apple Our Fifth House: Photography Tips For A Beginner From A Beginner

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Photography Tips For A Beginner From A Beginner

photography tips

If the first thought running through your mind is - why is a beginner giving tips?  I completely understand.  It was that very thought that has kept me from writing this post for so long.  I finally decided to put my tips out there because I hear these statements a lot: 

 - I've had my DSLR for years and I've never taken a single picture in manual mode. 
 - I want to buy a nice camera, but I'm afraid I'll never learn how to use it. 
 - Whenever I google tips, I find sites with lots of info, but when they start talking about iso, aperture and shutter speed it's totally Greek to me. 

As you may know I got my first big girl camera for Christmas this past year.  My New Year's resolution was to do a 365 photo project and use my camera every day.  For the first time ever, I've stuck to a resolution, and I'm so glad I did.  I forced myself from day one to shoot in manual mode only.  While I'm still a beginner, I have learned a few things over this past year and I think for anyone who is just starting out these tips might help.  

1.  Don't be afraid of the M. 
Manual mode is your friend.  Having a DSLR and never shooting in manual mode is like having wall to wall carpet in your living room when there are hardwood floors underneath!  It's straight up crazy town!  Your camera can do SO much and you CAN shoot in manual mode.  If I can do it - there's no doubt that anyone can.  

2.  Make Greek speak to you.
When I first started out I was intimidated by my camera settings.  Things like iso, aperture and shutter speed were difficult to understand and manipulate.  I read my camera manual and still didn't really understand.  So I did what I've always done whenever learning new things, I broke the terms down in ways that made sense to me.  I basically ask myself 3 questions. 

ISO - Is the Sun On?  That's what I ask myself when I'm adjusting the iso because ISO has to do with light.  Very basically the lower the number the less sensitive your camera is to light.  When the sun is on full blast I don't need a high iso, but when the sun isn't around I probably need to turn the iso up.  Think of it like a lamp or a light switch  - turn it down when there is good lighting already present, turn it up with low lighting.  Lower iso's also produce clearer pictures.  This is one of the big reasons bloggers shoot rooms during the day when natural light is at its best.  

photography tips for a beginner
iso 200 
In darker situations with a higher iso, your picture will look brighter (than in real life) but will be grainier (less clear). 

photographing in low light
iso 1600

However, you can combat the darkness/graininess issue with a tripod - which we'll get to below.  

Aperture - is a fancy word huh?  Fancy starts with F, and aperture is measured in F stops, and all you really need to ask yourself is what do you want in Focus?  Aperture has to do with the size of the opening in the lens.  Very basically, the lower the F stop the more in focus one element of a picture will be.  This is where you get those pretty pictures with blurry backgrounds. 

photography tips - aperture
f/4.5

Higher f stops are for when you want more of your picture to be in focus.  So think small f, fuzzier background, big f, more in focus background. 

photography tips for a beginner
f/6.3

Shutter speed - How fast do I want to snap this picture?  Shutter speed is basically the amount of time that the shutter is open.  It's a fraction and the higher the denominator the faster the speed  - 1/100 is slower than 1/200.  A slow shutter speed allows more light to enter the lens and vice versa.  So slower shutter speeds are great in low light settings because in the absence of good lighting you want to let as much light in as possible.  Faster shutter speeds are great with optimal light and for capturing movement. 

I think of it like this  - do I want to go in slow motion so that I can slowly take as much light in as possible  - or do I want to snap it fast because I already have enough light? 

shutter speed
1/4000s
I have a lot to learn as far as shutter speed goes.  It's something I don't always get just right.  

 photography tips - shutter speed
1/400s 
I probably should have dialed up the ss here - these horses were moving super fast. 

In low light settings a slow shutter speed will allow more light in, but with super slow speeds you need to stabilize your camera - which leads me to the next point. 

3.  Go ahead and get a tripod. 
Even if you aren't a blogger and you're only planning to use your camera for personal use, you will want a tripod.   They aren't terribly expensive, and they really come in handy.  For one thing, in low light settings (when the sun isn't on) you don't have to raise your iso (which is like turning on the light) if you have a tripod!  You can get clear, light filled pics with a low iso in a dark situation if you have a tripod.  Why?  Because you can slow your shutter speed waaaaaaaay down allowing as much light in as possible without any camera shakiness!  And since low iso =clear pics and slow ss = lots of light you get the best of both worlds in a low light situation. 

