Three Important Lessons Every New Photographer Should Know
If you are starting out as a photographer, it is important to know the basics. While there are so many things to learn about photography, you don’t have to overwhelm yourself with learning all of them right away. At the very least, you can start by learning the basics.
We have listed here the 3 most important lessons every new photographer should know to help you out as you develop your skills in photography.
Lesson No. 1: Get to know the shutter speed scale
Your shutter speed is one of the two ways of controlling the exposure, the lens aperture would be the other one. In normal situations, you might not have to worry too much about the shutter speed, as long as it’s fast enough to avoid camera shake problems.
But when you’re shooting fast-moving objects, the shutter speed becomes a very important setting. If you wish to freeze your subject in motion, use a fast shutter speed value. One useful tip is to follow the technique many sports photographers do, which is setting a slower shutter and “pan” the shot, following the subject in the viewfinder as they press the shutter. This keeps the subject sharp but blurs the background, conveying motion.
Lesson No. 2: Understand how focal length affects a scene
Lenses are classified according to their “focal length”. Some lenses have shorter focal length, which provide a wider angle of view. Wide angle lenses belong to this type.
One thing though is that when you shoot with a wide-angle lens (such as a 10-18mm), you get more in the frame but objects look smaller. Thus there are some lenses that have a longer focal length (such as 100-200mm), thus a narrower the angle of view. You get less in the frame, but subjects are magnified. This is what telephoto lenses do.
Most lenses these days are zooms that cover a range of focal lengths. The 18-55mm lens that comes with many new cameras, for instance, has a focal range of 18‑55mm, for wide-angle shots at one end of the range and modest telephoto ones at the other. These kit lenses are a good all-rounder, but sooner or later you’ll want to expand your shooting options with extra lenses as the guys at Shane Webber Photography learned.
Lesson No. 3: Knowing the relationship between focusing and aperture
The lens aperture is just one of the controls used to get the exposure right; it controls the amount of light hitting the sensor. The other is the shutter speed which, as discussed earlier, controls the length of the exposure.
The size of the lens aperture also affects the depth of field in the picture. Shallow depth of field is where only your main subject is sharp, and any objects in the background or nearer to the camera are out of focus. You get this from using wide lens apertures, like say f/4.
However, you can also increase the depth of field by using a narrower lens aperture (like a setting of f/22), which makes objects at different distances look sharper and more defined.
It’s important to understand how your camera’s autofocus system works so you can ensure it’s focusing on the right part of your scene. But it’s also important to take aperture and depth of field into account if you want to blur backgrounds or make your shots look as perfectly sharp as possible, from the foreground into the distance.