If you want to become a famous photographer and bask in the glory, the first aspect of photography you need to master is using a digital single-lens reflex camera. Let us presume that you have already glanced into your new camera’s manual and learned what all those numerous buttons and levers do, so that you are able to operate your device with ease: then you must be craving to take your first photo. To make it a masterpiece, let us follow several simple instructions.
1. Though it may sound unnecessary for #1 rule, do not forget to take the protective cap off the lens. A solid part of photography is about capturing the right moment, and it is disappointing to miss one just because of your own carelessness.
2. Find a solid frame. It is a matter of practice. For starters, try not to crop peoples’ heads or other body parts, and do not put objects right in the frame’s center. Leave some head space or your images will appear overloaded.
3. Adjust aperture, shutter speed and ISO values. Or to make a process faster and easier, use A- or S-modes (‘aperture priority’ and ‘shutter priority’ modes respectively). The A-mode allows you to set the F-number (which influences the depth of field), while automatics takes care of ISO and shutter speed. S-mode does the same for shutter speed, which affects whether the objects on your picture will be blurry or clear.
4. Let your camera autofocus by pushing the release button halfway, and then slightly press it to the end to make a shot. If you shoot at nightfall, set shutter speed low and use a tripod to exclude image distortions caused by your hands’ shaking. If your camera cannot focus on its own (which often happens when it is dark outdoors) switch from auto to manual mode, and focus your lens on lights, or to the infinity.
5. Do not be afraid to post-process your photos. Digital photography grants you a wide variety of ways to improve your images’ quality, so feel free to use them – at least until you become a professional. At the same time, many professionals use Photoshop as well. Anyway, you may be surprised, how simple saturation, contrast or hue adjustments are able to make your images look much better.
6. Take multiple shots. Hardened pros may follow the rule ‘One shot – one hit’, but to do that you must have had taken thousands of photos. Taking several shots of one frame will give you an opportunity to choose the best variants among similar images. So shoot, shoot, and shoot.
There are many nuances in photography that just cannot be crammed into a short guide. But we hope that it will give you a successful start, so that one day you are able to take astonishing photos.
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