I made it my mission to learn to use my camera this year. For the longest time, I only used the auto settings on my camera. I was intimidated by the manual settings. Now that I’ve learned a few things, and played around with them a bit, I’m finding that it’s not as hard as I thought it was. Pinterest has been a big help. I’ve been pinning photography articles and blog posts to my Pinterest like crazy all year on a board titled I Turn My Camera On (thanks, Spoon!).
I’m just an average beginner photographer, but the following pins have been the most helpful to me. My camera is a Olympus E-620 but the tips I found work for all DSLR cameras.
Using Your CameraFirst things first, learning the basics. This article from Photoventure has a list of camera settings and explains how to use them.
The Cookin Canuck offers a post on how to use Manual mode with visual aids.
Speaking of visual aids, sometimes I just need a quick illustration of what the settings do. Here are some great examples:
Aperture. Adjusting aperture sharpens or blurs background images. This photo of tiny people toys helps illustrate aperture. It appears to originate on Carly Webber’s blog which has since been taken down.
Shutter Speed. The Winthrop Chronicles uses photos of water to explain shutter speed.
ISO (International Standards Organization). ISO is the camera’s sensitivity to light represented by numbers. It’s not as hard as it sounds. Moms With a Camera has a printable reference card to help out.
There is also this guide from the Customize Windows Media Group for a quick reference of what the manual modes on a DSLR do.
White Balance. Boost Your Photography provides a photographic example of the ways to change the colour temperature of your photos by using white balance.
Metering. I confess I’m still trying to wrap my head around metering. Hopefully, this example involving Her Majesty the Queen from Clickin Moms will help me figure it out.
Getting The ShotSo, now that you know about how to use your camera, it’s time to take some pictures! How do you get that awesome shot? Here are some things to consider before you click that button!
Composition. How do you compose the shot? ld nature photography explains The Rule of Thirds, and 10 Rules of Photography Composition.
Lighting. I prefer to shoot in natural light. This graphic by Mom & Camera and Pretty Presets gives suggestions on maximizing window light.
Sometimes you get too much of a good thing with natural light. Paint the Moon offers tips on shooting in bright sunlight.
And sometimes there isn’t any sunlight. Click It Up a Notch gives tips on shooting at night.
EditingThe photos are downloaded from the camera! Yay! But we’re not done yet. Now is time for editing. Brightening, cropping, adding filters, touching up blemishes, adjusting the colour can be done with software other than Photoshop. I haven’t made the jump to Photoshop yet. There is editing software for my camera, but I really like PicMonkey. It’s fun and easy and FREE.
Here’s 50 PicMonkey Resources from Clothed in Scarlet.
Have Fun!Now that you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to kick it up a notch! The following are some creative ways to use your camera.
Bokeh. Bokeh is fun. I’m still getting the hang of it. Bokeh is a blurred background, but popularly used to blur background light. It creates really cool effects.
Globetrotter Diaries shows how to create heart shaped bokeh.
Photos for Blogging. If you’re a blogger, you might want to create your own stock photos. This Blogher article has tips and a list of items to photograph. One Dog Woof has 12 things to keep in mind for blog photography.
Text Mask. PicMonkey has a great tutorial on how to create a text mask. I created a text mask for my blog header.
Milky Way. This seems so advanced to me, but I’m dying to try it. It involves taking timed photos of the sky at night. The results I’ve seen are amazing. Improve Photography has detailed instructions on how to do it.
Snow. It’s a bit late for snow where I am, but here are some tips for getting pretty snow shots from Nick Kelsh.
Bonus: I love this collection of tutorials from J Fotography: Teach Yourself Photography. It’s practical and fun!
I hope this post has been helpful in showing how useful Pinterest is for beginner photographers. If you’d like, follow me on Pinterest. I’m always adding photography pins. Or add this post to your own Pinterest boards!