Find what inspires you
Before you do anything else, find your inspiration. Do you enjoy traveling and taking pictures? Or snapping photos of your kids? Do you like to have everything perfect, or would you rather simply capture the moment as it unfolds? Are you more interested in one type of photography over the other, like sports or macro?
Get a camera, and get to know your camera
Of course, you can’t really get into photography without a camera. To take pictures as a hobby, you don’t need the latest, greatest camera. But there’s a few features you’ll want to look for in a camera if you want to get serious about photography.
Just shoot (everyday)
To get into photography, just start shooting. What do you like about the images that you take? What don’t you like? As you learn about more techniques through a photography class or reading, try them out on your camera. Experiment with the different options, and watch how they change your shot.
Bring your camera everywhere
Inspiration for great photos is everywhere. Of course, you can’t take pictures if you don’t take your camera with you. While you are learning, take your camera with you everywhere. Take it to work, bring it along on walks, slip it in your bag when you go to the store.
Understanding lighting in photography is essential to becoming a good photographer. If nothing else, learn light. Watch how light coming in from different angles creates different shadows. Watch how placing the light behind, in front or to the side of what you are photographing changes your results.
Learn manual modes
Getting into photography is about taking control over your images, instead of having your camera do the work for you. That means venturing off of auto and learning manual modes. You don’t have to learn manual all in one big leap off of a cliff.
Add a lens
Once you’ve started to get the hang of manual modes, a good way to expand the quality of your images (and what you can do with them) is to add a lens. Wait until you understand aperture, and choosing a lens becomes a little easier. A 50mm f/1.8 prime lens is a great second lens, and since it doesn’t have zoom, it’s relatively inexpensive.
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