Why It’s Good to Go Back To The Start With Photography Basics

Feb 16, 2023

If you’re a sports fan like me, there is always a time you’re favourite team are not doing so well, their results are poor and their form is on a downward spiral. You’ll inevitably hear the commentator or pundit says “the team needs to rebuild”. This is just a fancy term for when the owners of the team or the coaches think it’s time to train new team members, correct bad form and habits and basically go “back to the basics.”

I also think that sometimes it’s good for us photographers to go back to basics. Of course, if you are just getting started in photography and want to learn “the ropes”, the basics is naturally the best place to start, so you can also learn what other professional photographers know about the art of photography.

Let’s face it anybody can take a picture, with so many Smartphone’s in use today just about every one of us will take a picture at some point during a normal day or week. The funny thing is, I just recently attended a wedding event, and i was amazed to find that disposable cameras on every table with a small note to say snap away and take as many pictures as you want.

Well as you can guess even before the evening was over most of those cameras had been taken by the kids, and they were running around taking pictures of anything and everything. Obviously children are not photographers, and while I am sure those pictures will make a lot of people laugh, they’re not the kind of pictures people want for their long-term memories.

The foundation of photography is naturally the camera. When you see a professional walking around with so much equipment on him, you would sometimes get the impression that cameras are to complex, more than non techie people can grasp. Well i am happy to say that’s not true. When you watch certain professionals you see them working with sometimes small, and portable devices, what these are in reality is easy to operate cameras. That’s because in real life the basics of operating a camera really boil down to “aperture and shutter speed”.

Now I know those are quite fancy photography terms, but that’s nothing to really worry about, as i am going to explain it to you.

Aperture is a photography term for how wide is your camera lens open to let in natural or artificial light. Shutter speed however, measures how long you will let the light come in so it affects the picture you’re taking. For instance, taking a picture of a fast moving event such as athletes running, you would want a wide aperture to let in a lot of the surrounding light but, the shutter speed should be short, so you end up capturing the event quickly and closing the window so the picture is caught before it effects the quality of the picture. Too much light ends up blurring the picture.

Photography is really all about light, but having the right amount of light and how to control it. You will get to learn a lot about lenses and flash photography and many other ways to turn the control of the lighting of to your control.

So my advice would be to always have a willingness to add to your skill set as there are always new and different techniques that come out every day, some easy and some difficult. The better you get in your own ability to work with different types of photography equipment, the more you will learn and you will want to learn more once you see the quality of your pictures increasing.

You will have a better control over the camera basics such as aperture and shutter speed just by learning how to switch from automatic settings to manual settings. The automatic settings of any camera are really there for people who are not actually interested in learning photography and just want the ability to take good quality pictures. The automatic settings give you options such as landscape, portrait and sports settings. However, the real magic really begins by switching to manual. By doing this you will learn so much about what all the different settings can do , and what particular settings work best for different scenarios.

Finally that brings me to the most important basic about becoming a great photographer and that is practice. The old saying is “practice makes perfect” and in the case of learning the basics of photography this is 100% true. If you haven’t already bought a camera, buy one and then take the time to sit with your camera and play with it. Don’t worry, you can’t break anything and if you get stuck you can always reset the camera to its default factory settings. I would also highly recommend that wherever you go take your camera with you. Point and shoot at different objects, scenes and even fast moving stuff such as cars in traffic or a sports event.

What you can do is change the aperture and shutter speed settings, in indoor and outdoor settings as each picture or angle will react differently to various orientations to light. Don’t get upset when some shots don’t work. That’s part of the learning curve. You can only build confidence and eventually you will be at an advanced level and become a great photographer.

What basics have you learned that you would like to share? Leave a comment below to let me know.    

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  • Very informative blog! Thanks for sharing Also I...
    Feb 13, 2024
  • nyc Explanation, Great work mate.
    Dec 02, 2022