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Digital Photography Techniques For Beginners

By Amy Renfrey

There are many methods to find out how to use your digital camera, but do these things make you a better photographer? The answer to that is “it depends”. You see, the digital camera is just a tool to create creative photographs. It depends on the way that tool is used that determines the finest and most stunning photographs. Fundamental Digital Photography Techniques To get stunning photos we first need to look at some fundamental photography techniques. The first one I can share with you is learn about light. When you learn about light and how it forms a relationship with with the direct environment then your photos will get better. Examine shape and form- Composition is next. Continuously consider the angles and structures of the things you are shooting. Do they create a well proportioned photo that is pleasing to the eye? One technique to get good at the methods linked to photographing ideal composition is to watch where these things direct our eye. Continually look for a balance and simplicity. Practice these things by taking photos of uncomplicated surfaces that have nice straight lines, or curved lines and symmetrical patterns. Do not have anything else in the backdrop. A terrific way to get started with this creative method is photographing buildings. Architecture is filled with lines. Take shots of walls, angles in the walls, look at how these lines direct us and how it looks as a photo. This is good practice. This method of seeking symmetry will really improve your photography, ten fold in fact. Simple Photography Techniques Examining light- One of the best techniques I know is to examine and study light. Try this: each time you have a look at something, observe how bright the light is, what angle it is coming from, how much contrast it generates and the colour of that light. For the next few days, whenever you photograph something, write down what you noticed and then what it looked like as a photo. Once you have effectively learned this technique begin shooting your lines and curves. If you start taking pictures in this manner you will notice that a) your technical ability increases and b) your photos begin to look artistic and a whole lot more attractive. It’s not only easy to do, but a lot of enjoyment. You will start to feel like you are experiencing a link with light. Your comprehension of light improves. As your awareness improves, so do your pictures. You will start to be familiar with what will work as a photograph just by investigating the scene in front of you. It’s a beautifully positive and empowering feeling. Enhanced Photography Techniques Enhanced photography techniques come with practice. Practice takes time. Time calls for commitment and a motivation to learn. One of the things that helped me to gain knowledge of photography was the examination of light and shape. Another advantageous thing you can do is to write everything down in a notebook. Before you shoot write down notes about the light. Ask yourself and write down the answer to: What is the light doing? How does it make your scene appear? How does the light change the mood of your scene

Next, write down: * Notice how much light * What direction it is coming from * How much contrast it creates * The colour of that lighting.

Then, if you are shooting in automatic mode, note down what the internal light meter is telling you as you point the camera to that area. Make a note of the shutter speed and f stop it wishes to shoot at. (It will be wrong and generally underexposed, but more about that another time.) Now, switch your cameras setting to the manual setting and alter the controls to what the auto setting just said. It will be incorrect, so make sure you put the dial in the center, or a little to the right of the middle.

Subsequently, look at the lines and shape of the subjects in your photograph. Where do they lead your eyes? Are there any distracting things in the picture that you really don’t want? Imagine that shot as a two dimensional medium and look again. Is there someone in the way? A tree that doesn’t really look like it makes sense to be there? Too many cars speeding by that detracts from the drama and power of the construction?

Every time ask yourself these things prior to shooting.

