How to become a beginner photographer

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Soph SyrensStudio

How to become a beginner photographer…

The beauty of photography, is that it is for everyone. You can be any age, any person and you can be a photographer. Yes, even you!

A lot of people think you have to have all the latest gear to be a photographer, up until a few years ago, I was shooting on a Canon 30D with a nifty 50mm f 1.8 prime lens. I still have and use that camera today as my second and it has now been passed on to my child for her to learn the ways.

So, I’m going to break down a list of the things you need to be a beginner photographer.

Step one: Seems totally obvious- acquire a camera, I recommend starting with digital, but you can go with film. Heck, even some modern phone cameras will work!

You may find a friend or relative has a camera they just don’t use any more, and are willing to part with. Alternatively, look at second hand selling sites or social media photography groups, that’s where I found my first DSLR camera.

Step Two: Read a photography magazine or two, have a look at some of the pictures printed to draw inspiration from. Make a note of the styles you like, whether thats landscape, portrait, macro etc.

One of my treasured past times is thumbing through the latest issue of Digital Photography as fast as I could in between Sixth Form lessons or standing in the shop and consuming as much information as I could there and then before buying it.

There is something so lovely about a physically printed photo and being able to really get up close to it.

Step Three: A really important one, get to know your camera settings. I will post a more in- depth blog entry about that soon, but you need to know about aperture, shutter speed and ISO as your complete basics.

All of these settings combined, is what creates your image and ultimately controls the outcome of your photo.

Aperture controls how much light is let into your lens. A low, or wide aperture lets in the most light, the higher or narrower aperture lets in less light. This is recorded in f stops e. g. f1.8 is a low, wide aperture and f22 isa high, narrow aperture. This also controls your depth of field, but again we will get on to that in another post.

Shutter speed is exactly as it sounds, it is the speed in which your shutter closes to capture the image. The slower the speed, the more light, the higher the speed, the less light. this is recorded in exposure time or fractions of seconds e.g. 1/100 is one hundredth of a second.

And finally ISO, this controls the sensitivity of, well, your sensor! A low ISO is good for bright, outdoor light and a high ISO is good for dark indoor and night photography e.g. ISO 100 is low and ISO 6000 is getting to the higher end.

Step Four: Now practice combining these three elements together to expose your photo. Keep at it though! It can feel frustrating at first when you get an all white or very dark exposure. Just tweak each setting until you start to get a clearer image.

A good way to start is go outside on an overcast day, find a flower, a tree or an object that is stationery, set your camera to Manual or M.

I used to start by putting all of my settings as low as they could go, then slowly turn each dial up to see how it would affect the outcome of the image, then note down my findings. I later discovered a lot of photography magazines will tell you the settings the photo was taken at. Keep that in mind as you progress.

And finally, have fun! Photography is an art and a science combined, it is meant to be a joyful journey to be explored. Don’t forget you can always drop us a message on Instagram or Facebook and we’d be happy to help!

See you next time,

Soph x

SyrensStudio photography

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