Tips for Beginners

Hobbies are the order of the day and everybody seems to have one or the other hobby to start with. As one starts to pour their hearts into these hobbies, they turn into passions. And my passion is Photography. If by any chance we share the same passion, then I am sure you have reached the right place. Here , you would get a lot of first hand tips and also I would  try to share the little knowledge of photography that I have.Photography is an ocean, and as you go deeper you would be more intrigued with the vastness of the subject.

Let me start with some basic tips for beginners. As a beginner you may face a lot of problems and won't get the pictures right the first time. My first 10000 or more photos were rubbish, even after post processing and cropping. (However I don't like much of post processing / cropping). And this I tell you from my hard-learned experience. So, do not loose heart and keep learning.

First things first, let me tell you the truth, 'don't fall for gadgets'. Every other day a new technology is being introduced. What I believe is "The best camera in the world, is the one you are holding now". It doesn't matter how many pixels it has got or how new the technology is or what not, you just have to click and capture the moment.

So the top 3 things you need to know are :
1. Light
2. Perspective and Composition
3. Focus

1. Light

Photography is all about playing and having fun with light and shadows. Always figure out how well the frame/object is lit. We have to make the viewer understand what we have captured, the image should speak for itself. If we are focusing on the natural light, then the best time would be 2 hours after or before sunrise or sunset. We call it "The Golden Hours". This is really important for the natural light photographers,as they relay on these hours for the most dramatic lighting. However, this is not the only light photographers play with. There are different forms of light, like portable flashes, studio lights etc.

Even lights in closed spaces can play a great role, like the picture shown below, This picture was taken at a dimly lit DJ party. You may see how the lights and the shadows play a vital role in capturing the essence of the moment.

 

Here is an example of a photograph taken during " The Golden Hours".



2. Perspective and Composition

Our perspective and the composition have a great role in making an image worth a second glance. You might be wondering why. This is because we always view things at our eye level usually in between 5 to 6 feet, so, when we present the same thing from a different perspective then it would definitely catch the attention of the viewer.

Talking about the perspective, the first rule I would like to share is, " The Leading Lines Rule". This rule will help you to make a statement out of the image right away. In the image below, all the angular lines are leading straight to the right side of the image where Jesus Christ is.


Most of the photographers would be focusing on composition and rules related to it and of course this does help the photographs to look amazing. The most common and widely followed rule is the "Rule of Thirds". This rule states that, if your image is divided into nine equal segments by two vertical and two horizontal lines then you should position your subject along these lines, or at the points where they intersect. 



Looking at the above image, you will notice that the right eye of the kid is kept at the point where the horizontal and vertical lines meet at the right top corner.

However, sometimes its worth breaking the rules. In the image below, the kids are placed right in the centre of the portrait, where the centre tile would be and you can see that the result does have a lasting effect.


Do experiment with different perspectives as today we don't have to worry about limited films or the cost of processing them. Its just a matter of clicking unlimited photos and if those doesn't quite fit in then we could just delete those images.

3. Focus

Focus is the lifeline of a photograph. Without focus on the subject your picture is dead. For instance half pressing the shutter button in SLRs or touching on the object in a smart phone, would get the object in focus. Smart phones are easier to focus and capture the moment and less complicated.


In the above picture, I have just focused on the yellow bag, and the rest are out of focus. By just focusing on the yellow bag, we draw the viewer to that bag, blurring out the rest. For beginners, I would suggest just to make sure the images are in focus. It doesn't matter if obey the rules or what not. Just freeze the moment to enjoy it later.

However, when we are taking landscape or nature we need to make sure the whole scene is captured, for this purpose the easiest method would be to change the mode in mobile devices to landscape mode. Those who are using SLR make sure that the "f stop" is above 9 or 11 so that the whole image will be focused.

Well, these are the basics for a beginner. Keep these things in mind when you are photographing and you will notice the improvement soon. Once again a reminder, don't ponder over gadgets, just focus on capturing the moment with any camera. "The best camera in the world, is the one you are holding now" ;-)



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Rahul Devakumar
Creative Media Studio

We take photos as a return ticket to a moment otherwise gone.

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