My master bedroom is difficult to shoot because the wall color is so dark, and there are only two small windows in the room.  With a tripod, 

photography tip for shooting interiors
iso 200, f 8.0, 2.0s 
I could lower the iso and slow the shutter speed way down to capture it the way I see it everyday - because obviously it looks this clean all the time.  

A tripod also lets you- the usual picture taker -get in front of the camera.  On Halloween night we wanted a picture of all of us together (in these costumes who wouldn't?!), but by the time we had gotten dressed it was almost sun down on an already grey day.  Using the tripod, I was able to get in the picture, and slow the ss to let as much light in right before the sun went down.


4. Use the timer.
The only way for me to get in the above photo was to set the timer on the camera, but that's not the only time that setting the timer is a good thing.  In fact, anytime I use my tripod to shoot rooms or projects I always set the timer to 2 seconds.  Why?  This lets me take my hand off the camera, allowing the camera to be as still as possible when the shutter closes, which is what you want especially when you're shooting with a slow shutter speed.  KariAnne talks about this tripod/timer tip here, and her photographs are awesome so you should definitely listen to her.

5. Reward yourself with a 50mm lens. 
All of the above photos were taken with the lens my camera came with.  Back in the summer I bought a  50 mm lens and oh my word - it rocks my world!  Once you get comfy with your camera settings, reward yourself.  It will give you an incentive to learn if you know there's a reward waiting for you.  And it's not a super expensive one, but it's definitely a treat.

photography tips

6.  Follow the good picture takers.  
I find that I learn more from bloggers that take great pictures, but don't necessarily blog about photography.  There are tons of photog blogs out there, but for me the most helpful things I've learned about photography have come from fellow diy design bloggers who also happen to take killer photos.  So if you're following a blog and you love the photographs, do a search on their site to see if they've ever written anything on the subject.  Two of my favorites are Kate at Centsational Girl and Katie from Bower Power.

If you learn better by taking classes check out Shoot FLY Shoot.   The video classes given by Kevin Palmer (The Lettered Cottage) and Josh Moates are very affordable.  I attended their photography session at the Haven conference this past summer and it was pretty amazing, so I'd say the classes are awesome.

7.  Just start playing. 
It's not meant to be rocket science - at least I don't think it is.  Don't let it intimidate you.  Switch the dial to manual today and don't look back.  I promise you'll see the world in a new way  - you'll figure it out  - you won't break your camera - you'll have fun.

Some of my favorite images from this past year are the ones that aren't "perfect" not that any of my images actually are, but you know what I mean.










Did you learn anything new this year?  Do you have any photog tips - please share in the comments section! 

*** I made a little photography cheat sheet - you can download it here!  Hope it helps!   You can also check out the photography tab up above for more photography related posts.  



138 comments:

  1. So, so glad you did a post on this.... My husband surpised me w/ a DSLR over a year ago and I feel so guilty for not using it... I always reach for my point& shoot one. It's been on my mind to break it out-thanks for the tips and the encouragement to do so!

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  2. This is a really great post! Thanks for breaking it down to my level. I really struggle with camera settings, even though I am trying so hard!

    Solid advice. Thanks!

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  3. Great tips. I like when people explain them in Michelle terms. I need to steal the DSLR from the husband figure. I know he uses the remote for his camera a lot. Especially in the darker rooms/house photos.

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  4. Well from this beginner to less-of-a-beginner, thank you for sharing all this! I've been doing a lot of reading about all the things you talk about too but reading them in your words snapped them even more into focus for me. Ha! No pun intended!! I swear that phrase came off my fingers before I realized how dorky it sounded since this all about photography! A 50 mm lens is on my xmas list :)

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  5. I *love* you for posting this!! I think it's not only intimidating, but I'm also a little embarrassed to admit how *little* I know about our camera! This is super easy to understand and makes me want to go out and take some pictures!!! Thanks, lady!

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  6. These are all sooooo great Carmel. Wonderful post. I had no idea about the timer so I am jumping for joy wanting to try that now. My other tip is to literally open doors or french doors. Even if they are clear glass, to open a window or open the door lets in more light and cuts down on the reflection the glass is giving off. Does that make sense? All I know is that when my french doors are wide open the photo is much more clear and beautiful than if the clear glass french doors are closed. Bam. That's all I know.

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    1. Thanks for that Courtney - I'm definitely going to give that a try!

