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Digital Subscriptions >  Blog > Photography for Beginners

Photography for Beginners
Outdoor Photography

Photography for Beginners

Posted Monday, November 18, 2019   |   195 views   |   Art & Photography Thinking of taking up photography but not sure where to start? No problem! Our photography for beginners guide is packed full of tips to get you started.

We believe the best way to get started with photography is to pick up your camera and get busy - making mistakes and learning as you go. If you’ve just purchased your first DSLR and are ready to nail the basics, our tips below will help you build confidence behind the camera. 


Types of photography for beginners

There are many different types of photography, so try your hand at a few to find what styles and situations suit you best. From capturing people naturally at weddings or on the street - known as photojournalism - to portrait photography and shooting wildlife, there are plenty of opportunities to get your shutter clicking. You might find you you prefer shooting in black and white or with natural lighting only, either way - your passion and personality will show in your images, turning your new-found love into a lifelong hobby.


Where to start with photography

If you’re looking to improve your skills, there are a few things to consider to help you get the most from your photos. While the quality of camera phones is pretty impressive nowadays, they still don’t offer the same functionality as an affordable DSLR. So if you’re serious about your photography, it’s worth investing in some proper kit.


The best cameras for beginners

When it comes to beginner cameras, there’s a lot to consider, such as functionality and personal preference. If you’re looking for something portable that can fit in your pocket, a point-and-shoot camera is your best bet. With helpful features you won’t find on your phone - such as a viewfinder, aperture and shutter speed settings - a compact camera is a smaller, much lighter alternative to a DSLR. 


However, if you want to enjoy more advanced features with the ability to test various lenses, a DSLR would be better. With a variety of lenses to choose from, you can shoot anything from wildlife and landscapes to portraiture and still life. You will also find that DLSRs also have a reflex mirror that gives you a clearer view of what you’re capturing compared to an electronic viewfinder. 


The best camera gear for beginners

Now you have an idea of what camera you’d like, it’s time to consider the extra gear, from tripods and flashes to remote control capturing. Depending on your photography style, your camera gear will vary. For example, a portrait photographers kit will be different from a wildlife photographer’s, so it’s key to consider your subject before putting together your shopping list.


Yet, there are still some items that are essential for all beginner photographers - a camera tripod, for example. If your photos are slightly blurry or you’re shooting in low light, a tripod will ensure your camera is perfectly still, so your photos will be tack sharp.


Now that you have the stability solved, the next item we suggest adding to your kit is a remote shutter release. This lets you capture the shot without physically touching the camera body, and eliminates any potential for the camera to shake and cause a blur. 


Additionally, every photographer will need to use a flash at some point, even if you aren’t intending to shoot in the dark. However, the built-in flash on most DSLRs can flatten out your subjects and cause harsh shadows. An external flash, however, can bounce light off surrounding circumstances to create softer lighting in low-light situations. They also reduce the likelihood of capturing red-eye in your images as the light no longer comes from so close to the shutter. 


When shooting on the go, it’s important to have backup batteries, a battery charger, and multiple SD memory cards on hand. This ensures that even if your battery dies or you run out of space on your SD card, you can continue shooting with your backup equipment. We also suggest investing in a spacious camera bag to host all of your new toys and accessories. From backpacks to satchels, there are plenty of options available so you can find a kit bag that suits your personal taste.

What you need to know to get started

Once you’ve chosen your subject and got your camera kit together, it’s time to learn the basics of digital photography for beginners. While you could just point your camera and shoot, capturing better quality photos relies on an understanding of your camera settings. 


Exposure

Exposure is the amount of light which reaches your camera sensor or film, which determines how bright or dark your images appear. Exposure is made up of the Aperture, ISO and Shutter Speed. You’ll be able to adjust these elements when you select the ‘manual’ mode on your camera. 


ISO

ISO  controls how sensitive your camera is to light, and it’s measured in ISO units. If you’re shooting in darker lighting, you’ll want to set your ISO higher, as this means more light can be captured. However, you’ll notice that your images may appear grainy because of the lighting. 


Aperture

Aperture refers to the opening of a lens's diaphragm through which light passes. This is measured in f/stops and generally written as numbers such as 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11 and 16.  The smaller the f-stop, the wider the aperture, which allows more light in. 


