Learning To Take The Best Photos With Your New Camera

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Although mobile devices have provided us all with an easy way to take photos, many people are still investing in dedicated cameras to explore a larger enjoyment of the photography process and its results. If you are considering buying a camera – particularly a digital single lens reflex camera or DSLR – or already purchased one, come with us on a journey of what you need to know to make the most of the device and create amazing shots.

Shutter Speed Sounds Confusing

Shutter speed is one of the most important elements of photography, one which aspiring photographers need to understand. Simply put, shutter speed is the length of time that the image sensor inside the camera is exposed through the lens. It’s the moment when the image is created. Shutter speed can have a profound effect on your photos, creating the opportunity for some artistic license on how you want to try and capture something. For example, a shutter speed of 1/500 creates a freeze motion effect and can be an incredibly powerful photo. A speed of 1/2000 is better for freezing an action shot. That moment when a shark breaks the surface, a baseball player connects the bat to ball, or the instant a pebble hits the pond. Family portraits can be done well with a shutter speed of 1/1250, especially if you are working with young children or uncooperative pets! Play with your shutter speeds and see what happens, you may stumble upon your own creative style that you really like.

Lighting Makes All The Difference

You would think that you just point and take a picture but your lighting can make a big difference when it comes to a fantastic shot. Low lighting, front lighting, backlighting, and natural lighting can sound like a lot of keep in mind, but bear with us, it’s all a benefit to you. You can start with front lighting, it’s simply the easiest. With it, light is aimed at your subjects so that there are no shadows to conceal details. Play with it, you may love it or hate it! Natural lighting is full of trial and error. A nice orange glow of the sunset may look beautiful to the naked eye and then be captured differently on the camera. Come back on a slightly earlier time and move your subject and see if you can capture that glow! Backlighting – think the bright sunlight behind your subject – is a beautiful effect. Practice that one if you want to get super creative with your photos. The secret to lighting is that it can always work for you, it’s finding its secrets that will help you do just that.

Learn Poses

Believe it or not, poses make a world of difference to a photo. The idea is to create symmetry with the body and highlight the best in your human subjects. Every one of us has a small band of skin just below the chin that can make us appear heavier than we truly are. A lifted chin goes a long way to highlight the face and eliminate that band. Finding a flattering profile is your next best bet. You don’t want any facial features to cut the face, the face should always be turned slightly so that the cheeks can be seen on either side of the nose. Everyone also has those features that they don’t want to be photographed, so respect that! Find a way to show off how gorgeous they really are without drawing attention to their insecurities. When your subject feels gorgeous, it will come through in the photo.

Go With The Flow

Sometimes poses aren’t going to happen. Posing your pet, calming down excited children, and an unexpected cloud moving in on your shoot are common problems for the average photographer. Even when it seems like there is a lot of uncooperation, take that time to run with it and take some shots anyway. You can stumble upon some gorgeous impromptu photos!

As with learning anything, the two biggest ways to be successful is to play and practice. Often! With consistent practice, you hone your skills. With consistent playfulness, you can find your own personal shooting style that speaks volumes.


  1. Ryan K Biddulph says

    This is helpful because I am still trying to get down that dreaded shutter speed LOL. I tried taking night snaps in New Zealand recently but had a tough time figuring out how to adjust the shutter speed on my camera.

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