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  7. This is the best post ever! I think it's PERFECT to have a newbie give another newbie advice. It makes both parties feel supported and not inferior to the other person. For Xmas I've already been promised by Santa a new camera and I've requested a body only and a 50 mm lens right from the gate. I also plan to start learning straight from manual mode without ever putting it on auto. I figure it'll be a lot like driving a car....if you start with a manual you can drive anything! Again, THANK YOU so much for sharing. Ill always remember Is The Sun On! Pinning this now!

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  8. OK...I will try. But my crazy right brained mind gets so confused :)
    Good post!

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  9. I feel like each time I think I have a handle on all the terms, etc. they just fall right out of my brain again - so your tips are great ways to remember everything! Thanks. :)

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  10. Great post Carmel! Funny because I did a photography post today too! :) Great minds things a like!

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  11. this is the best photo post I've ever read! it actually (almost) clicked (finally). I just wrote all your little catch phrases down in my phone, so I'm armed and ready. I shoot in AV...so it's kind of Manual, but not really. :) thank you for putting this together and spelling it out for the bozos in the back! xo

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  12. Good heavens....BLESS YOU! All this photography "greek" is finally starting to make sense after your explanation! I've had photography friends try to explain my camera to me and it just did not sink in. Maybe I just needed another "newbie" to explain it in ways that only a newbie would understand. Thank you! :) I think I might just have the courage to really give it a go now!

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  13. Thank you sooooo much for posting this!!!! I definitely understand those settings a lot more and will remember your catch phrases!! If I may make a request--would you be able to give tips for flash photography?

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  14. great tips in real people terms! i am getting the 50 mm for christmas i think. and guess what... my standard lens that came with the camera crapped out today and won't autofocus. ggggrrrr. luckily i have a couple other lenses, but that is the one i use most of the time. boo.

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  15. Thank-you so much for posting this! I've just progressed to my first 'Big Girl' camera which I'm so excited about - but all the manuals and explanations have been somewhat overwhelming for this newbie. Your post has made so much sense of it all for me it's brilliant! I'm excited to get going this weekend now!

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  16. Thank you for this! I'm definitely saving your advice for future reference. Maybe I need a real tripod since mine is only about 5" tall. :)

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  17. Thank you for this post, great explanations. I might just conquer my own fear of leaving my Auto...Change is good.

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  18. Thank you for this great post!

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  19. You're a friggin' genius.
    I'm still bloggin' with the ol' point and shoot, but my someday wish list includes a "fancy" camera. I borrowed one once and was like, um, yeah, there's no way I could ever work this damn thing. Your explanation was PERFECT for the dummies like me. :)
    Great, great post.
    And by the way, just because we aren't the authority on something, doesn't mean we don't have something to teach. Everyone has something to teach and you did an awesome job. :)

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  20. These tips are soo good! I took a photography 101 class in college and learned more about how to work my DSLR camera here than I did in that entire class! Thank you!

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  21. I love the idea of using the timer with my tripod. I even have a remote that I hardly ever use. Remote + tripod sounds even better!

    Thanks!

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  22. These are amazing tips Carmel! I really need to get a new camera (mine is still a point and shoot) but I think a tripod would help me a lot too!

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  23. Thank you so much. I got a big girl camera for my birthday in August and have recently taken a beginners class and it helped me tremendously but I love how you explained all of these settings...easy to understand! I'm saving your page as a favorite.

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  24. Thanks so much for these tips! I am going to promise myself right now to use my camera every day. I just realized that I've had it for eight months and still don't know a friggin' thing! Which is what I have to tell people when I take it out in public and they ask about it. So embarrassing :( My house is surrounded by trees and doesn't get much natural light, so it's good to know that I can actually take decent photos if I push myself a little. I've been completely intimidated by the DSLR, but you actually make it sound doable for us right-brainers (LOL, Sherry!)

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  25. Great post! I have always wanted to get a DSLR camera but been afraid that I could not figure out how to use it thus it would just sit in the closet. And of course, I would revert to my old standard the "point and click". Your post just breaks it down in simple terms and gives me confidence that, I too, can use a "big girl" camera. LOL! Thanks again for this simple explanation, very informative.

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  26. Great post! I've just worked my way out of auto. Do you have a favorite tripod you use?

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    1. I have a Sunpack that I bought at Best Buy for about $60. It gets the job done - it rotates so I can take vertical shots and the height is adjustable.

