If you had a new camera for Christmas, you need to learn the photography basics. The composition of your photograph is important and that is the first thing to learn and only experience will teach you what works and what doesn’t work. Your shot should have a subject and where that subject is in the frame is important. The “rule” of thirds might put your subject a third of the way across the frame so it doesn’t dominate the image.
Engaging you audience
You also need to engage with your audience. The above picture was an attempt at engaging with my audience at Christmas. I wanted something different and tried to capture Eddy the Elf mischievously hiding behind a curtain. The humour of the image is quite subtle.
If you have ambitions to become a professional photographer or a community photographer then you might have acquired a DSLR which has lots of settings for different types of shot and also allows you to get a sharp image with good colour balance.
If you have just acquired a DSLR then you will probably use the aperture priority setting on the camera to begin with. This allows you to set the aperture and the camera will set a suitable shutter speed. You can also set the white balance to get your colour balance right. We are having mostly cloudy days so you might set the white balance to cloudy for landscape shots. You can set the ISO to auto and that will give you good pictures. When you increase the ISO you make the sensor more sensitive to light and so in the dark days of winter you will often shoot at a higher ISO. Be careful with high ISO indoors however. It can introduce lots of noise into your image. I remember one shoot where I had ISO on auto and got very noisy images under fluorescent light. Now I always set the ISO manually. If you’re taking photos of people indoors it is better to use the flash and set the metering to centre-weighted.
Doing the settings sounds complicated but you soon get the hang of it! I’ve used a DSLR since 2013 and taught myself. Lately I’ve learned to use the flash and shoot on manual so I get a faster shutter speed and I’ve also learnt to shoot different subjects when I’m out and about. I now photograph pubs and corner shops a lot more. I want to photograph people more this year and I will use a 28 -300 mm lens for some street photography. Whatever you’re doing, you will learn by experience and reading the camera manual!Learn the photography basics and have fun. The photography basics are aperture, shutter speed, ISO, white balance and metering.