How to Take Better Photos – The Essential Things You Must Learn – Part 1

Digital Photography is a revolution that has changed the photography world forever. It has changed the habit of people around the world. A lot of people own digital cameras, mostly point & shoot digicams. and a growing number own digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. Many new camera models are released throughout the year by different camera makers, each claiming to be better in some way than previous models. Many point & shoot digicam users are looking at upgrading to a DSLR and lower end DSLR users are looking to buy more expensive and advance DSLR in the hope of improving their photos.

Of course, technically speaking, a better camera maybe able to give you better quality photos, but that is provided if you know how to use it properly. The camera is merely a tool. For someone who has little or no knowledge about photography, even with the best and most expensive camera and lens in his or her hands, he or she still will not be able to take a good photo. It is analogous to a mediocre golfer whose golf skills will not be improved simply by buying the most expensive golf clubs or a bad driver will not win an Formula 1 race just because you give him the best Formula 1 racing car to drive. It is simple concept, but something that many people do not want to know.

It is all very well buying a new advanced prosumer digicam or DSLR, but that alone will not make better photos. First you will have to learn how to use it. There is no shortcut. As in many things in life, there are many things you can learn about photography, but for a beginner, there are some bare minimum essential things that you must learn before you can improve your photos. So here is my list of minimum essential things that you must learn.

Despite all the camera makers talk about “intelligent auto-mode” that will give you perfect focus, exposure, color…etc, etc, the first really important message to learn is, forget the camera makers propaganda, THE CAMERA IS DUMB, IT DOES NOT KNOW WHAT YOU WANT.

In general, do NOT use Auto exposure mode on your camera. The camera, no matter how intelligent it is getting is not intelligent enough. It will seldom give you the best result by using Auto mode, Intelligent auto mode or Program mode. You have to learn to control the camera, not let the camera control itself.

The bare minimum essential things you need to learn about camera controls are:-

  • autofocus
  • shutter speed
  • aperture
  • ISO

In the next article, I will talk about the essential things you would need to know about these controls.

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3 thoughts on “How to Take Better Photos – The Essential Things You Must Learn – Part 1

  1. From time to time, regardless of the equipment used, one should get back to the basics. So, there I was, hiking with my dogs this morning and decided that I should carry my good old trusted Casio EX-Z750 instead of the DSLRs. The only controls I got are: EV, ISO and how I frame the shot. Well, I did miss the viewfinder, the image quality, the DOF etc… However, I think that the exercise brought me back to the basics of composition and making shots that are simply, sincere and honest.
    This is the link the shots: http://mervyn.smugmug.com/Landscapes/CasioLandscapeShots/11242744_et4vT#788488780_ZvzWS
    Thank you Bro!

  2. Well said. I get so frustrated with people thinking they can just buy uncle bob a new camera and everything will come out great. For the average shots it might work. Get a little challenging situation better know what you are doing.

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