Just made the decision to order a camera and you are about to unbox it ? Then read this first :
1) A camera is just a tool. Your vision makes the pictures. as I wrote in a previous post, Don McCullin said once : “I use my camera as I use my teethbrush, it gets the job done.” I had the pleasure to use Canon, Nikon, APS-C and full frame,…. and at the end of the day, I could not say after I had printed the pictures which one were shot with which camera. DSLR are all good. When you know how to use it, the difference comes from the lens.
2) Save on the body, not on the lens
3) Read carefully your manual, finally, you have spent a lot of money for an high-tech gear, so learn its possibilities.
4) Practice and criticize : Take your cam with you and shoot, shoot and shoot again. It will train your eye. Then, be critical to your own work. And / or show your best pictures to a guy who will tell you the truth about them. By doing this, you will improve fast.
4) Wait before you go online to show your work since we all overestimate our pictures, especially at the beginning. There is a risk you get the opposite effect you actually expect.
5) Notice your improvment. Looking at my flicker’s gallery, I see a real difference bettween my first upload and the pictures I do now.
6) Be curious and experiment, get tips from youtube.
I recomand Frank Doorhof, Scott Kelby, The grid, B&H webinars, etc…
7) Attend one or two workshops focussed on the kinf of pictures you love. this leads me to point 8.
8) Believe it or not, it takes time make sure what kind of pictures you actually really like to shoot (since at the beginning you love everything), so try everything and go to flickr or 500pix and watch and note the pictures you like and find out what they have in common.
9) Analyze them by writting down how they are (crop cuts the head on the top, 3/4 portraits, negative space, foreground, background, etc…) and then try to put in to practice what you have written.
10) Leave the P mode for the the A-Mode : so you can master the depth of field. I will write more about the A-mode in my next post.
More to come…