July 30, 2019
I received my first DSLR in 2009 for Christmas and quickly realized I had NO idea how to use it in manual. I tried reading the manuals, probably googled it and just still felt frustrated so I signed up for a beginners class. I really desired to take nice pictures and while auto on that camera was better than my point-and-shoot, I wanted more. That class helped unlock the basics but it was still hard to grasp at first. I did finally get it and I’ve been teaching myself tricks along the way! I really wish at the very beginning that someone would have put things in terms I understand and so that is what I have tried to do for you!!
We all start somewhere and if learning a few basics can help you get inspired to use your camera for better pictures of your family, vacations or to start a photography business then I’m happy!
I’ll create another post soon about my gear and recommendations for beginners for those of you wanting to go a little further.
And lastly, these 4 tips will make you dangerous enough to use your camera properly but from there, it’s all about refining your style and breaking any of the rules to get what you want! That is what is so fun about photography and why there is room for all the thousands of photographers in the world. Everyone’s own personal rule breaking and vision!
Let me know how these tips work for you! I’d love to see what you create!!
One other note on white balance. Above is a range of White Balance settings. This is just one of the ways to define your style and stay consistent. The overall idea of white balance is getting your whites to look white. While I find this widely important, finding your white balance style and sticking with it, whether cooler or warmer will have a huge effect on your consistency.
The first image is my final edited image. I like images warm but light and bright!
The second image is actually how my camera shot it in AWB. Pretty close to my style so good news this time!
The third image is a much cooler version
The fourth image is a much warmer version (and actually how my editing software adjusted it when I clicked auto)
You may be drawn to a particular version in this range of colors so try to edit that way all the time.
These images were both shot inside. The first one was shot with ISO way high at 5000 as I wasn’t super close to any natural light. I zoomed in so you could see how it’s kind of grainy because of this. When I delivered this to the client I edited out the noise and I honestly don’t think you really notice.
The second image was closer to natural light and the ISO is at 1000. Hardly any noise even way up that high! Every camera is different so use the cheat sheet below on recommended settings.