By Nicholas Klacsanzky
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 (DSLR). Let us presume you have already glanced at your camera’s manual and learned what all those buttons and levers do so that you can 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 the first step, 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 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 headspace, or your images will appear overloaded.
3. Adjust aperture, shutter speed, and ISO values. Or, to make the 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 take care of ISO and shutter speed. The S-mode does the same for shutter speed, which affects whether the objects in 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 the shutter speed at low and use a tripod to exclude image distortions caused by shaking hands. 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 a wide variety of ways to improve the quality of your images. 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 photos look much better.
6. Take multiple shots. Hardened pros sometimes follow the rule of “one shot, one hit,” but to do that, you need thousands of photos under your belt. Taking several shots of one frame will give you the opportunity to choose the best among similar images. So shoot, shoot, and shoot.
There are many nuances in photography that cannot be crammed into a short guide. But we hope that it will give you a successful start so that one day, you can take astonishing photos.
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