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  27. My biggest confusion is whether to start with a DSLR or a point and shoot like a Canon SX30is with lots of bells and whistles on it as my first real camera.

    Thoughts?

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    1. I think I'd start with a DSLR but it really depends on how much you're going to use it. Often especially around Christmas you can find such great deals that it really makes more sense.

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  28. I've bookmarked this post on my phone so I can reference it as needed! Thanks for this post, I've read many beginner tips but yours are the easiest to understand.

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  29. Wow!! So glad I found this post!!! I got a "fancy" camera for Christmas last year but it's mainly just left me feeling defeated. I've taken a ton of amazing pictures that were either ruined by blurriness or improper flash etc...this has completely renewed my interest in something I really enjoyed before getting my new camera. The confusing lingo never made any sense until now! Bless you! You may have saved Christmas 2012!!! Lol!

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  30. Thank you so much for explaining it all so simply! I have been trying to keep everything straight for years and never could get it to click. "Is the sun on?" "f=fuzzy." Love it! In fact it was perfect timing as I needed the info to take photos of some wedding invitations I designed. Why I never thought to use the timer before...I don't know? But that tip saved me from some pretty bad pictures. So thank you. I still have a lot of practice to do, but you can check out your tips in action if you want.

    http://smithocracy.com/2012/11/14/best-wedding-ever-part-1-invitations/

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  31. You broke each step down perfectly Carmel. Very easy to understand for newbies interested in shooting in manual. I am so happy I got my camera for Christmas, I absolutely love it. I cannot imagine life without it now :).

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  32. Awesome post friend!! Totally agree about rewarding yourself with the 50 1.8 lens :) Just got it for my birthday and my life is forever changed :) I basically only shoot with that lens now! Your pics are great!

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  33. Very good post. I'm a beginner too for the past year. With my newborn, I tried to take great picture of him but it's difficult...I usually shoot in P mode with my CanonT2i that seems to be a pretty good camera. One thing I learn in another blog is the white balance. Outside, shooting in cloudy is usually better than anything else. I've tried it a couple of time and for my taste it's true! Tungsten for inside shoot at night desappoint me because it's alway a orange kindof light...I Hope to take great picture with baby Victor and the Christmas tree with the lights on...what a challenge! PS: sorry for my weird english writing, I'm french canadian and it's definitely not my first language :)

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  34. I don't even have a professional camera but your blog inspired me turning on my "mortal" canon powershot to try some of your tips with it and I just got excited about photography thing! THANK YOU! I'm seriously thinking about buying a professional camera to begin seeing the world with another view like you.
    And I also apologize for my english, my first language is spanish: "Gracias" again! :)

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  35. Awesome post! I've done a similar post before, as a newbie... (still am)... but, I think yours was much more easy to understand. Great job! Can't wait to try the timer trick.

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  36. This is great! I found you on Pintrest. This has been such a help for me! Had my Nikon D3100 over a year, even bought a 35mm lens this past summer, on the advice of a photog friend. I've taken so many pics....blurry, too dark, too light. This explains more than the ?? dozen things I've "pinned" and posted, and tried to memorize. Please continue to post info. You're an awesome teacher. ;-)

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  37. Just what I needed!!! This is the first time that I've actually started to understand these terms. Thank you so much for sharing! :) love the way you think!

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  38. Our point and shoot just broke. I am nervous for anything too fancy, but your post makes me feel pretty confident. Thanks for making the whole jump off the manual mode seem less overwhelming!! Now the big question... what camera are you using these days? what would you recommend a good camera is to start with? I am overwhelmed with brands and reviews, etc.. any advice is welcomed!!

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  39. wow did this come at the right time for me ;). my daughter and i got dslr's a while back. I took a class cause I knew if I didn't it would sit I was sooooo imtimidated by all the buttons infact told friend I would be able to fly a jet if i figured it out ha ha.Well getting ready to visit my daughter she wants some on hands help with her camera and this will really help me out great way to put it into perpective. THANK YOU ;)

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  40. I knew I pinned this when you first posted it for a reason.
    Guess what Santa left me under the tree this year? AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! I'm so excited I could seriously pee myself. You know when you first start to fall in love and you get that crazy thing in your chest where you have to gasp for air 'cause it's taking your breath away? And you can't stop smiling? And you're just an overall idiot in general? Um, yeah, that's EXACTLY how I feel about my new camera. :o) I'm SUPER excited to learn how to use it. I'm proud to say that I know how to turn it on. And take a picture in auto mode. But I'm learnin' the manual mode dammit. It's like living in an apartment all your life, then moving to your own home and not painting the walls. Insanity. I shall conquer thy many buttons and rule my new "fancy" camera! Thanks again for the beginner tips!

