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It’s very easy to pick up a DSLR and call yourself a photographer. But, you can only add to the art and stand out in the crowd if you learn the basics and do it right. There are literally thousands of photographers who are never recognized for their work because of a reason. If you are here because you take the art seriously and want a career for yourself, we will try and sum up some tips for you that will take you a long way.

These photography tips are easy to understand, covering everything from beginner camera technique to creativity and composition. Read on!

You don’t need an expensive camera

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We cannot stress this enough; Technology is introducing new things everyday, even if you buy the best camera at the best price available, there’s still a chance to might not do enough justice with the photos you click. Clicking images is an art, which combines spontaneity and perspective. There are countless cameras, lenses, and other accessories on the market today, and the difference between each of them is usually minor. You can always begin and continue to use the DSLR in hand, instead of wanting to upgrade everytime something new comes up in the market.

Think about it this way; Film SLRs have time and again clicked iconic photos that look great till date. There must be something other than technology, isn’t it? Let’s get to those tips.

Composition is key

Auto mode is the worst if you want to LEARN how to be a great photographer. Put your mind to compositions, instead of the auto pilot mode clicking for you mindlessly.

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Begin by knowing the basics of composition, how to place the subject correctly, how much headspace to keep, how to keep up with horizon’s level, and try to eliminate any distractions in your photo by adjusting your composition. See if your photo has a sense of balance and simplicity. And if the photo doesn’t look good on your first try, keep experimenting until you get it right. This simple video will help you understand these points <<insert Youtube>>

3. Know your Settings

With all the settings a camera has, it might get a little overwhelming. Sometimes, photographers go without knowing what’s what for years, don’t be that person. Know your camera settings, so that you can make optimal use of what’s on hand.

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The three important setting in a camera – the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, are the most important settings you need to learn about. Try practicing in these modes instead of switching to full-auto mode. First, try practicing with camera modes other than full Auto. Aside from aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, learn how to focus properly by practicing with the different autofocus modes.

4. Don’t Overexpose Highlights

You don’t want a big lifeless blob in your pictures, when you can have details that paint a surreal picture. If you like the latter just like us, avoid overexposing highlights in a photo. It’s simply impossible to recover any detail from white areas of a photo, stick to exposing highlights enough so you can have nice texture and color. Now getting to how; you can easily keep your highlights intact, however you also have to remember to juggle the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. These are the only camera settings that directly affect the brightness of a photo.

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When you’re taking photos, watch the camera screen to see if there is any overexposure. If there is, the first thing you should do is lower your ISO to its base value (usually ISO 100). If it’s already there, use a faster shutter speed. That will take care of the issue. As for aperture, make sure it isn’t set to a crazy value (f/32, f/45, etc.) and you’ll be good.

5. All the light we cannot see

Okay, first off – It’s not just about sunsets. Sunset hues don’t make you a great photographer. Now that we have that clear, let’s get to how light can make or break a photograph. Balance the light’s intensity between your subject and background. Even if you’re photographing an amazing sunset, the photo could be ruined by a completely dark and silhouetted foreground.

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To tackle this, make sure you take into consideration the direction and softness of the light. Harsh light could create bad shadows across your subject, especially when you are clicking a portrait. Move the light source when in a studio or move the subject when outdoors, or simply wait until the light is better.

6. The clock isn’t ticking

Slow down and take your own sweet time when you are first learning photography. Make a thorough check of your camera settings. If you’re shooting outdoor portraits on a sunny day, but you’re using last night’s settings for photographing the night sky, it simply won’t work.

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Make sure the composition is okay, the auto focus is where it should be, and the lighting conditions are as per. Always take some time in between shots to review what you’ve clicked.

8. Using a Tripod doesn’t make you bad

Don’t diss a Tripod, they allow you to shoot multi-minute exposures and capture details so dark that they are invisible to the human eye. Even in a brighter scene, tripods improve the stability of your composition and help take sharper photos.

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If your subject is stationary, that is while shooting landscapes, architecture or still life photography a tripod when used can create masterpieces. If you are into event photography, a tripod might not be a great idea because with all the running around the tripod can slow you down.

9. Know When to Use a Flash

Flashes aren’t just meant for dark environments, period. They help you when you need extra light, but, getting an extra flash and tilting it at the ceiling, while you use a 50mm lens or longer can help you achieve great quality photos.

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Flashes can however be useful outdoors in the middle of the day, to fill in ugly shadows on your subject. Just use a gentle flash and you are good to go! Actually a camera’s built-in flash is more useful on a sunny day instead of a dark one.

10. Clean Your Camera Lens regularly

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A dirty, dusty, or smudged camera lens will only give you blurry photos, so make sure to get rid of any dust particles on the outer lens so as to ensure great images.

12. Learn Basic Post-Processing

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With the right post-processing, you can turn a good photo into a masterpiece. Don’t overdo it, be subtle. It’s more like the make-up, no-makeup look, if you know what we mean. The right touches can give you brilliant results!

Happy exploring!

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