A Complete Guide for Beginners in the Art of Photography

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Introduction to photography: a guide for everyone who wants to start, but doesn’t know where to start.

If you have always wanted to learn photography, are taking a course or will do and simply want to understand how the practice works, this article will help you.

The best way to learn how to photograph is still through a lot of practice and dedication.

However, this article will tell you everything you need to know about the basics and main features of your camera to create amazing clicks.

Ready for an introduction to photography? Then keep reading!

Introduction to photography: what you need to learn

To make your introduction to photography, you need to take three initial steps: understand the functions of your camera, practice your subject, and search for many references.

Photography has several niches, some very specific, that will need further study.

On the other hand, there are also several specialties in which, with a lot of practice, you can improve yourself and achieve good results.

photography

Photography Intro

It’s not necessarily an expensive course, college or equipment that will make you a good photographer. And yes, a balanced union of all these concepts, with a generous pinch of dedication.

Now that you know this, it’s time to ask yourself: is it worth taking a college or photography course?

Is it worth doing a college or photography course?

There are several courses of introduction to photography, from various institutions and various formats (distance, face-to-face, etc.).

To decide between a free course or a photography college, you should think about your main objective.

If you want to teach photography or are interested in the academic world and want to know more about the art, it may be interesting to go to college.

The largest offer of photography courses in college is technologists, with 2 years of duration. Through them, you will learn much more theory than practice.

This means learning about Art History and Visual Communication, which is the title the course usually receives in institutions. It teaches various aspects of design and some academic subjects.

Beautiful asian amateur photographer taking photos of flowers.

If your goal is simply to learn how to make good clicks and you don’t want all this theoretical burden on your learning, a free course can be ideal.

A big advantage of free courses is the focus on the things you want to learn, that is, the practical part of photography.

If you want to learn how to photograph food, for example, the college will give you very theoretical knowledge of the subject.

However, a course or workshop can teach you real specialized techniques to achieve your goal.

In short: it is worth doing courses, workshops, and even a college, but everything depends on your goal in photography.

How’s the professional photography market?

In order for you to understand what the professional photography market is, it is necessary to understand that hiring a photographer is considered as a luxury item among other types of consumption.

There are several people who have a DSLR camera who think they can cover events or do rehearsals. These people usually charge cheap and the work is usually not as good.

The truth is that the market is saturated with these fake professionals. To get your space, no matter which niche you choose, it is essential that you are good and committed to what you do.

Professional Photographer taking photo on sand beach

The better you are in the niche you have chosen, the more expensive you can charge and the more customers you will have since they will know that they are paying for a high-quality job.

Photography always has a market, but only for good photographers.

Introduction to photography courses

If you are looking for a good introduction to photography, know that there are several of them, both in person and at a distance.

If you prefer face-to-face courses, Senac has schools all over Brazil and offers art and communication courses, including several areas of photography.

In some units, you can find introductory courses to digital photography and even a bachelor’s degree in photography. In addition, there are book courses focused on lighting and editing in Photoshop.

Introduction to online photography courses

The internet is full of courses that can help you with the introduction to photography. However, that doesn’t mean that all this content is free.

On the website, there is a whole category dedicated to photography with several specific courses that can help you improve your techniques.

By signing the plan you have access to all the courses on the platform. It is worth testing the platform for some days for free and see if there is anything that can help you.

Some website also offers a free course of introduction to digital photography, just register, enroll and complete the course in up to 30 days.

Basic principles of photography: an overview

The time has come to make your introduction to photography once and for all. Know the fundamental principles of the practice and understand what should be your first steps in this journey of new knowledge!

Learning about your camera

The first step to becoming a photographer is to get to know your camera well. The equipment is one of the essential factors that form a good professional.

Photography is like a drawing made with light. So now you’ll learn how each part of your camera interacts with that element.

A quick summary:

  • The shutter is responsible for the amount of time that light is captured by the camera’s sensor;
  • Diaphragm is also responsible for the amount of light;
  • Lens is the lens of the camera;
  • ISO is the camera’s sensitivity to light.

Now, let’s better understand how each of these adjustments works and how they can transform your shooting mode!

Shutter

The shutter’s like the lens curtain. When you click, notice that this “curtain” closes the light entry and your photo is saved.

The shutter speed determines how long the “curtain” will remain open to capture light and can be set in manual camera mode.

The longer the shutter stays open, the brighter the image. At the same time, the longer it stays open, the greater the chance that your photos will be blurred.

Diaphragm

The diaphragm is the aperture of your lens, that is, it is what defines the amount of light that will enter your camera.

However, the rule of the diaphragm is: the greater the number of the aperture, the less light is captured by the sensor. Therefore, an f/22 aperture, for example, will provide less light for the image.

Therefore, photographers prefer to give priority to lighter lenses, such as f/1.8 aperture lenses.

