Buying a new camera is an exciting investment, whether you’re a total beginner who is starting out with a mid-range digital camera or an avid amateur investing in a new high-end camera or accessory. However long you’ve been shooting, there’s always something new to learn and especially something new to photograph. As you prepare to start using your new camera, it’s a good time to either learn some new tips or brush up on old knowledge. Here’s a quick rundown of photography tips, plus some tips for choosing and displaying photographs to show off your work.
Learn Your Camera
If you have a brand new camera in hand, the first thing you should do is learn what it can do. If you bought the same brand of camera as one you owned previously, some of the features may be similar. Nonetheless, you invested in a new camera for what it can do, so make sure you learn how to get the most out of it. Some people can happily sit down with the manual and read through it from front to back, while others prefer to mix up sessions of shooting and trying out different features with reading about its capabilities in the manual. However you learn best, review all of your camera’s features so you can use them when you need them.
Subject Choice and Composition
The best subjects for your photography are whatever you find interesting, and the more you shoot a particular type of subject, the better you’ll get at it. On the other hand, if you are feeling uninspired look for something completely different to shoot. It can give you a different perspective and wake up your “eye” for color and composition, as well as teaching you some new tricks for visualizing and framing shots. You can also learn a lot by challenging yourself to shoot random items around your house or by walking around town to shoot whatever you find. Finding an interesting aspect of an ordinary item or scene is an art in and of itself.
The most basic rule of composition is the “rule of three,” which instructs the photographer to divide their frame up into thirds both horizontally and vertically, and take note of the places where the lines intersect. The eye naturally gravitates to those intersection points in a photograph, so try to put the most important element of your shot at one of them. This is a good guideline to follow for most shots, but you should never be afraid to break the “rule” and see what happens. Also pay attention to color, shadow, and natural lines in your shots. Any of these elements can be used to emphasize or distract, depending on what you want your picture to capture and how.
Display Your Work
Some people take plenty of beautiful pictures, but they neglect to display or to share them with friends. While uploading a casual snapshot online now and then is one fast way to share your work, displaying your best photographs properly will give you a different sense of appreciation and pride in your photography, as well as highlighting your skills for others to appreciate.
The most natural candidates for framed display are your best shots and your favorites (hopefully, they’re one in the same). Choose a photo that complements the décor in a room, or one that will make a lovely focal point on your desk. Invest in a high-quality picture frame to showcase your art as well as a mat board in a neutral color or a shade that enhances the photo. You can either enlarge one photograph to become a showpiece of a room or assemble collections of smaller photographs in matching frames for a collage effect. However you choose to do it, make a point of appreciating the work you’ve put into learning your skills!