My 5 Tips for Beginner Photographers

by admin November 3, 2017 at 4:13 am

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  1. Remember to turn on camera and take off the lens cap before you try to focus on subject 🙂 Also, for me, "Auto" is okay to use as it can cover a large range of conditions (better than "P", for me, anyhow). Remember: it's the nut behind the camera that makes for great pictures!

  2. I think it’s important to not just learn the rules, but also understand how they work before breaking them. Not why, I don’t think anyone since Thomas Smith, first cried then understands the "why". It’s only by understanding that, that you can consciously break them. If you do break one, eg ROT, keep to another, such as patterns, textures, leading lines, colour theory etc. Steve McCurry, who isn’t a man to argue with about composition, has a great video on YouTube about it. My biggest tip to get out of automatic mode ASAP is to start with aperture priority, then you can play with the depth of field without worrying about shutter speed. I have an OM10 and as you bought it you can only use it as an AP camera and you bought the shutter speed accessory separate. I think it was a brilliant idea and after my Bronica I think it’s the best glass of all my SLRs.

  3. But I still gonna take the whole building because I like to see the whole building, learn the art of the building, not just part of it and not understand the "whole" story of the building!

  4. I think some folks make things too complicated. Sure you can always tweak a shot but I usually start out using the auto settings. I shoot a few pictures this way and then I get creative with the lens and settings second. This makes it possible to get some shots down that are going to be reasonably decent, at least till I get into post. I can't tell you how many shots I have done this with and those auto setting shots account for about 1/3 of the pictures after I cull them out. I am a beginner and I am handicapped but still get good use out of my whole camera and settings despite my problems. I also always got my tripod connected, I may keep all the legs together but this really reduces the shake, looks like the camera is on a stick.

    Enjoy your comments


  5. Spend your money for lenses instead of camera body
    Try different settings when you are not in a hurry
    Look through picture sides(Flickr..) and have a look at great photos and answer the questions why do I like a picture or why not
    Do not shoot in automatic modus
    Invest time to get better…learn the basic camera settings!
    Shoot in jpg and raw and learn how to use lightroom

  6. James Thank you for your great video's! i've just been starting to follow you on Youtube, and find a lot of your tips en explanations useful to me as a photographer. I also like the way you are making you video by not only show the perfect video, but also showing the things that are going wrong, or not as planed.
    Keep making those videos! tnx again Jeroen Vroegop

  7. Shoot full manual. You'll learn about exposure really quickly and it annoys other photographers for some reason. And use the lowest ISO that freezes everything. Find your sweet spot – at Manchester latitudes base ISO, 1/250 at f8 +/- a click (or wotever) and concentrate on composition.

  8. A tip that I learned for beginners years ago(when I was a beginner) from David Hobby(, find something that you pass by everyday and take a picture of it.  Everyday take a picture from different perspectives and different times of the day.  Try and make each picture completely different than the others that you have taken.

  9. James, your videos are fantastic! I see you have the Panasonic 14mm 2.5. How is that lens in general? I'm looking for a wide angel lens for my Em10 and was wondering if it was worth buying. Anyways, keep up the great work!

  10. One question definitely comes to mind… Any tips for winter shooting for beginners? That white stuff isn't just murder on your eyes (well, okay, it's bright and all that :P). Any tips for night shooting for beginners? ^_^

  11. f8 – and be there ! (old pj save your backside advise…) Weegee I think was the originator of that…

    don't call it the rule of thirds then – call it … hmm… tic-tac-toe alignment… yeah, that's the ticket ! you put something important on one of the lines or their intersections and boom – it's interestinger.

    Good set btw. especially the charging. Just did it, thanks for the reminder.

    Oh – we were supposed to give one – walk your eye around the perimeter of the frame so you notice distractions that make the picture a throwaway… and you can recompose to control them out…

  12. “You don’t need to include everything” – aha! moment!! Your great content and sarcasm – double pleasure! What I’d like to see is your cooking channel

  13. I have another tip, concentrate on composition and do not concentrate on settings. Later once you are more comfortable that you are taking better photos, you can look at settings. A second tip is to start with a prime lens, after a while you will 'see' the shot before you point your camera. Again this helps with composition and you start to picture scenes. Change to another prime with a different focal length, you will improve.

  14. Here's a fun tip that I picked up during some culinary classes and apply to my artwork. Things look better in odds. I think this is why the guideline of thirds works. So, if you have a set of trees, pillars, people, animals, whatever…. use odd numbers and, for whatever reason, it's more appealing to the eye. Like you said, just a guideline. Much like how symmetry is commonly discouraged but at times it can look interesting so can even numbers.

    Thanks, James. By the way, I think I might actually enjoy your sardonic sense of humour more than the photography info…. They're close. We'll call it a tie for now.

  15. Here's a couple of more tips for you:

    * Take more photos. Back in the day, I was too cheap to take enough pictures to make me a decent photographer, as I had to pay for development of the film. Now, I can take a hundred different ones of the same subject (unless they grow tired of me), and experiment with light, frame, (com-)position, time, aperture, lens… everything. Practice makes… well, not perfect, but… better!

    * Even if you have a fancy DSLR, try to find it in your budget to also get a decent-quality compact camera with full manual controls , that you can always bring with you . The only photos you'll ever regret are the ones you couldn't take… ties in with your battery tip as well. Also great as a back-up to your main camera (when it runs out of battery…).

    * Spend a few hours getting comfortable with your new camera, learning to find all the controls instinctively and figuring out what all the menu items and functions do. And yes, read the damn manual . It is not macho to throw it to the side, like I see so many wanna-be nerds do. I can guarantee that every camera has a ton of useful functionality that you won't ever find out about if you don't at least skim through the documentation.

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