Shutter speed

The third element of exposure is shutter speed, which controls how long the shutter is left open for. The faster the shutter speed, the less light hits the sensor or film. Additionally, shutter speed controls the sensitivity to motion, with a faster shutter speed able to capture a frozen motion and a slower speed producing motion blur. 


Shooting in RAW

RAW is a file format which lets you capture your images in higher quality, as well as giving you more control when post-processing by not compressing your image automatically. We recommend shooting all images in RAW as this gives you better flexibility to adjust the white balance, contrast, temperature and more when retouching your images.


Rule of Thirds

Considering the composition of your shot is key. The rule of thirds is a simple principle which suggests images are better balanced when the subject is slightly off-centre. If you were following the rule of thirds, you’d mentally split your shot into a grid with two vertical lines and two horizontal lines that divide the picture into nine equal sections. When you compose your shot, you’d place the subject of your image at any of the four intersections. Photography is all about creativity, so while you can be creative and compose images as you like, the rule of thirds is a great technique to fall back on.

How to stay engaged with photography

If you’re looking for more beginner photography tips, take a look at our best-selling photography magazines. Covering a wide range of styles and techniques, they offer the perfect opportunity to discover your unique style of photography and hone your skills. Available to download instantly, you can begin practising today! 


Outdoor Photography

The UK’s only digital magazine dedicated to the wonderful outdoors, you’ll be amazed by the beautiful photography featured inside every issue. Brimming with guides on how to improve your skills and techniques and where best to shoot across the UK, as well as how to shoot different types of nature. Combining stunning landscape shots with expert advice on how to achieve these perfect photos, Outdoor Photography magazine is excellent for serious amateurs and semi-professionals alike. Discover the best locations to capture jaw-dropping photos, even if that means waking up at 2 am!

Price: From £2.50 per issue


Black White Photography

Dedicated to the art of monochrome photography, this magazine covers everything from portraiture and wildlife to still life and outdoor photography. Featuring the best techniques to boost your creative options, as well as the latest camera gear reviewed and tested, you’ll discover everything there is to know about black and white photography. If Black White Photography interests you, then download an issue today and be inspired to take your photography to a new dimension.

Price: From £3 per issue


Amateur Photographer

Full of informative articles on all aspects of photography, you’ll learn something new with every issue. Helping up-and-coming photographers to improve their skills and take fantastic photographs, Amateur Photographer magazine is perfect for those who are just starting out. Whether you’re looking for reviews on the latest gear, pictures to inspire you, or advice on photo editing tools, you’ll be sure to find it here. 

Price: From £1.57 per issue


Photography Week

The world’s best selling digital photography magazine packed full of inspiration, ideas and in-depth reviews. Brimming with stunning photography from both readers and professionals, you’ll sure be inspired to pick up your camera each week. From beginner tips to articles on how to take your hobby to the next level, Photography Week magazine is the go-to supplement for photographers all around the world. If you’re looking to get the most from your camera, learn how to use Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, and stay up to date with the photography world, then subscribe to Photography Week magazine today.

Price: From £0.38 per issue


Practical Photography

Practical Photography magazine is great for beginners looking to advance their skills and start getting creative with their visions. Brimming with interviews with expert photographers, as well as tips and tricks to take better photographs, this magazine is jam-packed with helpful guides and jargon-free reviews. Whether you’re shooting, landscapes, portraits or wildlife, Practical Photography will teach you how to shoot outside of your comfort zone.

Price: From £2.92 per issue


Digital Photographer

The essential monthly read for enthusiasts and pros. Discover the latest insider announcements, inspiring photographs, reviews on upcoming gear, and features on different photography styles. Motivating you to take your best shots, Digital Photographer magazine covers a wide range of techniques to help enhance your photography. Whether you’re looking for tips on capturing your dream photo or advice on taking photos throughout the day, you’ll be learning new techniques with each monthly issue. 

Price: From £2.38 per issue


With photography magazines covering everything from outdoor and landscape photography, to black and white and amateur photography, there’s a photography magazine subscription that’s perfect for you at Pocketmags.


Whatever your interests are, browse our full selection of photography magazine subscriptions and give yourself something to look forward to reading each month. 

For more great articles like this get the Dec-19 issue of Outdoor Photography below or subscribe and save.

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About Outdoor Photography

Outdoor Photography is for the serious amateur and semi-professional photographer who is passionate about the British countryside and its wildlife. It is the UK’s only photography magazine dedicated exclusively to the coverage of landscape, wildlife and the environment.
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