How Many Shots A Day To Learn Photography

By | 31/08/2022

Whenever I call back of a useful photography tip, I always write it down for later. Well-nigh of them are forgettable, but some are so helpful that I endeavor to tell them to as many photographers as possible. This article contains xx of the best. These bite-sized photography tips are like shooting fish in a barrel to understand, covering everything from beginner camera technique to creativity and composition. If you lot’re learning photography, these should be particularly helpful for yous along the way.

I’ve too made a video with a separate list of tips, if you lot’re more of a visual learner. It has some more than “advanced” tips (mainly some lesser-known photography techniques I like to employ) that are different from the tips in the residual of this commodity. You lot tin can watch it here:

Now let’s take a look at my favorite photography tips for beginners.

Piece of work with Your Composition

To take engaging photos,
demand to exist engaged with what you’re doing. Don’t merely fly by on autopilot. Instead, put thought into your composition and try to make your photos as good equally possible.

That starts with knowing the basics of how to etch skillful photos. Don’t cut off of import parts of your field of study with the border of your frame. Keep your horizons level, and try to eliminate any distractions in your photo by adjusting your composition. Encounter if your photograph has a sense of balance and simplicity. And if the photo doesn’t wait good on your first try, keep experimenting until y’all get it right.

24-70mm f/2.8 Image Sample (5)
NIKON D800E + 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm, ISO 400, i/100, f/v.6. Photo by Nasim Mansurov.

Use the Camera You Already Have

Photographic camera gear is not all that important.

There are countless cameras, lenses, and other accessories on the market today. We spend a lot of time reviewing them at Photography Life, and information technology’s true that some are ameliorate than others (or better suited for a given task). Simply once yous’ve tested enough of them, the real takeaway is that pretty much everything today is splendid. The differences are almost always small-scale, especially at a given toll.

And then, use the camera you already have, and don’t expect dorsum. In near every way, today’s entry-level DSLRs are improve than the top-of-the-line film SLRs ever were. Nevertheless somehow those film photographers managed to capture beautiful, iconic photos that nevertheless look great today.

Much more important are your creative skills and knowledge of camera settings. Focus your effort on those, not on collecting camera equipment.

Taken with the Nikon D5100, an entry-level DSLR from 2022, and its 18-55mm kit lens

Acquire Which Settings Affair

There are a lot of camera settings, and it takes some practice to get them right, especially as a beginner. Even advanced photographers won’t always do everything perfectly. But it’s worth learning how to set up your camera properly, and which camera settings affair the nigh, then you have the best chance to take the photos y’all want.

First, try practicing with photographic camera modes other than full Automobile. You lot won’t learn anything if your camera is making all the decisions for you. It might exist confusing at first, only hopefully our articles on aperture, shutter speed, and ISO will give you a skilful caput start. Those are the three almost important settings in all of photography.

Aside from aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, acquire how to focus properly past practicing with the different autofocus modes. You’ll probably prefer single-servo autofocus (also known as One-Shot AF) for stationary subjects, and continuous-servo autofocus (also known equally AI Servo) for moving subjects. Don’t use transmission focus unless it’s then dark that autofocus isn’t working.

Lastly, shoot in RAW if you want to edit your photos, or recall there’s whatever chance y’all’ll edit them in the future. JPEGs look good out of camera, just the files have much less breadth for post-processing. (If yous aren’t sure, shoot RAW+JPEG, and proceed the RAWs for later merely in case.) See RAW vs JPEG for more.

Sample photo from Nikon Z7
To capture photos similar this, it helps to accept an intimate agreement of photographic camera settings. 2-exposure blend.

Don’t Overexpose Highlights

When you lot are picking your photographic camera settings, it is critical to avoid overexposing highlights in a photo. The reason? Information technology’s simply incommunicable to recover any detail from white areas of a photo. Personally, I prefer the sky in my photos to have nice texture and color, rather than being just a big, featureless blob, and I bet you do too.

It’s pretty easy to keep your highlights intact. But this is where shutter speed, aperture, and ISO are so of import. These are the
camera settings that directly touch the brightness of a photo (ignoring wink settings, of course). Even exposure compensation – an important setting itself – just tells your camera to change ane or more of these 3 variables.

When you’re taking photos, watch the camera screen to see if at that place is whatsoever overexposure. If there is, the showtime thing you should exercise is lower your ISO to its base value (usually ISO 100). If it’s already in that location, apply faster shutter speed. That will take care of the consequence. Every bit for aperture, make sure it isn’t fix to a crazy value (f/32, f/45, etc.) and you’ll be good.

