What do I need to master to be a good photographer?
- Shooting modes: The shooting mode determines how much control you have over exposure, ISO, and aperture.
- ISO: This is how sensitive your sensor is to the light that’s coming in. The higher your ISO, the brighter your image. With higher ISO, you’ll see more grain or “noise” in an image than you do with lower ISOs.
- Exposure triangle: This is finding the right balance between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO for the perfect picture.
- Focusing: The camera has an option to autofocus (AF) or manually focus (MF). With autofocus you can use the red focusing dots inside your viewfinder to determine where the lens is focusing.
- White balance: There are several options for this on the camera, the automatic setting is AWB. The goal of each is to neutralize the color temperature back to 'daylight' balance. If you control the white balance while you're taking pictures you have less editing to do on the computer.
- Shutter speed: This is how fast your shutter is opening and closing. The longer it’s open, the more light you’re letting in. If you have a slower shutter, you can capture motion blur; with a faster shutter, you’ll freeze the motion.
- Aperture (also known as or f-stop): This refers to how wide the opening of your lens is. The wider it’s open, the more light you’re letting in. With a wide aperture, your lens blurs the background; with a small aperture, your background is more in focus.
- Composition: The easiest and most effective is the rule of thirds. Mentally divide the image into thirds using two vertical lines and two horizontal lines, then place elements of high visual interest at any of the four intersections.
Tips to keep in mind:
- Always shoot in RAW! If you want a JPG as well, you can shoot with RAW and JPG on. It will just fill up your memory card quickly.
- Don't shoot at an ISO higher than 3000 or your pictures will be grainy. Higher ISO means more light but it also means more noise.
- Never use the built in flash unless you're really, really, really desperate.
- Change your perspective every time you shoot. Try up high, down low, close up, far away, etc.
- You're going to have to edit out some imperfections. Don't sweat it.
- Don't take the camera off automatic focus unless you're ready to.
- The more you shoot, the better you'll be!
Portable subject activity
Grab an item and go shoot it in different areas. Take at least ten different pictures of that item keeping in mind the things you've learned above.
- If you aren't sure what to do, mess with these things: light, shadow, line, shape, form, texture, color, size, depth, focus, quality of light, background, depth of image