Learn Digital Photography – 5 Steps to Get You Started with Your New Camera

RSS Author RSS     Views:N/A
Bookmark and Share          Republish
So you've just opened the box of your shiny new digital camera, put the batteries in and inserted the memory card. What's next? Don't let the excitement get to you and start pressing all the wrong buttons and forcing anything. What you have done is actually wrong. Read on to see what steps you should follow.

Digital cameras are not as robust as film cameras were because of all the additional electronics. They are sensitive pieces of equipment that can easily be damaged by lack of care. So, handle it with care and you will have years of fun and enjoyment. Let's get on with the show.

1. Read your quick start guide

Unless you already have experience with digital cameras, read the manual first before taking your camera out of the box. Or, at the very least read the quick start/installation guide that comes with camera. The quick start guide will tell you how to put the batteries in, where the memory card goes and other operating basics. Some cameras have unique operating procedures that can cause damage if not followed properly. Give special attention to any warnings from the manufacturer. They are there for a reason.

2. Gently does it

All electronic equipment is sensitive and should be treated with care. Knocking or dropping the camera will probably damage it or shorten its life so be careful. Read carefully on how to open the battery and memory card compartments. It doesn't take much to break a catch or hinge when using too much force. This is especially so if your camera uses a compact flash card. There are little pins inside the compartment that can be bent when applying too much pressure. I learnt the hard way, $100 later. Treat you camera with a lot of care and it will serve you well.

3. Browse through your manual

Most people neglect this step and just want to get on with taking photos.Take a quick look through all the chapters of the manual. More of a skim through just to get you going. You want to start taking photos as quick as possible. By doing this you'll learn a little about the settings and other features as well as the main controls. Don't skip this step unless you are an experienced photographer and can work out what the various dials and buttons are for.

4. Start taking photos

All cameras have an auto feature, usually denoted by a little green square or A on the dial on top of the camera. Make sure that the dial is set to this and then go take lots of pictures. You want to get used to your camera and feel you way around it. Getting familiar with it will help form a good foundation for the next point which is starting on a photographic learning journey. A little tip here as an extra. Before pressing the shutter button stop and think about your image. A little bit of thought will help you take a better image.

5. Start a learning journey

It's great being able to play and experiment with your camera but unless you start learning good fundamental photographic principles you won't become a photographer. Just a side point here, how good your camera is doesn't make you a good photographer. You need to find a structured way of learning photography. This can take the form of a course, book or mentor. Key here is that it needs to happen frequently and regularly with commitment and dedication. If you don't you will remain a ‘digital camera picture taker' and not become a photographer. Whatever you decide to do, do it in small steps so that you gradually learn the fundamentals of photography.

Don't invest money in something like a camera and then neglect using it to become a photographer. It doesn't matter how inexpensive the camera is you can still learn to be a good photographer. Many people accept second best when believing good photography is only for those with expensive cameras. This was proven by the winner of the World Wildlife Fund International Photographer of the Year for 2008 who won using a Canon entry level digital SLR camera. This proves the point that it is the photographer and not the camera that takes great images.

Report this article

Bookmark and Share

Ask a Question about this Article