Digital Photography Expert Techniques

One of the most effective ways to become good at photography is becoming good at a photo editing program. Photoshop is an extremely amazing application to have but it needs time to feel comfortable with it. It’s very complicated to the starter so take some formal lessons if you need to. You can also learn Lightroom, which is a less complicated version of Photoshop. It’s less difficult to learn and you may not always need official lessons. Whichever way you choose to go, expert principles come from not only nice photography and shooting techniques but tactics in post processing. Post processing is a term given to editing, polishing and improving your photos in a software program. There are so many extremely impressive effects you can apply in both Photoshop and Lightroom. Darkening the edges of a photograph and increasing colour and contrast are just some of the essential features within both programs. You can also add items that were not there beforehand. You also have the capability to eliminate irrelevant things in the background. These software programs are amazing for wedding and portrait photography as you can add depth to colour, create smoothness for skin tones, make faces glow and eyes sparkle. A whole new understanding opens up to you after you realise what Photoshop and Lightroom can do, and, how much better your photographs can look. You can feel engrossed for hours when you are post processing, so gain knowledge of good techniques. The last thing you want to do is spend 1 hour taking pictures and 6 hours editing all your photos. The faster your post processing methods are the better photographer you turn out to be. On-Camera Flash Techniques for Digital Wedding and Portrait Photography The most horrible way to use your flash in wedding and portrait photography is directly front-on. First, people can’t stand the flash being blasted in their eyes. Also, the direct flash is not really meant for front on use (unless it’s a special circumstance, in which case it would be turned down to its lowest intensity.) The flash is designed for brightening the shadows. Professionals more often than not have an external flash and point it up to the ceiling, to the wall or put something over it to minimise its bright, white effects. I never ever use flash front-on for weddings and portraits since the light is too intense. When we have light that’s intense and white on a person’s skin, we waste a lot of the smaller and softer details of a persons face. It makes people look terrible in photos! Digital Black and White Photography Techniques Strategies for photographing in black and white are no different to shooting in colour. However, on saying that, you may want to capture black and white subjects with the intention of producing a black and white photo. That’s ok too. If you feel like some really striking black and white photos then seek to shoot subjects that have a naturally sharp contrast. For example a white sign with black writing in front of a silver building may look really nice. A person’s face with scarlet lipstick and intense eye make up looks great in black and white. Digital Photography Lighting Techniques I have covered how to evaluate light and how to employ the flash properly, but what about ambient light? Ambient light is the light that exists in the atmosphere we are shooting in. Light from a window that fills up an area is regarded as ambient light for example. It’s important to take note of ambient light just as much as other light sources. Ambient light is reflected light. It’s light that arrives from a light source and fills up the environment without a well-defined direction. This is quite critical to take note of as it dictates how you photograph the scene. If you have heaps of ambient light you may have light evenly spread all the way through your photo. This is good. But what if that’s not the effect you want? What if you fancy a moody and sombre photo instead? In that case, you would try and photograph whilst the bright light source is at an angle. Using a directional light that generates strong shadows can indeed create a moody photograph. The way light is contained within a scene determines the way you take the shot and the create the mood of the photo. This is very essential, do not forget this. Canon Photography Techniques I got asked the other day what camera I owned. I replied a “5D Mark Two”. It impressed the person I was speaking with. The fact is that no matter what camera you make use of you will still require to get behind the methods of good photography and get better at them. There is in fact no such thing as particular photography techniques for a Canon and a set of more intersting methods for a Nikon camera. It’s still photography and light is one of your most important concerns. Digital SLR Photography Techniques You have greater opportunity to control the camera if it is a dslr. There are further controls and more ways to get the specific effects you care for. I am not saying that it’s dreadful to have a small compact camera. I am simply saying that you have greater control over the way your photos turn out. I have viewed some spectacular images come out of compact cameras due to the fact the photographer understood how to scrutinize and work with light and composition. The main reason I use a Dslr is because I want more influence over my image making. I want to be able to regulate my focal length and have various types of lenses on the camera if I want. I also want the opportunity for high speed photography if the occasion calls for it. I also want a really fast shutter speed from time to time. A really fast shutter speed happens when you use a fast lens. This means the maximum aperture of the lens is pretty wide. A lot of light can come in to the lens and you have more light to work with. You may get a fast shutter speed this way. Dslr cameras have more controls such as a high ISO, multiple shots per second, the capability for exchangeable lenses, the functionality to have an external flash and a good deal more. You will still be able to get lovely images with a point and shoot camera, but after a while you will start feeling restricted in what you can do. To really master photography it’s most ideal to learn from a photographer who is experienced at it. This comprehension can save you years of mistakes and disappointments. Learn to control light, composition, your digital camera and you will have the foundation to be an extraordinary photographer.

Amy Renfrey is the author of several photography ebooks and a monthly photography emagazine. She shows you how to take stunning photos every single time, even if you have never used a digital camera before. Click here to learnbetter photography techniques.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Renfrey, Amy "Digital Photography Techniques For Beginners." Digital Photography Techniques For Beginners. 19 Apr. 2014. 24 Jul 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Renfrey, A (2014, April 19). Digital Photography Techniques For Beginners. Retrieved July 24, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Renfrey, Amy "Digital Photography Techniques For Beginners"

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