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Photography; it's a big and exciting world, but there's so much knowledge and skill that go into something as simple as taking pictures. Everyone at one point or another has taken pictures; either for hobby or work or with a phone or camera.
Since I was a child, I've always loved taking pictures. As the years progressed, I began to develop a real love for photography, and just last year received my first professional DSLR camera, a Canon Rebel T6. That day was the moment I knew I wanted to try and become a more professional photographer.
All photographers have their own niche, whether that's landscape and nature, urban city, or portraits. Photography is an art that has no boundaries, and is constantly changing and evolving for the better. Over the years, there's been more methods for sharing photos with others, such an Instagram and more sites for selling them including Adobe.
As a more experienced photographer compared to last year, I've gone back to view my pictures that I took when I was starting out, and can't believe how much I've grown with my photography skills. Honestly, a lot of my pictures from my beginner days I don't like, and think aren't very good anymore. As you become more experienced in photography and learn those skills, you develop more of an eye and technique that will help improve your photos immensely.
I'm going to share with you what I wish I knew when I was starting out in photography that can hopefully help in your own journey with the camera. These tips work only with DSLR cameras or cameras with more settings available.
First off, shooting in manual mode is key. Yes, it's much easier to learn and take pictures automatically, but you get so much more out of a picture when shooting in manual mode. It's worth learning and researching how to do it because it lets you control more aspects of the picture that you want, not just what your camera wants. You can control the depth of field, the amount of light, and so much more. Take some time to really learn it. Manual photography is not the easiest task, but it's worth it in the long run and will save you a lot of time later on. It's so satisfying when you learn and see your final products. I've only been using manual mode for six months and now I wish I had been doing it the whole time.
Another tip I wish I knew was to shoot in raw mode. Shooting in raw mode, which most DSLR cameras should have, allow you to capture more details of the photo. The photo or subject stays clearer once you transfer to the computer or to a program to edit. It does make a difference and maintains the sharpness, instead of shooting in JPEG. JPEG mode compresses elements of the photo and raw mode does not, which produces higher quality images. When I first started I had no idea that it can make such a difference, or that it even existed. Even after spending several hours a week learning the ins and outs of my camera, there's always something new to be learned.
Lastly, Adobe Lightroom is your best friend. I spent a lot of time experimenting with bad photography apps and programs, all because I didn't want to cave in and pay for Adobe, but I wish I had done it sooner. Although you have to pay a monthly subscription, which is $14 a month for Photoshop and Lightroom, it's worth it. A lot of the famous and experienced photographers use the programs, and some even have tutorials available on Youtube. I recommend checking out the Youtube account of french photographer, Serge Ramelli, he is incredible and has helped me a lot. Lightroom is a great stepping stone if you have anxieties about Photoshop (because I know I do). Lightroom is easy to use, and whether you use the basics or some of the presets that are available, it's a great tool to edit photos.
Overall, photography is a great hobby to get into. There's so much room in it for creativity and there's no right or wrong way to do it. As long as you're happy with the product and your picture, that's all that counts. The best thing you can do is just to get out there and keep taking those pictures!