5 Photography Tips to Help You Get Started
Updated: Jul 22, 2020
Photography is a hard skill to learn. It requires a lot of time and dedication to fully master. In my opinion, finding where to start can be the hardest part of the process. That’s why I’m writing this now, to help you get started on your journey with 5 tips for absolute beginners.
1. Use whatever camera you have
Many people think you need the best gear to start photography but that simply isn’t the case. All modern smart phones come with a decent camera and editing tools already. If you have a phone you could go out right now and start taking photos. I started taking photos on my phone and by the time I got a camera, while I was hopeless with aperture and shutter speed, I was able to get the right angles and get the composition right.
2. Leading lines
Leading lines are lines in the frame, it’s as simple as that. They are used to lead a persons eye across a picture so they look at the whole thing. Leading lines can be a footpath, shadows, train tracks and much more but their purpose is still the same, to guide a person through the image. Look at the picture of the dock. Notice how the dock leads you through the image and to the mountain in the background. Leading lines are a fantastic tool for composition. Again, you do not need an expensive camera to learn this trick, your phone will do just nicely.
3. The Rule of Thirds
The rule of thirds is something I used to hear being thrown around a lot but I couldn’t fully understand it for a long time. However it was much easier than I thought. Every camera has a grid of nine boxes and the rule of thirds says that the main focus point of your picture should be where the lines intersect. In the case of the picture above, the main focus point is the center of the flower, so it is positioned so that is where the lines on the grid intersect. This can also be done with a phone while you're editing the photo. If you can combine leading lines with the rule of thirds it will make for an incredibly eye catching picture.
4. Don’t stick to one type of photography
You might have an idea in your head of the types of photos you’d like to take and that’s perfectly fine. It might be sunsets, landscapes, closeups or something else. It might be tempting to only take sunsets or landscapes or closeups but I would highly recommend that you take photos of a variety of subjects. I’ll give you an example. When I first started, I only wanted to take cityscapes so that’s exactly what I did. I would only take photos when I was in the center of Dublin. However, I live in a village in the countryside so when quarantine started I thought I had nothing to do in terms of photography. However, I have since started taking photos of sunsets and nature and I find that I prefer taking those photos. So try a load of different types, you might find your interests change completely.
5. Practice Practice Practice!
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before but for photography, and any other skill for that matter, it’s crucial. Think of it like driving. If you drive or if you’re taking lessons, guaranteed you were not good the first time you were behind the wheel. But as you drove more often, you got more comfortable with the gear changes and speeding up and slowing down safely . It’s the exact same with photography. Sure, the camera is the thing taking the picture but unless you practice regularly you won’t know how to work with the lighting you have or how to get everything in focus. These things take practice and over time they will start coming naturally to you.
So there you have it, 5 tips for absolute beginners. If you found any of these helpful at all, let me know by sending me a message on my Instagram @d.casey_ or by commenting here.