Don't Overexpose Highlights Example Photo
NIKON D800E + Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR @ 130mm, ISO 100, 1/8, f/16.0

Pay Attention to the Light

Probably the single most important part of photography is low-cal. If you take a photograph with skillful light, you’ve taken a huge step toward getting a good picture. Simply what counts every bit skilful calorie-free? It’s not all almost sunsets.

Often, the goal here is to balance the light’s intensity betwixt your subject and background. Even if you’re photographing an amazing sunset, the photo could exist ruined by a completely dark and silhouetted foreground.

The easiest mode to solve this is to pay attention to the direction and softness of the lite. If the light is too harsh, yous could get bad shadows going beyond your subject, which is specially a problem for portrait photography. If the light is coming from an unflattering angle, see what you can practise to move the calorie-free source (in a studio) or motion the subject (outdoors) – or expect until the light is better (landscape photography).

Too, if you’re taking handheld pictures, make sure there is
low-cal. If not, use a flash or move where it’s brighter. The easiest way to get bland, discolored photos is to shoot in environments without enough lite.

Backlit damselfly
NIKON D7000 + 105mm f/2.8 @ 105mm, ISO 800, 1/320, f/3.2

Have Your Time

It’s easy to brand mistakes in photography if you lot aren’t conscientious. The best way around this is to slow down and take your time whenever possible, particularly when yous are commencement beginning to learn photography.

First, double-check your camera settings. If you’re shooting outdoor portraits on a sunny day, but you’re using terminal night’southward settings for photographing the Milky way, something is terribly incorrect. Slow down and take the time to get it correct.

Then, keep the same mindset for every other important determination. Is your composition as expert as possible? Did y’all autofocus in the right place? Have you lot done everything possible to improve the lighting conditions?

And don’t mind to people who tell you to avoid reviewing photos in the field. Sure, information technology’s a bad idea to review photos when something astonishing is happening in front of you, but y’all’ll almost ever have some reanimation betwixt shots. Effigy out the issues with an paradigm in the field – non back at your computer.

Old Woods
NIKON D7000 + 17-55mm f/two.8 @ 17mm, ISO 100, 0.6 seconds, f/eight.0

Move Your Feet

It’s like shooting fish in a barrel to get stuck in 1 identify while you’re taking pictures. Don’t fall into that trap. Instead, move your feet (or your tripod) every bit much as possible. Climb on top of things, alter the height of your photographic camera, walk forward and backward, do whatsoever yous demand to do – but keep moving.

If y’all take a dozen photos from the same acme, facing the same direction, without moving your feet or tripod at all, guess what? They won’t be very different. If your
entire portfolio
is taken from the same top and without any experimentation, you’re missing out on some great photos.

Moving around is the only way to alter the relative sizes and positions of the objects in your photo. Don’t like that your subject area is besides big and the landscape in the groundwork is too small? Stand dorsum and zoom in. Want to fix a rock that looks distracting? Move effectually until it’southward out of your composition, or too small to be a nuisance.

Move Your Feet Example Photo
NIKON Z seven + NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S @ 24mm, ISO 64, 1/125, f/ten.0

Know When to Utilize a Tripod

Tripods are 1 of the greatest inventions in photography. They all just eliminate 1 of the trickiest issues at that place is – a lack of light. With tripods, you can shoot multi-minute exposures and capture details so night that they are invisible to the human eye. Even in a brighter scene, tripods improve the stability of your composition and assist you accept sharper photos.

So, when should you lot apply a tripod? If your subject is stationary, most always. That means mural photographers, architectural photographers, and notwithstanding life photographers better have a skillful alibi if they aren’t using a tripod.

Outcome photography and action are a scrap different because it’s true that a tripod can slow you lot down. The same is true of travel photography; as much as you may want to bring forth a tripod, it might not be worth the hassle.

That’s off-white, but know that you’re missing out whenever you leave your tripod at domicile. If you offered me the option betwixt an entry-level DSLR and a tripod versus the all-time camera/lens combo on the marketplace without i, I’d pick the tripod kit every time.

Photography Tips for Beginners Example
NIKON D810 + TAMRON 15-30mm F2.viii VC USD @ 22mm, ISO 64, 1/v, f/11.0

Know When to Apply a Wink

Flashes aren’t but meant for dark environments.

Don’t become me incorrect – they’re great if you lot need some extra low-cal. Get an external flash, tilt information technology at the ceiling, and employ a relatively long lens (50mm or longer). Everyone you lot know will exist amazed at the quality of your event photos. Information technology’due south the easiest way to go good results without really knowing what you’re doing.

Merely flashes are useful outdoors, too, even in the eye of the day. If you lot’ve ever heard of “fill flash,” this is why it’s then of import. You tin can fill in ugly shadows on your subject just past using a gentle wink – and almost people looking at the photo won’t fifty-fifty be able to tell.

