Easy Tips for Great Photographs Using a DSLR

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  • I’d like to preface this post that I’m anything but an expert, or a photographer, however, I have found that it can be really overwhelming to learn how to take a great photograph and it doesn’t have to be. I made this cheat sheet for a friend of mine and have received several requests for it, so without further ado…

    I highly recommend that you find a photographer or studio that you admire and see if they offer a class or two. Nothing can replace hands on learning. However, I hope my simple tips and some practice at home will improve your everyday skills.

    Turn it off auto. You didn’t spend $500+ on a bulky camera to have it do what a $100 slim camera can do for you. I know, it’s really intimidating, but don’t start by photographing anything significant…I’d hate for you to miss precious moments.

    Ready?

    Basics
    Shoot in manual. Use the dial to bring the pointer between 0 and +1.  I prefer to use +1 for slightly overexposed photos. 

    ISO – Generally set it on 400 or 800. When it’s getting dark or you are in a dark space, you can set it higher, however, the higher you set it, the grainier your photo will be.

    Always keep it on auto focus {AF}. It’s a little switch on the lens.
    Use AF point selection and dial to choose where your subject will be or if you want the camera to choose where to focus. Remember, your camera may not choose what you want – watch those little red dots.
     
    Lighting
    Avoid using the flash!  To do so, refer to the above.
     
    A white filter helps, whether it’s a white curtain, sheet, tissue paper, etc. 
     
    WB=white balance. Ever notice your photos are coming out blue or orange? That’s a white balance issue. I often shoot in auto WB, unless it’s very cut and dry the type of lighting I’m shooting in or I notice the color is off in the images I’m shooting. What are your conditions? Sunny, cloudy, shady, tungsten or florescent light?
    While this just covers the basics, with very minimal information, I hope it gives you a great start to better photos. Click here to download the free printable photography tips for beginners. As always, feel free to share, linking back to this post. Thank you and enjoy!

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