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Top 10 Essential Things Every Photographer Must Know

As communication thrives through cyberspace and digitized media of exchange, people start to take more and more photos each day. Most likely, there’s not a day an average person has failed to view a photo or take a single shot. Thus, the rise to learn photography came to be popular.

A photograph is a thousand words worth of explanation of a moment frozen in time. People from all across the world have been capturing moments even before the birth of social networking sites. In fact, it has been here all along even before the world wide web itself ever came to life!

As taking photos became almost indispensable in our daily lives, it is important to learn some photography essentials. Of course, we all want to achieve that “Instagrammable” portrait or that “IG-Story-worthy” cuisine. These tips are particularly helpful to nourish and fuel the skills of a beginner photographer and to encourage aspiring ones to learn photography as well.

Photography Essentials: Go From Beginner Photographer to Expert 

Your baby steps to learn photography might just unlock the key to mastering visual storytelling. Here are the topmost photography essentials we have summarized for you.

Be driven with purpose and passion. 

Identifying the purpose of why you are doing something stirs up passion and fuels your enthusiasm. No matter how professional you have grown as a photographer, your passion is the primary motivation you have towards producing wonderful photographs. In one’s undertaking to learn photography, staying motivated and focused magnificently almost always gets the work done.

Know your camera.

This has got to be one of the most underrated photography essentials there ever was. But the fact that this is extremely important should always be kept in mind. Reading the manual of your camera might not be in your best interest– you probably would just jump right into taking creative shots. Would you agree that there are even professional photographers who are not fully in control of their cameras?

Setting aside some idle time to read the specifications of your camera will help you grow from a beginner photographer to a pro more quickly. Knowing your camera’s various functionalities can save you from humiliation, hassle, mistakes, and even regrets. Sometimes, the best moment could have been captured if you just knew how to operate your camera well and how to adjust the necessary settings. 

Be familiar with the “Exposure Triangle”.

The exposure triangle refers to the three essential elements of exposure namely the ISO, the aperture, and the shutter speed. As a beginner photographer, you need to know that when you are shooting in manual mode, you have to balance these three things to get a sharp and well-lit photo.

  • ISO – This controls the camera’s sensitivity to light. Having low ISO settings simply means that the camera will be less sensitive to light and the contrary applies to high ISO settings.
  • Aperture – This pertains to the opening in the camera’s lens. This controls the amount of light that enters through the camera’s sensor. Hence, a wider aperture (indicated by a lower f-number) allows more light to get through, while a narrow aperture does otherwise.
  • Shutter Speed – This indicates how long the shutter stays open when you shoot to take a photo. The longer the shutter stays open, the more light enters through the camera’s sensor. Evidently, a faster shutter speed is great for freezing motion (e.g., capturing that momentous slam dunk). Meanwhile, having a slower shutter speed blurs the subject in action.

Check the settings before starting to shoot.

In anticipation of capturing a moment, perhaps a candid shot or a live sports event, you might get carried away and start to shoot immediately. A beginner photographer must always consider it vital to check his/ her camera’s settings. Check the camera’s flash, ISO, exposure, aperture, shutter speed, camera mode, metering mode, and focus settings.

Understand and apply the rule of thirds.

A common concept when starting to learn photography is the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is a composition guideline that places your subject on the right or left side instead of placing it at the center. This leaves the other two-thirds of the image open. Compared to the photography essentials, this rule is somewhat optional as there are other compositions. However, applying this rule leads to compelling and well-composed photos.

As photographer Shawn Ingersoll says, “It’s not really a rule. It’s more of a guideline or best practice.”

Play with perspectives.

 A single photograph subject can have different stories depending on the angle or perspective from which it was taken. When part of a team, art direction is an essential part of any creative strategy, where every perspective is orchestrated to be part of one creative storyline.

Invest in good quality equipment.

It goes without saying that it won’t be easy to learn photography if you lack the necessary equipment. You will still be able to take shots, yes, but you will miss out on better image quality, lens choices, camera settings, and a wide array of creative possibilities.

Pro tip: Invest in a tripod for better focus. You can use one when you need your camera to be steady to capture the details.

Lights. Camera. Shoot!

Proper lighting enhances the shot and portrays the dramatic effect you want to impose using the captured image. Further, more light means more details. An image taken outdoors with natural lighting has more details than one captured indoors. Photographers are slaves to light, and there’s an endless source of light outside! More so, you can definitely take better portrait shots with reflectors when indoors.

Go raw, and grow! 

Shooting in raw allows you to get higher-quality images and gives you full control of the image for post-processing (i.e., when you want to adjust the exposure, color temperature, and contrast). Don’t be afraid to take raw shots. Going raw gives you every bit of flexibility and detail available in your camera. 

Learn from your mistakes and failures.

Constructive criticism is a part of growth and development as an artist, and overall in life. Rather than allowing those blurry and overexposed photos to discourage you, use them as your motivation to thrive. Moving forward, when you took a bad photo, don’t delete it right away. Instead, you can try to spend some time examining that photo to figure out what went wrong and see your areas for improvement.

Follow these photography essentials and prepare to be surprised at how this fast tracks your growth from a beginner photographer to a pro! Bring your vision to life and get ready to tell the world your story!


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