Your First DSLR – 6 Tips to Getting Started


This Christmas was the year of the camera for many of my friends so I thought I’d share my 5 tips to getting started.

#1 – The first thing you need to do when getting any new camera, DSLR or Point and Shoot, is spend time reading your manual and get to know all of your camera functions. There are some really great shooting tips in the manuals of most cameras and you aren’t going to be able to use your camera to the best of its ability if you don’t know what all the buttons do.

#2 – Read a book. I know all you want to do is get out and play with your new camera, that’s great! When you aren’t shooting you should be reading books that help take the guess work out of a DSLR and the settings. Pick up The Digital Photography Book or Understanding Exposure which walk you through photography basics and give you mini lessons that help you practice.

#3 – Shoot as often as you can. Put down the cell phone and take your camera with you everywhere. Put it in manual mode, start with the semi manual modes like P, AV, and TV if you aren’t comfortable going completely maual, and take photos of anything that inspires you. Play with the settings (shutter speed, aperture, and ISO) and see how different the same photo can be when you change those settings.

#4 – Take your time. Don’t always just snap merrily away. Think about the shot you want to get and  how to achieve it then take the time to frame it properly. This will get faster as you practice.

#5 – Have fun. Sometime you get the best shot when you are relaxed and not thinking too much about everything above.

#6 – Sign up for an account at a photo sharing site like flickr and follow people whose photos you love. If you take a lot of photos the pro account is worth every penny. Also, join photography forums like Clickin’ Moms which can be an invaluable tool as there are often tutorials and so much more offered.

Good luck and have fun! I can’t wait to see the world through your lens.

Come visit me on my new photography blog.

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