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  41. What a wonderful explanation on dslr cameras. By the way, I decided to purchase a 50mm lens a few months back...got it off of ebay. I must say it is the best lens I own. I get such great feedback on the photos I take with it. I think my next investment is a fish eye lens. Thanks again!

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    1. It's the best isn't it?! SO much fun playing with that lens!

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  42. Thanks for this blog! My dad is a photographer and explained all this to me but its much easier to understand by reading it and as simple as you wrote it. I'm doing my first wedding shoot at the end of this month and I'm going to start using it manually this weekend for practice. Again thank you for explaining it with simplicity.

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  43. Really helpful! I got a DSLR for Christmas & have been overwhelmed since. This is great. And your house is amazeballs!

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  44. "Aperture - is a fancy word huh? Fancy starts with F, and aperture is measured in F stops" That's my favourite line. I just bought a fancy schmancy DSLR in early December. I am trying to get more into the manual mode since the pictures can be SO much better. Thanks for this article! Continue to post more photography tips as you learn.

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  45. Excellent information. Thank you for doing all the work and letting us benefit from it. Can't wait to get out there and try this stuff!!!

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  46. Thanks soo much!! I appreciate the 'simple english' and now i'm ready to rock my camera again! I have never had classes but am now 48 and have had a camera in my hands since i was 12. It's my passion!! I hope someday to maybe sell some shots but i do it for me and my family above all else. My daughters and grandkids call me the Papparazi cause I doccument everything everyday! thanks soo much!! Robin Gump....aka Robin's Pix

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  47. Great blog, very informative!

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  48. Fantastic insight Carmel, I love your perspective and how you are always teaching yourself something new, your photography is sooooo great! And don't ya love that 50mm? Awesome! Thanks for the linky love,
    xo
    Kate

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  49. So glad I took the time to read your blog! Awesome info and your pics are great...kudos!

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  51. (Edit) I needed this yesterday! LoL I was trying to remember which is which and how you remember! Thank you for a brilliant post! Could you, please, tell me which 50 mm lens you purchased? The f stops are different. f1/4 and f1/8, I think.

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    1. sorry for the delay in response - i have the 1.8 - it's a great lens - love it!

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  52. Love love love your post! You have really inspired me. Thanks for all the great tips.

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  53. I would love some tips on understanding focus mode and af mode

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    1. WIsh I could help - but I only ever shoot in manual so I'm not very familiar

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  54. Great post! Thanks for making it easy to understand.

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  55. As a fairly advanced amateur I always had a hard time explaining what ISO meant to friends while helping them shoot better. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your acronym of IS the SUN ON? That is awesome! Is the sun on? Yes, then turn off your ISO, lower it's value. Is the sun on? No, then turn on your ISO, increase it's value. You learn something new everyday!

    To Shai Marie... there is a HUGE price difference between the 50mm/1.4 and the 50mm/1.8. The aperture can be described as the hole that opens and how far/wide the hole/aperture of the lens opens... The f1.4 opens MUCH MUCH more than the 1.8 which opens over 1/2 of the lens: remember to put a 1 in front of the f# to tell you how much the lens opens. 1/1.8 (your lens opens over halfway) is a bigger hole than a 1/2.8 (about 1/3 of the way open) or 1/3.5 (less than one third of the way open). 1/1.8 is a smaller hole than 1/1.4. A 1/4 lens opens the lens nearly all the way to the size of the hole. Yes, you have to remember your fractions and in the case of photography this includes your decimal fractions!!

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    1. Thanks Michelle! - yes the price difference is why I bought the 1.8 and it's so great for the price. SO funny about remembering fractions - my 3rd grade son is learning about fractions in school right now and I told him it was really important to learn because you use them all the time - and I gave him the photography example you just pointed out!

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  56. Super helpful! I've tried to read other photography tips on other blogs and I got lost in the crazy terms but the way you explain it keeps my attention. Thanks!

