I’m excited to be back this month, sharing a little of what I know about basic photography. Throughout the next few months I’ll be getting into a lot of different elements of photography, but today I’m going to start with a few things to think about before you even press that shutter button!
FIRST THING’S FIRST
Stop. Think about your photos as art. What are you taking a photo of, and why? Is it something very important to you, or are you just playing around? Either way, it’s all good! It’s just nice to stop and think about how you will approach the photos you will be taking. Think about what you are trying to convey, what emotions you’re trying to capture, and/or the general “feeling” of the photo. Is it a photo documenting everyday life, or is it something more formal? If you are taking your photos with purpose, it will naturally make you a better photographer and artist.
Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before you take that first photo:
1. Why am I taking this picture?
2. What is the subject in my photo and where have I placed it in the frame?
3. Are there any distractions in the picture?
4. What other perspectives could I take this photo from?
5. Am I close enough to (or far enough from) my subject?
A LITTLE BIT OF HOUSEKEEPING
No matter which kind of memory card you use, it needs to be cleaned off and ready to go. Also ask yourself how many photos you think you’ll be taking – is there enough room on your card(s)? I know it seems like it’s common sense, but as much as I don’t like to admit, there have been a few times where I was on my last memory card, and ran out of room because I forgot to take off my old photos first. Eek! Of course I couldn’t delete all the images because of the new ones I had just taken, so I had to delete the old photos one by one as quickly as I could (which isn’t very quick at all)! Of course it would have been much easier had I thought ahead and deleted all the old images first. So learn from my mistakes and make sure your card is cleared of all previous images and ready for those new ones!
Speaking of wiping the slate clean, you’ll need to regularly format your card. What does that mean exactly? Well, I often explain it like this… when you simply delete the images on your card, it’s like a messy floor in your house where you just pick up the toys, clothes, sippy cups, etc. However when you format the card, it’s like picking up everything, vacuuming, mopping, and making sure your floor is spotless . Does that make sense, or is my house the only one where a metaphor like that works?! The point is, formatting your memory card is essential to keeping it well functioning and reliable in the long run. The only "catch" to formatting your card vs. deleting the images, is that formatting is FINAL. The odds of recovering the images on that card are slim to none, but obviously this will not be a problem if your photos are downloaded and safely backed up. For this, I recommend purchasing an external hard drive or two. You can store your photos directly there, or use it as a backup to the photos on your computer. I have over 15 external hard drives, so obviously I’m a fan! (and for anyone wondering, I use the Western Digital 1TB Portable Hard Drive)
AM I SUPPOSED TO SHOOT IN AUTO, MANUAL, OR SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN?
Well, well, here we are... the big question! First of all, my goal when all is said and done is to not only get you comfortable shooting in manual, but wondering where it’s been all your life! When you shoot in auto, the camera is in complete control. When you shoot in manual, you are in the driver’s seat and I can’t WAIT to tell you all about that part! But for now, until I get to the “in’s and out’s” of manual shooting, just play around with your camera. Practice shooting in auto, practice shooting in manual, and practice shooting with the settings in between. Have fun seeing the difference between them and don't get discouraged if you're not happy with the results just yet. Being a great photographer takes time and you WILL get there. Keep practicing, having fun, taking pictures with purpose, and I'll see you next month when I go over shooting in RAW!
(Just for fun - what's a photography guest post without a picture? This is my sweet little girl, along with a favorite saying of mine that I think goes perfectly with today's subject...)
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We are so excited to have Jeanna
here sharing photography tips
and lessons with us on eighteen25!
For more information about Jeanna
or to see more of her beautiful work
be sure to stop by Jeanna Hayes Studios.
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