10 Things I Wish I Knew When Starting Photography Part 2
4. For Better Control, Move to Manual
The sooner you start controlling your exposure, the quicker you will become more than just a camera button pusher. However, this is never easy and actually requires learning a lot about focus, exposure, metering, and more. The single largest step you will take to transition from just a camera button pusher to an artist is to venture outside of the automatic exposure mode. When you start controlling the photo and can handle the nuances of exposure, you will be turning the process of exposure on its head and envisioning an outcome for the photo. You can learn how to handle the creative exposure, backlighting, and many other scenarios that the camera is capable of handling on its own. One of the best intermediate steps is learning to control one more factor at a given time. First, understand the ISO as well as the effect on image quality and the light reaching the sensor. You can then branch out to controlling aperture and shutter speed as well as considering the visual outcomes of these settings too. A decent training step towards getting into full manual exposure modes is to jump into aperture priority or shutter priority.
5. Make Time for Your Shooting
It might seem like an awfully basic tip, but beginner photographers constantly forget that the only true way to improve your craft is to always have your camera on hand every day, taking images constantly. Challenging yourself is one of the best ways to keep making photos. If you have an assignment, even if it is self-assigned, you will be more likely to go out and shoot. You will fund numerous shooting challenges online guaranteed to keep your creative juices flowing. If you thrive off the structure, assignment and challenges are great ways to keep yourself creatively challenged.
6. Prioritize Lenses
One secret to not having to spend too much on professional photography gear is to make smart buying decisions and get your purchase right the first time. The first few years of most people’s professional photography involve leapfrogging from one camera body to the next in search of more autofocus points, megapixels, and anything they believe can improve the outcome of their professional photography. In the process, they end up forgetting what they should have upgraded all along, which is lenses. If you are attached to the inexpensive kits that come with the camera, you will almost always limit your work. While it is possible to make amazing photos with the stock lens, it usually has its limitations with the greatest one being that it is an 18 to 55 mm lens with slow aperture. The slow aperture will limit you to well-lit environments. Once you stop down the lens to f/8 or thereabouts, images can be incredibly sharp, but still lacking. This tip might appear to contradict the earlier tip of acquiring more gear to make better photos, but there’s some truth in upgrading your lenses. It is important to make the right upgrade by choosing a larger aperture (faster) lenses that offer great value in terms of photographic output.
7. Slow Down on Being a Professional Photographer
Once you have been shooting for some time and have started showcasing your work, it is highly likely are that you will be approached with some shooting offers. Whether it is some landscape photos, a friend’s senior portraits, or weddings, friends always seem to be looking for somebody to capture their precious moments (usually on the cheap). It can be attractive to you to suddenly monetize your hobby since it can help you acquire more gear and can help make ends meet too. However, it also brings some nuances that cannot be easily measured. Risking legal liability, dealing with difficult clients that cancel at the last moment, and much more are part of the professional process. You are always putting yourself on the line whenever you accept money for your services irrespective of your relationship with the client. So, tread lightly and slow down on your going professional.