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  57. I got a new camera right after Christmas, and this "regular talk" about how to use it is SO helpful!!!! Of course, I'll have to study and play with the tips you gave, but at least I'll understand what the heck I'm reading so that I CAN play with it!!!!!! The tripod thing is interesting. I'm going to look that up right now to see if I can find one! Great job!

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  58. Is it bad that I've owned a DSLR for 6 years, and only once or twice taken it off Auto? My dad, who used to be an awesome amateur photographer when I was a little girl, tried explaining it all to me, but I glazed over. And when my mother in law gave me a tripod, I silently rolled my eyes. But now, I shall eat my words (can I have cake with them?) and start playing around with the settings and the tripod. :) Thanks for this post, it is bookmarked for tomorrow.

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    1. If you're looking for the next step, try Scott Kelby books (4 volumes currently available) on Amazon for a reasonable price. They cover a variety of picture taking situations & what to do for the best shot. It's a pick up look for what you need to take your shot then put it down, don't think novel (though he's humorous & I did read through the entirety of each book).

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  59. Thank you for sharing. I am just learning all this on my camera - I usually keep it on auto AV or TV setting. Your instructions are kept simple enough to not get too overwhelmed!:-)

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  60. Wow!! :) This is absolutely the best explanation I have ever read! Thank you SO MUCH. I have learned so much and will now start learning in Manual mode. Thanks again!! :) Will definitely pass this along!

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  61. Ok, I didn't read through all the comments, but I'd just like to mention a remote instead of the timer. I've used it MANY times so I could be situated in the middle of a group without having to run hit the button & run through everyone. I HIGHLY recommend it. One of my favorite pictures using it was one at a reunion for a group of WW II survivors & their families. They survived the Germans mistaken attack on a civilian ship & subsequent internment on a German POW ship for over a month before being returned to the Allies land in Europe. It was great to be able to be in the picture as a family member of one of those survivors rather than behind the camera. :-)
    Great information you shared & I'll be sharing it with others who are always asking for tips!

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  62. I just got a Canon PowerShot SX50 HS and this post was so helpful. Ive been playing with the ISO and have taken some really great shots. I didnt know what the iso was exactly but when you made it simple it was like a light bulb went off :)

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  63. This is awesome! I downloaded a couple of eBooks on DSLR cameras (bought a Rebel t3i last Black Friday), and while I've learned a few things, you broke it down perfectly. Great pics and even greater advice (love Is the Sun On)...thanks so much!

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  64. WOW!!!! You said it perfectly!!!! I too never really understood how to use or remember ISO, and SS . You did a great job, it will really stick with me, and that new lens looks AMAZING!!!!
    Thanks!!!

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  65. I'm so glad I came across your post. I used to have an SLR many years ago, long before anyone talked about ISO and digital. In those days it was film and ASA. When my kids were young I bought my first digital camera and became very lazy with quick snaps. I just bought a SONY NEX-5N and I feel like I have to relearn so many things. Your post will be a great guide.

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  66. I know this is an older article, but I wanted you to know that it is still inspiring people. I will be buying my new baby, a Canon 60D, in a few days. I have pinned your article to come back to again and again. Thank you.

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  67. This is amazing! It really does help a lot. Do you have a interest of fb?

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    1. https://www.facebook.com/OurFifthHouse

      http://pinterest.com/ourfifthhouse/

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  68. I am new to your blog (and relatively new to blogging too!) and find this post so helpful. I have been using a little point and shoot Canon which takes nice pics but I want to step it up with the photography for the blog. My hubby is a very good amateur and has LOTS of fancy pants equipment for me to use, but I need to just jump in and begin to learn. It is a little intimidating, you know? Pinning so I will have it to refer to later. Thanks so much!

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  69. Thank you! I just wanted someone to explain iso and aperture to me in plain language, not like I'm already a photographer! This is both witty and super helpful, and I really appreciate it :)

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  71. What kind of camera do you use, Carmel?

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  73. Awesome - I think, I got most of it pinned in my brain now. Thanks for breaking it down for me!

    Now I'll go shooting the spring in DK with my new understanding of M, ISO, APERTURE and I will for sure go get me a tripod azap.

    Thanks milady <3
    Kind regards from Charlotte, North Jutland in Denmark

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  74. Hey there Carmel, amazingly helpful post! (Y) May I ask which camera you're using at the moment?

