Photography refers to the art and practice of producing permanent images by recording light electronically using a camera’s light-sensitive surface such as a photographic film or digital sensor. If you’re a beginner in photography, you need to know the different kinds of photographers to be able to decide what niche you want to focus on.
Photographers are classified into animal photographers (pet, wildlife, bird, and equine), commercial photographers (fashion, sports, real estate, medical, etc.), nature photographers (landscape, panoramic, underwater, etc.), children photographers (family, newborn, school, etc.), people photographers (portrait, branding, boudoir, etc.), art industry photographers (concert, fine art, etc.), and event photographers (wedding, birthday), among others.
According to your passion, you may launch a career in photography in any of the above photography niches. You can also choose to be a freelance photographer or work for a particular business or organization. Apart from having a camera to launch your career, you also need other camera accessories to help you capture the best photos. These include a camera bag, external flash disk, SD card, lens hood, etc.
To get started, use this guide to discover the photography essentials you need in pursuing this career.
A camera comes with a single battery. To make sure that you can work even in a place with no electricity source, you need to have more batteries. If you’re shooting continuously maybe at a wedding, your battery’s power will get drained quickly. Having about three batteries in every event will place you on the safe side.
Extra Memory Cards
Quality photos may occupy a very large space in your memory card. The bigger your camera sensor is, the bigger the image files it captures. This calls for more storage, hence you may consider using additional memory cards e.g., a SanDisk memory card.
Rubber Lens Cap
You need to protect the lens of your camera with a lens cap, especially if you’re using a costly lens kit. A cap protects your lens from dust, water, and dirt. It tightly seals the lens, protecting it from external elements. A universal lens cap is good because it’s able to stretch and fit both the front and back of your lens.
A power bank is important, especially when shooting your images with a mobile phone. It boosts the time of USB gadgets like tablets, GoPros, and some cameras. Super power banks have high-speed charging rates and can last long.
Memory Card Holder
To ensure that your memory card is safe, get a memory cardholder. Memory card holders can hold micro-SD cards, SD cards, and CF cards. Some holders can protect your card from water, scratches, dirt, and shock.
Sometimes you may require to spend long hours shooting your pictures. To free your hands and ensure the clarity and accuracy of your shots, you should place your camera on a tripod, making it stable. A good tripod should be able to support the weight of your camera as well as provide stability.
Understanding How A Camera Works
A camera regulates the light reaching the film through the use of the exposure triangle. The exposure triangle consists of the aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. It determines the overall brightness or darkness of a photograph. You can read more below:
- The aperture: This is an opening inside the camera’s lens where light passes through. You may change the aperture by adjusting the size of the hole. In photography, the aperture matters a lot in producing professional photos. A small aperture allows less light making the image darker while a large aperture produces a brighter image because of the increased light.
- Shutter speed: It refers to the speed at which the mirror moves, allowing the shutter to open, recording the captured light onto the film (sensor). This speed affects the exposure light and also the intensity of the motion blur. Though the shutter speed and aperture control the amount of light reaching the film, the shutter speed does so by the amount of time the shutter remains open.
- ISO: The ISO controls the sensor that captures the light. You can increase the sensitivity by setting it higher. The ISO is another way to brighten your images apart from using a longer shutter speed or a wider aperture. It’s measured using numbers, higher numbers represent a brighter image, while lower numbers represent a darker image. Increasing the ISO comes with implications. As the ISO increases, it exposes noise or grain in your photo. The ISO can be set to 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, and so on.
Metering modes instruct your camera how it should focus on a scene. Through the metering sensor, the camera measures the brightness of your object and regulates the metering accordingly. Your camera isn’t able to change the exposure of distinct parts of a photo. Thus, it has to identify an exposure that’s good for the entire picture. Once an ideal exposure has been identified, which is a combination of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, the camera captures the image, recording it on the film.
Most DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras are set to a default mode called evaluative/matrix metering. However, if you’re on manual mode or aperture, shutter speed, or ISO priority, you can change from one mode to another by pressing the metering button, then use the command dial to select the mode of your choice.
In this case, strike a balance between the highlights, shadows, and mid-tones. Prior to capturing an image, you have to compare the available modes, the one that’ll work best for the object as well as other factors such as exposure and lighting, the technique you’re using, color, etc.
A histogram gives a graphical review of the exposure or light distribution after an image has been captured. It lets you know whether or not your photo is evenly exposed. As a beginner, you have to learn to use the histogram correctly. This will help you avoid unnecessary shadows, highlights, and keep everything balanced in your photos.
There are several shooting modes that you can use as you learn the basics of photography. These include the full-auto mode, manual mode, shutter speed priority, and aperture priority. The mode that you should use is determined by your situation.
- Aperture priority mode: In this mode, you set a specific aperture value and ISO. The camera then selects a matching shutter speed which produces a proper exposure based on the lights of the area.
- Shutter speed priority: It’s a setting in some cameras that allows you to select a certain shutter speed, then the aperture is set by the camera to give a correct exposure.
- Manual mode: This mode allows you to set the aperture and shutter speed to a value of your choice. Thus, you’re in full control of the exposure.
- Full-auto mode: In this mode, the camera has exclusive control in choosing the aperture, ISO, shutter speed, and flash settings before it shoots the image.
Depth Of Field
Depth of Field (DoF) refers to the distance between the closest and farthest points of the objects on focus. This determines the extent of your scene in focus. There are two types of DoF: ‘shallow’ and ‘deep.’ When you need to capture an object in the foreground, you should minimize your camera focus on the distracting background. In this case, you need to use the shallow DoF. This draws the camera’s focus to your foreground, blurring the background and creating an interesting shot.
If you’re taking your image in a low-light place, you’ll need to increase the size of the aperture to get sufficient light into the lens of the camera. Depth of field (DoF) focuses on your subject with an artistic technical foundation.
White balance removes colors that are unrealistic such that a white object, in reality, will be white in the photo. The white balance has to consider the color temperature of the source of light. Color temperature is the relative coolness or warmth of white light. It also details the light spectrum radiated by a ‘blackbody’ and the surface temperature.
This is a photographic filter that you place in front of the camera lens to reduce atmospheric haze, reflections and intensify the saturation of color in photos. This filter may increase the image’s color saturation by minimizing reflections from surfaces like water, leaves, and glass. It may also help in shooting deep blue skies.
If you’re committed to pursuing a career in photography, there’s a lot of free material available online that you can use to sharpen your photography skills. On the other hand, you may consider taking a photography online course. That’ll make you a sought-after photographer.