It’s featherbrained, but I similar to tell people that their photographic camera’s built-in flash is more useful on a brilliant, sunny day than in the dark. That communication holds just every bit true here.

Taken with flash, image by Lola Mansurov

Clean Your Camera Lens

I’ve seen besides many people walking effectually with the front element of their camera lens dirty, dusty, and smudged. That’southward the easiest fashion to get blurry photos 100% of the time.

Of course, a trivial scrap of dust won’t do any harm; information technology won’t fifty-fifty be visible in an paradigm. There are minor particles of dust
every lens, which are impossible to clean without taking apart the lens – and they have no impact on a photograph any.

Instead, I’thou talking about lenses that have never been cleaned, with grime and fingerprints that haven’t been removed in ages. Do yourself a favor and go a microfiber cloth and lens cleaning solution. Bring them forth on trips and use them at least one time a week.

Dirty Front Element

Don’t Utilise a Cheap Filter

The 2d easiest way to get blurry photos 100% of the time is to utilise a cheap filter on the front end of your lens.

Personally, when I just started out in photography, my grandfather gave me an sometime, clear filter from his film camera. Information technology fit my lens perfectly; I was and then surprised that I kept it on my lens all the time, never worrying if the glass was upwardly to today’s standards or non. Turns out that information technology wasn’t. The corners of all my photos were blurry, and whatsoever balmy bright expanse in the photo (similar the sky or a lamp at nighttime) turned into wicked flare. Hither’s a photo I took with this filter, followed past a crop:

Unsharp corners due to bad filter
NIKON D5100 + xviii-55mm f/3.5-5.six @ 26mm, ISO 400, 1/30, f/5.0

But, when yous look at merely a minimal crop, the blurriness is easy to see:

Crop from unsharp photo

Don’t make the same fault I did! Yep, this was an sometime filter, but cheap ones today practise exactly the same thing. Personally, I
use a clear, protective filter on my lens anymore, except in environments where I as well need protective eyewear.

Acquire Basic Post-Processing

Post-processing isn’t very high on the typical lensman’s priority list, but information technology probably should be. Sometimes, with the correct post-processing, a good photo can turn into something truly exceptional.

It’s easy to overdo it when you’re post-processing, so the most important thing is to make sure none of your edits are permanent (AKA “destructive editing”). Either use the Relieve As command to preserve your original files or, improve yet, edit in software that stores your edits in a carve up file rather than baking them into the prototype.

Post-processing is almost imparting a mood and guiding your viewer’s center in an epitome. You’ll get better and better at this over time. My top recommendation? Be subtle. You don’t want your photos to expect over-processed.

Learn Basic Post-Processing Tip
NIKON D800E + Nikon AF-Southward NIKKOR 70-200mm f/4G ED VR @ 90mm, ISO 100, 0.6 seconds, f/eight.0

Back Up Your Photos

Nigh every photographer I know has lost some of import photos at least once in their life. Don’t let this happen to y’all.

For starters, keep a backup of every single one of your photos. Your photos should never be stored on just a unmarried hard bulldoze at a time, because somewhen your hard bulldoze
break. It’southward not a question of if, but when.

Ideally, you lot would have at least
copies of all your photos at a given time. This should include at least two dissimilar media types, such as an internal hard drive and a removable storage medium. And at least one of the backups should be stored off-site. This is known every bit the 3-ii-ane rule. It’s the all-time way to avoid losing any of your photos.

Personally, my photos are my most important possessions, and I don’t want to lose them no matter what. My hard drive is backed upwards online in real-fourth dimension, and I have several external difficult drives with complete backups as well. It’s overkill, but that’s the point.

Samsung SSD T1 (2)
An external SSD difficult drive

Go Organized

Whether you’re an organized or messy person, it’s very of import that your photos are like shooting fish in a barrel to find. It’s not just nigh speeding up your workflow; if you don’t retrieve how you’ve organized your hard drive, y’all might end up deleting a folder that contains important images without realizing it.

My method is merely to create a new folder of images for every yr, then split up each year by months (labeled “01 January,” “02 February,” and and then on, for alphabetical order). Then in my post-processing software, I sort and organize the photos separately into different collections. This style, I tin can notice images
a given location or
intended for
a particular project.

But this is just i of many possible methods. Some photographers prefer to organize their photos by yr, then divide each yr by specific events rather than months. The exact method doesn’t matter; use what you’re comfy with. But make sure that you start good habits early on, or y’all’ll eventually run across a lot of issues.

Organizing Photos Beginner Tip
Organizing photos in Lightroom

Try Something New

The more than you experiment with photography, the more interesting it becomes. It’s easy to fall into a routine and take like photos over and over, and there’s aught wrong with that, just it’s also important to try something new from time to fourth dimension.

