A DSLR camera is a complex piece of equipment that needs to be treated with care. At the very least, you should get your DSLR basics down to pat before doing anything too crazy.
The first thing that you need to focus on is the basic functions of your DSLR camera. From there, you need to know about photography basics and moving on after that is how to maintain your equipment.
Since we are just talking about using the equipment for beginners, we will not go into too much detail that only professionals would worry about.
Instead, we will be focusing on ensuring that your DSLR camera will survive long enough for you to get good at it.
DSLR Basics, the Main Functions
Before you start fiddling around with your DSLR camera, you need to know the most basic functions first and what they can do. This is to prevent you from doing something you may not have intended to, do not understand, and are unable to reverse.
Among the Most Important Functions that You Need to Look at First From the Start Include:
- Mode – When you first get your DSLR camera, it will come with the default Auto mode. If you are a beginner, it would be best to keep it at that and not change it until you become more knowledgeable.
- Focus & Zoom – You can typically mess around with the focus and zoom of your DSLR camera with the appropriate buttons and dials. However, once you have the elongated lens attachments, you can zoom and focus with more control.
- ISO – The ISO adjustment is all about changing how much light your camera is getting, which is great for when you are shooting at night, but bad when shooting during the day.
- Aperture – The aperture function controls the depth of field, which you use if you want to emphasize a particular subject in the frame.
- Shutter Speed – How fast your shutter closes will change the quality of the shots that you get. Shorter speeds give you a more staccato effect with each shot. Longer ones, on the other hand, provide you with effects like blurring.
You should learn where these functions on your particular DSLR camera are when you read the manual that came with it.
Basic DSLR Camera Accessories
The accessories that you normally have access to with regards to DSLR cameras can be quite extensive, with some being incredibly specialized and complex. For beginners, though, those kinds of attachments won’t be a factor just yet.
Instead, You Will Want to Get the Following:
- External Flash – Your DSLR camera should already be pretty good at capturing images, even in shaded areas, but an external flash will still often be needed. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy, though. Just your basic flash attachment should suffice.
- Bag – A DSLR camera bag is indispensable if you are planning on bringing your equipment outside. Not only will it make carrying your camera easier, but it will also keep it safe from the elements and from potential damage.
- Belt & Holsters – There are belts and holsters that are available too, which are specially designed to accommodate the accessories on this list when you are on the move. This will make it easier to retrieve and install whatever you need without having to open your bag. Many come with ergonomic designs that will help make your photo taking experience an enjoyable one.
- UV Filter – This particular accessory is primarily meant to protect your DSLR camera’s lens from harmful rays. However, it is most commonly appreciated for other things like protecting your camera from bumps, dust, debris, mud, and other harmful particles.
- Lens Hood – Just as is the case with the UV filter, the lens hood is also a nifty little item that helps protect your camera’s lens against bumps and scrapes.
- Universal Lens – A universal lens is one that is multi-function and is generally easy to use. It can zoom, focus, and more with relative ease.
- Tripod – Finally, we have the tripod, which is essential for any DSLR camera enthusiast. When taking family photos, still shots, or landscape shots, it is an indispensable partner.
These are just the very basic of basic DLSR camera accessories. If you have those, you should have enough to start getting the hang of your gear.
Photography Basics, Shooting for Beginners
The next order of business is learning about how to actually shoot with your DSLR camera. Specifically, how to take good shots with your powerful piece of equipment. You can start by learning how to keep your horizon shots even.
Horizon Shots – If your horizon shots are even, your image quality is better, giving you more stability. If it is not even, your shot looks distorted. You can usually tell that there is something wrong with it, even if you can’t really put your finger on it.
Lighting – Your next point of concern has to do with the light that you are shooting under. Most photographers would agree that natural light is always best because the image comes across as softer. However, when you have to use artificial light, it needs to be done well.
Investing in professional lighting equipment for photoshoots might be worthwhile, in this regard.
Focus – It’s very important that you make sure your focus is on point before you hit that shutter button. Taking the shot before your lens is able to adjust will leave you with a blurry image.
Depth of Field – Finally, we have the depth of field, which is essential for adding basic effects to your shots. The background becomes blurry, which then accentuates the main subject of your shot. Try not to do this with every image, though, since it could make all of them look stale.
As a beginner, those points should be enough to give you the kinds of shots with your DSLR that will not be half bad. They won’t be professional quality, but they will be far better than what you would reasonably expect from novice photographers.