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    1. The Canon Rebel T3 - check this post for my 365 challenge - http://www.ourfifthhouse.com/2012/01/2012-challenge-last-all-day-pajama-day.html

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  75. Thanks for the last comment. I was going to ask what camera you used as well. I am looking at purchasing a Canon T3i.

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  76. Thanks for explaining things so simply and understandable, it really helped me. I will go back to my DSLR and start over with these helpful tips. God bless.

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  77. Thanks for explaining things so simply and understandable, it really helped me. I will go back to my DSLR and start over with these helpful tips. God bless.

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  78. Thanks for explaining things so simply and understandable, it really helped me. I will go back to my DSLR and start over with these helpful tips. God bless.

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  79. Thanks for explaining things so simply and understandable, it really helped me. I will go back to my DSLR and start over with these helpful tips. God bless.

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  80. Thanks for explaining things so simply and understandable, it really helped me. I will go back to my DSLR and start over with these helpful tips. God bless.

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  81. Thanks for writing this post. I was wanting to ask you how you managed to get such bright crisp photos of your home and then I found this article. For some reason I never use my tripod in the house but that will change now. Thanks again!

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  82. Thank you so much for writing this. I have been to hundreds of photography web pages and was more confused than ever. You did an amazing job simplifying it all. As I was reading things just started clicking. I'm leaving for Nova Scotia in a few days and I'm now positive that I will get some great pictures. Thanks again.

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    1. Have a great trip! So happy to hear this was helpful to you!

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  83. Thank you for giving the tips. Actually, I have recently started the course of photography and this tips will help me a lot.
    camera accessories | camera support

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  84. Just found this on pinterest! Thank you so much for the great tips! Bought a new DSLR a few weeks ago, but I still haven't taken it out of the box because I'm so scared/intimidated by it!

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  85. Wow nice to know about some of the very good tips about photography.I am also learning photography so this will prove to me of great help as it clears all the basic of photography

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  86. Thank you for the "cliffsnotes" of photography terms! These camera terms can be so complex. Beautiful photo examples.

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  87. This was a HUGE help to me. I am so afraid of the 'M'. You made it a little less scary! I also took a class and the instructor told me to pick a spot and take the picture and then change setting and take again and again etc... He said sometimes you need to see it to figure it out. I haven't done that either! But I am going to make a vow that every time I take a picture, I will switch to 'M' and try to take at least one shot every time that way as well.

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  88. The heart of a photograph is its composition—the position of different elements in a frame. The easiest rule of thumb to learn and remember is the Rule of Thirds. Basically, you'll want to break your frame into nine squares of roughly equal size. Try and align the subject of your photo along these lines and intersections and imagine the main image divided over these nine boxes. This gives you a more dramatic, visually interesting shot than one where you subject is located dead center. Many newer cameras have a rule of thirds grid overlay that you can activate when shooting. photography tips

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  89. I LOVE this blog article and thanks for posting. I too am a beginner and struggle with the simple terminology. I just made the commitment myself to have a similar goal... take a photo daily!!!

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  90. Great post. I've been using DSLRs for around a year. I switched to manual mode after reading Understanding Exposure by Andy Stansfield. I use the Sunny 16 rule to help me "guess" the exposure for a shot I'm about to take, then tweak the settings if it's too over or under exposed. I'm still learning, but the process sure is fun, isn't it?

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  91. Thank-you so much for posting this! It's such a great reference to have! : )

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  92. These tips are so helpful, thank you! I even posted a link to your post on my blog, http://outsidelanddiaries.blogspot.com. Hope you don't mind! - Leith

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  93. Love this post!! Super helpful!! Thank you so much for posting this. I just had a baby and my husband bought me my very first DSLR camera and I've been feeling extremely discouraged from using it. I wanted to start newborn photography to capture the special moments and I haven't touched my camera. I had no idea what any of these thingd were until now and I'm so glad I found this post. Thank you so much!!

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  94. Thank YOU for speaking my language....for 3 years I've been playing with my camera and I've gotten many comments abt how good my pictures are but I knew I needed to step out of my comfort zone by using manual mode plus other stuffs and I felt imitated by it because I was not sure how to use it the right way but heck, I went for it by starting to play with it....have to learn from many errors and trails.....I wish I saw this first.

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  96. Hiya!

    I'm fairly new to photography (I want to do portrait photography as a carer) and I'm always getting confused on F numbers and SS. Thank you for giving such a simple explanation on this post, I've bookmarked it to help me if i get stuck again!

