One of the most important values of the language of photography is the ability to stop time and be out of time. Photography is more than a beautiful postcard and a retouched Instagram picture* of a lifestyle blogger.
How to learn photography from scratch
- “Read the instructions for your camera” is the first task that will be given in any professional course “How to learn photography for beginners”.
- Sophisticated technology, ultra-expensive lenses are devices designed to capture material that will then go to magazines and advertising billboards. If you’re just starting out, don’t chase expensive equipment. In addition, there is no perfect camera, so use the capabilities of your camera. There is no need to worry if your technique is not advanced enough. Feel all the shortcomings of your camera or lens, and then think about buying a new one. And if there is no way to buy a new one, then figure out how to turn these disadvantages into an advantage. Maybe this way you will even come up with your own style in photography.
- The sensor is the most important part of the camera. It recognizes light and converts the image into digital data. The larger the sensor, the higher the photo resolution and the wider the range of shades that the camera can recognize. But if you’re shooting for Instagram* and Facebook*, you’ll probably be fine with a camera with a “cropped” sensor.
- Learn and try different photographic techniques: technique, composition, lighting, processing… Even if these techniques seem boring and simple to you. Try everything you just learned right away, otherwise you will forget later.
- After you’ve used your first camera for a few weeks, you’ll be able to figure out which subjects you shoot the most and which camera features you’re missing. Hence, you will understand if you need interchangeable lenses.
- Walk more and look around. Carry your camera with you at all times. And not in the bag, but right in the hands, or at least around the neck. So you will be able to capture your frame.
- Do not chase for bright scenes in which there is no particular merit of the photographer. Shoot the ordinary, but do it like no other. Don’t try to react to something obvious. Look for hidden meanings and show them to the viewer.
- Photos should be shown to other people. Get yourself a public page and post your photos there.
How to learn to take pictures with a SLR camera
For a beginner photographer, it is important to understand the terminology.
Set the right white balance
In order not to get pictures that go too yellow or blue, you need to set the white balance correctly. Most often, white balance can be trusted to the automatic camera: it copes well with a wide range of different situations. Difficulties can arise only in a few cases: there are no white, black and gray colors in the frame, you are shooting by the flame of a burning candle or dawn.
Exposure is the amount of exposure to the sensor that is sensitive to light rays. The quality of the picture taken depends on it. Exposure is created by balancing shutter speed and aperture, which is also called exposure pair. The main task of the photographer is to set sufficient light sensitivity depending on the space.
The exposure of the frame starts immediately after the shutter opens. If there are moving objects in space, then during the click they have time to move and become slightly blurry in the photo. Shutter speed is the time it takes for the shutter to open. It allows you to create the effect of a frozen movement or blur an object. If you learn how to take different shutter speeds, you can create photographs in various styles.
Aperture is the central part of the lens, a hole of variable size. The smaller the width, the greater the depth of the sharply depicted space – DOF. It is denoted by numbers from the series:
- 8 etc.
In expensive cameras, you can choose other intermediate values. High depth is needed for high-quality landscape shots, where you need to get a sharp foreground and background. To do this, set the aperture to 8 mm or more.
Small depth of field is needed in order to draw a person’s attention to the central object of the photo, blurring unnecessary objects. To blur the background, you need to set the aperture to 2.8 mm.
ISO is the sensitivity of the matrix to light rays. The higher this setting, the more sensitive the camera is to how light enters the frame. For example, in order to take a high-quality picture at ISO 15, you need sufficient room lighting. But if you set ISO 1600, the camera will take in more light, and the dark picture will become brighter.
But technical knowledge alone is not enough, because people first of all evaluate what is photographed and how, and not with what equipment. And here, too, there are many secrets that will help make even a boring photo interesting and eye-catching.
A good method used to draw the viewer’s attention to the right detail is to simplify the picture as much as possible. The easiest way to do this is to remove unnecessary items. You can also blur them.
A simple photograph draws people in and keeps them looking at the frame longer. Psychologists have confirmed this effect. They suggest that the absence of congestion in the frame contributes to the relaxation of a person and the production of hormones of happiness.
Odd number of items
In order for your photo to attract attention, you can put an odd number of objects in the frame. For example, a photo of 1 rose or a group of 3 friends attracts. This technique makes the picture more interesting and more attractive to the human eye. If there is an even number of objects in the picture, then it is difficult for an unprepared viewer to find the center of focus and concentrate on the details.
Most of the pictures have a middle and background, but very little space is allocated for the front. You can improve the quality of your photo by highlighting certain objects in front. This technique is used to create a sense of scale and make viewers feel like they are inside the shot. And if you expand the foreground to 50% of the frame size, then there will be a feeling of reality of what is happening.
A frame within an image is a technique for enhancing the depth of a composition. Windows, arches and hanging tree branches are suitable for framing. The frame should not surround the picture to add effect. This rule was often used in Renaissance painting to depict perspective.