Objective

It is the lens that will be attached to the camera body. There are several types of lenses and each one gives a completely different effect on the photo.

The longer the focal length of your lens, the shorter your field of view. At the same time, lenses with large focal lengths can capture more detail from smaller objects.

A 50mm lens, for example, will show fewer things than a 14mm lens.

Photometry

In your camera’s viewfinder, you’ll find a “ruler” ranging from -2 to 2+. This “ruler” indicates whether your photo is underexposed or overexposed to light, respectively.

In order for the light in the photo to be the same as at the ideal time, it is recommended that the bar be set to 0. However, in some cases, such as on a bright sunny day, the camera may be mistaken.

Check the photo on the camera’s viewfinder, even after checking the photometry to ensure that it is in the light the way that meets your expectations.

ISO

ISO is your camera’s sensitivity to light.

The lower you can leave the ISO on your camera, the better the quality of your photo.

ISO above 800 starts to make image noises, reminiscent of those grains that were seen in analog photographs.

Therefore, it is interesting to invest in other adjustments such as shutter speed and diaphragm aperture to bring more light to the image. This way, the quality is maintained.

Learning the principles of photography

Now that you’ve learned how your camera works, it’s finally time to click!

young male photographer using dslr digital camera taking photographs outdoors in the park in the sunshine

Learn some practical principles that will serve as the basis for your introduction to photography.

Composition

There are several rules of composition in photography, all of them have the objective of making the image more attractive to the public, giving prominence to the main object of the photo.

One of the most famous is the rule of thirds. In the rule of thirds, the objective is that the main motif of your photo is in the sense of reading, on the right side, so that it generates an impact on the spectator first.

Focus and sharpness

Unlike compact or mobile cameras, where the entire photo is in focus, with the clearest lenses, you can create blur in your image.

You can use this in an artistic way, with more focus and sharpness in what you want to highlight. On the other hand, you can increase this aperture to keep the entire image in focus.

Lighting

You can use various types of lighting in your photos. Natural light, especially on sunny days or during the golden hour. Artificial light, with flashes or lamps.

The illumination of your image can make all the difference in the feeling that you want to pass with your record. For example, more diffuse and natural lights, usually pass a more natural tone to photography.

Artistic look: What it is and how to develop

The artistic look is to be able to transform a common scene into art. See normal things from another angle or even show what cannot be seen.

Art in photography can be any image that makes us feel something.

You can put ten photographers in the same environment, and yet each of them will photograph the place in different ways.

The best way to get this artistic look is to go out with your camera and look for a scene that makes you feel something and make a record of it.

Sometimes you can do this by changing the angle, further or closer. The most important thing is to practice. And if you feel you’re not getting it, look for references. See the work of other photographers and get inspired.

Tips for better photography

To finish this lesson of introduction to photography, that’s all that’s missing: tips for better photography. Check out good tricks that should be part of the repertoire of every photographer, both amateur and professional!

1. Train a lot

The saying “practice makes perfect” does not exist by chance. Even if you read and study a lot, you can only become a good photographer if you practice.

Take your camera, take pictures of friends, the street, the objects in your house… The most important thing is not to stop training.

2. Study the work of other photographers

During this introduction to photography, we talked several times about the importance of references.

That’s exactly what studying the work of other photographers is all about. Search, get to know. Maybe you see something you didn’t think you could do.

Through the mixture of references, you end up creating your own style of photography!

3. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake

Don’t ever stop taking a picture for fear it won’t get good! The number one tip of that introduction to photography was to practice, right?

So if the photo doesn’t look the way you want it, do it again and again. Study your techniques and try to understand what your mistake was through the attempts. The essential thing is to persist.

4. Know your equipment

When you’re a beginner photographer, it’s natural for your equipment to have limitations. However, you need to know what they are in order to find a solution within your reach.

For example, ISO above 800 leaves photos with a lot of noise, reducing the quality of the material. How to solve it? Adding light to the scene with accessories or adjusting other camera settings.

Plus, it’s important that you only offer your services if you know you’ll be able to deliver a quality record.

5. Always study new techniques

Photography is always updating and, with this, new techniques are always emerging.

Stay tuned for news, especially when it’s related to the niche you want to be part of.

You can do this by following photo channels on YouTube or by participating in forums and discussion groups on the internet.

6. Know the history of photography

Since the invention of the analog camera, many photographers have marked history and created incredible images.

Put this in your study script, we’re sure you’ll find unique references to your introduction to photography.

Conclusion

Finally, you have learned some basic aspects for your introduction to photography and are ready to pioneer the great knowledge about this art.

The most important thing is to know that you will have to study and practice enough to become a good photographer, regardless of the niche you choose professionally.

If you have any tips or have any questions, do not forget to leave us a comment!

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