A lot of websites are happy to sell you a new camera but few take the time to show you how to use it. Unfortunately that is where it ends for many people. They get the camera, take a few pictures, and don’t pursue things much further than that.
This post will help you figure out how to get the most out of your new investment.
The camera and the lens are one unit, neither can subsist on its own without the other, and each contribute substantially to the final image. To get the most from the camera the lens must be of excellent quality as well. You don’t need to buy the absolute best lens money can buy, a quality lens in the $1,000 price range should suit most people just fine. A 1st party 24-105mm f/4 lens would be a good option.
Don’t overedit your photos early on. My advice if there is a photo you wish was just “better” somehow is to go out and take some more photos. Stop trying to fix problems with editing tricks. If you go out to the lake and don’t like the clouds in your photos, instead of trying to Photoshop in a new sky, why not go back later and take a picture of a better sky?
Try to use the camera’s controls to create better pictures. If you have a zoom lens use the zoom, or if you don’t have a zoom, try moving around. Don’t fall into the habit of thinking “I’ll crop this later” or “I’ll brighten this up in Lightroom” or “I’ll fix the white balance in post”. Instead you should do your best to have a finished image right out of camera.
When you scroll through your images and see a bunch of screwed up, too dark/too bright, wrong colored images you’re not going to even understand what you’re trying to accomplish.
Many people think artists of the past were not technical minded. But many famous artists in the past did things their own way. Van Gogh was known to make his own pigments for his oil paintings. He wasn’t a scientist, but he developed a technical understanding of his art that allowed him to paint how he wanted to paint.
It’s tempting to believe that auto exposure will never make a mistake, but, eventually it will make a mistake and you’ll get a poor quality shot. The worst part is that those who use auto all the time are less likely to know what they could have done differently to get the shot right.
At some point in your photography journey you’ll have to at least have a basic idea of how to control exposure in your camera.
If you’d like some help taking control of your camera, check out my eCourse on Mastering Manual Photography.
Take some courses, buy a book on photography, ask questions of photographers you know. Do what you can to get information while you’re willing and able to get your hands on it. With that in mind, feel free to check out our Free Tutorials as well as our affordable Instructor led eCourses.