How to learn to take photos with a smartphone
To help you get closer to perfect smartphone photography, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you improve your photography skills.
- Before you take beautiful pictures with your phone, you should take care of the background. It should be clean enough to attract no more attention than the subject. It is advisable to choose backgrounds without pronounced patterns. And for a good shot, pay attention to negative space – the part of the picture that separates the object from the rest of the composition.
- Another important point is the distance from the subject. It is desirable that it be small. So, if you need to take a picture of a person against the backdrop of a forest, you should not move more than 5 meters away – the picture will not be very attractive. You should not come too close either – the best photos are obtained at a distance of about 1.5-2 meters, which allows you to capture both the people being photographed and the environment.
- When deciding how to take a beautiful selfie on your phone, you should know that the picture should not only be a face or head. It does not look very attractive, even if many are photographed this way. Due to the fact that wide-angle lenses are installed on smartphone cameras, even flagship ones, the face turns out to be distorted. At a greater distance from the subject, when not only the head is visible, but also the shoulders and upper body, the distortion will not be as noticeable and will not spoil the frame.
- Use shooting in RAW format. Think of a JPG as a printed photograph from the era of film cameras. The maximum that you can do with it is to draw mustaches on happy faces with a marker. The RAW format is essentially a negative. It allows you to adjust the color, contrast, brightness, shadows without losing image quality. With this format, you can save even a completely hopeless shot. The only nuance, and you will soon get used to the fact that in photography there is not a single step without nuances, is that the RAW format is very heavy. Approximately one megapixel in your camera is equal to one megabyte in a raw format file. Accordingly, if your camera has the ability to set the raw + jpg option, use it. Jpg for photo selection, raw for processing.
- Your phone has artificial intelligence and adjusts the lighting of the frame in its own way. But you can argue with his vision by using the exposure slider – this is a yellow square with the sun that appears when focusing on the subject. Adjust it to get the amount of light you need.
- One of the easiest and best ways to enhance your mobile photos is to enable camera grid lines. With its help, it is easy to build a composition. The image in the camera is divided into 9 equal rectangles, and the task of the photographer is to arrange the subjects along the lines or along them. By following the rule, you will get a winning composition that immediately directs the viewer’s eye in the right direction. In this case, the composition will also encourage him to consider the rest of the elements of the frame. Place the main figure of the frame not in the central rectangle, but closer to the lines framing it.
- When shooting at night in mobile photography, static is important – the smartphone camera does not perform well in low light. Use a tripod or tripod to keep your smartphone stable. Don’t press the capture button, as the phone will catch the slightest fluctuation and leave you with a blurry shot. Hold down the timer – in this way, you will have a few seconds left, and at the time of shooting the phone will be motionless.
- Modern phone cameras automatically focus on the foreground of your frame. To adjust the focus of the camera lens, open the camera app and tap the screen to sharpen the image.
- Shooting from a unique, unexpected angle of view can make photographs more memorable by giving the illusion of height or depth to objects. Try taking a shot straight up and playing with the sky in negative space.
How to take good pictures with your phone
Do you like taking photos of yourself and posting fresh photos on Instagram*? Then we will reveal a few secrets that will help you learn how to take beautiful and natural selfie pictures with your phone.
The best pictures are taken in natural daylight from a window. To do this, you will need to get closer to him and turn around to face him. If direct sunlight hits you, I advise you to cover the window with a translucent white curtain or just move back a little. This light is very soft and lays down beautifully, as well as hides imperfections and evens out the skin.
Outdoors, favor shadows and light-colored white/grey walls, which will reflect light and not distort colors.
The best time is from dawn to 9-10 am and a couple of hours before sunset. We recommend that you refuse flashes and beware of lamps.
Want to take a close-up photo of your face? The best option is to raise your smartphone and take a picture of yourself from above. This will make your face narrower and more expressive eyes.
Look for your working side: try both to the left and to the right, move your head a little higher, a little lower, a little to the left, a little to the right, tilt a little to one side, then to the other. Work your shoulders.
Want a full body photo? Then you have to move away from the mirror, raise your hand with the phone to chest level and move it slightly to the side. Take it higher, so you visually narrow the figure. If you want to lose some more weight, then turn a little in profile, focus on one thigh, put your front foot on the toe.
Even the best photo can be spoiled by garbage in the background or tiles that are recognizable in the toilet of the shopping center. Look for light, solid walls, nothing colorful or flashy, preferably in your color scheme. The sunset sky, meadows, mountains, flowers, beach will be an ideal background.
Found a celebrity – catch it soon! And if there are cute animals nearby, then the success of the photo is guaranteed.
By following these rules, you can easily learn how to take pictures like a professional photographer. Not immediately, over time, but if you do not give up, you will definitely succeed and take masterpiece pictures.