|iso 200, f 8.0, 2.0s|
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.
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.