Give macro photography a shot, or test some new lighting techniques. Branch out to a different postal service-processing manner. Exist spontaneous and drive to a location y’all’ve never photographed before. There are so many ways to try something new in photography, and you won’t regret it if yous exercise.

Commonly, you lot’ll observe something – either a new technique or a personal preference – that you tin bring back to your regular photography for good results.

Nikon Coolpix A, ISO 360, 1/1000, f/two.8. Taken from a homemade drone.

Run across Other Photographers

Meeting other photographers is 1 of the best ways to proceed learning and improving, either for inspiration or for communication.

You’d be surprised how much people relish sharing their tips and techniques with other photographers. You’ll rarely encounter secrecy or disdain; even the corking Ansel Adams wrote several books explaining his photographic techniques.

If you’re the type of person who prefers self-guided learning in photography, this all the same applies. Ask questions on online forums, email photographers whose work y’all admire, and otherwise salve resources you find valuable. No thing what, don’t end learning. There’due south always more to acquire.

Why take landscape photos example
NIKON D800E + 70-200mm f/4 @ 120mm, ISO 100, 1/2, f/11.0

Fix Your Weak Points

If you’re notwithstanding trying to wrap your head around shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, it can exist tempting to revert back to Auto mode rather than practicing what you don’t understand. That’south a huge mistake!

If yous’re trying to acquire portrait photography, only y’all’re having a hard fourth dimension getting light from your flash to look skilful, it can be tempting to take all your indoor pictures next to a window for nice light. That’s also a huge mistake!

If you’re trying to learn post-processing, but your software is confusing, information technology can be tempting to shoot all your pictures in JPEG to become something skillful out of the photographic camera. But – you guessed it – that’s some other huge mistake!

Don’t work around your weak points.
Gear up them. The best way to improve your photos is to analyze what y’all don’t withal understand, then spend the necessary time to learn it. This applies most of all to beginner photographers, who naturally take the almost to learn, but even experts would do well to follow this advice.

Iceland Landscape in Rain
NIKON D800E + lxx-200mm f/4 @ 160mm, ISO 100, i/15, f/7.1

Look at Your One-time Photos

I’ve noticed that a lot of photographers take a tendency to take photos, choice out the best ones from a shoot, and so rarely or never return to the others. But there are many reasons why your onetime, unused photos are some of the most valuable in your portfolio.

Showtime, they help you lot ready your weak points. Just ask yourself, on average, why are your bad photos bad? Maybe you tend to focus incorrectly, betrayal too nighttime or vivid, etch awkwardly, and then on. All of that is very useful information since it helps you improve the problem next time.

On peak of that, you might discover an old photograph that truly
– however somehow you didn’t discover it the first fourth dimension. This happens to me from time to fourth dimension, and information technology feels like striking gilt.

I overlooked this photograph the offset time around, but I found it when revisiting my archive.

Take Fun

Photography is supposed to exist fun. Even professional photographers chose this career, almost without exception, because they relish photography. Don’t let that spark dice out.

Some of this is down to trying something new, as mentioned earlier – and also continuing to acquire new skills. Simply it’southward also about non taking photography too seriously, or getting caught up in camera equipment at the expense of photography itself.

I see a lot of people online become into heated debates about their choice of photographic camera brand, or a good/bad/opinionated review they meet from someone else on the cyberspace. Who cares? All of this is contributing to exactly what y’all’re trying to avert – making photography just some other annoyance in your life, not a source of happiness or joy.

Instead, think well-nigh why you lot like taking pictures. It’s meaningful; it’southward a fashion to see amazing sights and meet brilliant, creative people. No surprise, the all-time photographers I know are e’er the ones who accept the most fun with it.

The Joy of Photography
The joy of photography

Shoot a Lot and Experiment!

Practise, practice, exercise. It’due south a tip that will get you ahead in whatever skill, not just photography.

Cameras are complicated. And so is post-processing software, and so is (peradventure
peculiarly) the creative side of photography.

The more you experiment, and the more than photos you have, the better your photos volition be. It’s non just about the quality, either – it’south also most quantity. Yous’ll find that later trips and photoshoots almost always take more winners than your early on attempts.

That’s not to say your early photos are always going to exist bad. The famous Henri Cartier-Bresson quote, “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst,” is a bit overdramatic. But I accept to admit that there’due south some truth to it. You tin take bang-up photos when yous’re starting out, but it requires some luck, and yous’ll continue getting better as yous take more pictures.

In short, the more time you spend on photography, the easier it will be to have the photos you take in mind. That’s the end goal in all of this – translating the image in your head, and the emotions you feel, into a photograph that makes other people experience the aforementioned thing.


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Originally posted 2022-02-12 14:46:41.