cameras, but was just given a nicer one. What is the purpose of the UV filter you mentioned? Is it to protect the camera, improve the pictures? Thanks Angela

At June 29, 2011 at 12:11 PM , Blogger Manda-Nicole said...

I've been into photography for several years now. I do take professional quality photos though I am working hard to improve my skills with every shot.

The tips you gave are perfect! Every single one of them in 100% true. Especially the one about not deleting in your camera. I mean sure, if the shot is clearly that bad (taking it of a person and the eyes are closed) then delete it... but generally you just want to have a big enough chip to hold the amount of pictures you're going to take. And the reason for that is you can adjust the settings on your screen and they may be off plus, once things are larger they tend to look better.

Another good rule to practice is, if shooting in a manual mode (you can't do this in any auto mode) shoot in jpeg AND raw. Editing a jpeg and editing a raw are two completely different things and working with a raw is a LOT better not to mention easier. About 150 pics can be held on a 2G chip if you are shooting in jpeg and raw... that's how big of a file raw is!

Anyhow, just thought I'd share some of those tips :D and add that I too shoot with a canon XS rebel! Very good camera.

At July 19, 2011 at 7:06 PM , Blogger Digi Stitches said...

Very nice pictures and the Mo Botanical Gardens is a beautiful place to shoot! You've convinced me that I need to pay it a visit.


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