    Beautiful bedroom btw, I love it :)

    Clair x

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  97. Thank you sooooo much this helped tramindously!!!

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  98. Hi to everybody, here everyone is sharing such knowledge, so it’s fastidious to see this site, and I used to visit this blog daily.

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  99. You explained all your tips wonderfully! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  100. I have been looking for a blog post just like this! Figuring out my camera has not been easy and these tips are so helpful! I love how you give little sayings to try and remember the big words ;)

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  101. Found on pinterest: super helpful! I've had my camera for two years and was so scared I didn't break it out of the box for a month. Now I don't shoot in manual, but have been getting better. I got a 35mm 1.8 and LOVE it. It's great for food. And baby toes. Thanks for not being afraid to post this! I recently did one you might like on food photography for non-photographers. http://kirstenoliphant.com/2013/10/15/6-food-photography-tips-non-photographers/

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  102. Love your photos! Well done! Thank you so much for sharing your photography adventure!

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  103. Thank you for these tips! Tip #4 was one that stuck out to me. I have a tripod but could never get the pictures to come out very clear... I have a Canon Rebel. I've had it for 4 months and have just recently started using the intimidating Manuel setting but the aperture always messes me up! Just a work in progress I guess! :D
    Thanks again!
    http://jihcphotography.blogspot.com/

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  104. Oh my gosh, I have a grasp of the lingo!! I am opening my camera on Christmas and thought I would read some stuff while I am impatiently waiting. This is so awesome! One thing that I would love for you to add (which you probably can't go back and have the info, but maybe for future reference), all the photos on the end I would love to see the settings/lens that you used to create the different pics. I am so excited to get started!!

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  105. Hey Carmel! I am really thankful to find your post on pinterest. I just recently got a camera (sort of a birthday/anniversary/Christmas present) as I am SO sick of the horrible iphone photos that are capturing all of the memories in my life! I'm a fellow-kentucky girl. What part of the state are you in?

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  106. This is the most helpful page I have read so far, thank you so much. I have had my big girl camera since last December and still haven't been able to make connections in my brain. Thank you, thank you

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  107. This is so helpful and explained so well! I love your blog and especially appreciate these ways to improve my photos. Thanks for being so thorough!

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  108. Thank you Thank you Thank you! I have ADD and always forget all the technical things as soon as I walk away from my camera! It has been so frustrating. Your mnemonic devices are perfect! Now I can remember. :)

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  109. You read my mind with this post...Thank you to the moon and back!!!...I appreciate your time and effort invested. God Bless!

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  110. Thank you so much for this post! Very helpful!

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  111. Very informative and well written post! Quite interesting and nice topic chosen for the post. Really looking forward to read more

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  112. I think this is a real great article post.Really looking forward to read more. Rumah Minimalis

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  113. Thank you so much for the information. I have slowly by surely been shooting more and more on manual and the results have been okay. With the tips you have here I am excited to see how they start turning out! Thanks a million!!

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  114. I THOUGHT that was Keeneland :::sigh :::

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  115. Thanks for the info! Very helpful. I am in process of research my first DSLR camera to purchase. Any suggestions on where to start out that won't break the bank? I know a good camera will cost more--Im thinking middle of the road?

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  116. Muchas gracias por dar tanta información de manera tan simple!!! Hice un curso de fotografía, pero sumé mucha terminología y ansiedad. Porque sentía que luego del curso debía manejar fácilmente la cámara, pero no fue así. Esta nota me ha dado ánimo para volver a intentar, me gustó mucho la idea de "una foto cada día", me parece una forma excelente de ir mejorando...

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  117. Photography does not requires any specialized equipment, it only requires Photography techniques, angles you use to capture images, moments and feelings:)

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  118. I just found you - thank you, thank you for easy-to-understand and remember explanations! You are my hero indeed. :)

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  119. Thank you for giving such a simple explanation on this post, One of my favorite pictures using it was one at a reunion for a group of WW II survivors & their families. They survived the Germans mistaken attack on a civilian ship & subsequent internment on a German POW ship for over a month before being returned to the Allies land in Europe. rumahbro

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  120. One of the BEST photo tip articles I've read yet! So helpful for a true beginner. Saving this one! Thank you!

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  121. Amiable articles and the blogs really helped me a lot, thanks for the valuable information.
    InstaStyle Photo Booth Rentals

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