Undoubtedly you read our Camera Buying Guide and bought an awesome new camera, perhaps one of the best cameras of 2010, and you are ready to get started. Here 10 tips to enjoy your new digital camera:
- Experiment: Since your camera is digital, experimentation is free. Try to take the same photos over and over with different settings, change the mode, move dials, press different buttons and shoot. This will give you a feel of the camera. Delete the whole lot if you want. No need to waste space but try to remember which settings work better. If you bought the camera for an important event, experiment before not during, unless you have already gotten enough good shots.
- Read A Photography Book: Go to a library or bookstore and browse for an easy to read book on the basics of photography. Old books are great because they spend most pages on photography rather than digital techniques. Look for Reader’s Digest Complete Photography Manual for example.
- Read The Camera Manual: Yes, do that after reading the book on photography, otherwise it is hard to remember and understand things without knowing what they are for. Some cameras come with a get started manual that is really thin. In those cases, the real manual detailing everything is usually found as a PDF file on a CD or DVD. If not, check you camera manufacturer’s website.
- Have It With You Often: There is no better way to get used to your camera than using it. Take it with you wherever it is convenient. At home, keep it out and within easy reach. This will let you practice getting real-life shots.
- Prepare Your Computer: Digital photos, particularly from modern high-resolution cameras, take up a lot of space. They are also easy to lose on your own computer if you are not careful! At the very least set up a root folder in a drive with lots of space where all your photos will go. Never store the primary copy of a photo elsewhere, on you desktop or with documents. Photos deserve their own space, which makes it immensely much easier to back them up. Read Digital Photo Backups for more information on how to keep your images safe.
- Take Time Off: Even if you are on vacations already, take time for photography. Getting the best out of a situation takes time and concentration. If you are not alone, it is easy to feel the pressure of staying with the group and not slowing everyone down.
- Start A Photo Project: Maybe you already had something of the sort, like documenting an upcoming vacation, but having a theme can stimulate your creativity. Almost anything can do, road signs are a classic, collectible items, food, etc.
- Share Your Photos Interactively: The most rewarding part of photography is to see the emotion images solicit in people. Connect your camera or computer to a big screen HDTV and have the whole family or friends enjoy a slide-show cinema-style!
- Share Online: For those who cannot make it in person, make an online album while keeping in mind your privacy. Make the album short by taking your best ones and not repeating photos of the same subject.
- Go On a Photo Tour: A photography tours are amazing experiences because the tour is centered around photography and you get to visit photogenic places when the light is best. You get to share your common interest with a small group of like-minded people and have access to a photography instructor to help you out. Learning in a real-life situation like this does wonders for your photography.