The internet provides an absolute wealth of instructional material for beginner photographers looking to improve their photographic knowledge. It isn’t always easy to find the most useful of these resources, however. The internet also, unfortunately, provides a wealth of clutter and static. For that reason, we hope, with this article to cut out the useless static for you and provide a little direct access to just some of the very useful websites out there offering valuable instruction to anyone who might be looking for a beginner’s guide to digital SLR photography.
Right off the bat, and before we get started showing you some of the free options available out there for people with an interest in a beginner’s guide to digital SLR photography, we’d just like to take a moment and recommend a wonderful, online digital SLR training system. Please check out the information available by clicking here. The system offered at that website really can put you on an absolute fast-track to maximizing your photographic chiops if you’re a beginner or intermediate photographer.
But, with that recommendation out of the way, let’s get on the beginner’s guide to digital SLR photography:
Basic Photography Theory and Techniques of Digital SLR Photography
Our own extensive and informative article on the basic rules of photography and composition was designed to supply the beginning photographer with a quick, yet information packed introduction to the very basics of photographic theory that every new photographer must familiarize themselves with. The basic rules of photography and composition article can be viewed here — a valuable component in a complete beginner’s guide to digital SLR photography.
Understanding White Balance in Digital SLR Photography
There’s no doubt about it, white balance is something that practically all beginning photographers struggle to get their head around. The world of digital photography, however, offers incredible advantages and conveniences to photographer that just weren’t available in the days when film photography was the norm. No longer do photographers have to use a collection of cumbersome filters attached to their lenses in order to correct the white balance of different lighting situations. Now, it can all be done in camera, in or post. But, the beginning photographer still needs a working understanding of what white balance is and how it is properly set. Photopixels offers a very helpful guide located at this link.
Understanding white balance is an essential part of a beginner’s guide to digital SLR photography.
Facts About Using High ISO in Digital SLR Photography
When digital SLR cameras first came on to the market, one of the areas in which they still suffered noticeably compare to film cameras was in their abilities with shooting in high ISO settings. The first generation of digital SLR cameras produced images that were quite noisy at ISO settings above 200 ISO, and they were practically unusable at ISO speeds above ISO 800.
In contrast, however, at the time the very first generation of digital SLR cameras hit the market, the technology of the film manufacturing process had advanced to a state where 800 ISO film was produced images practically indistinguishable from ISO 100 film. ISO 1600 film showed noticeable grain but still produced fairly good quality images. In terms of producing quality images at high ISO settings, film was the very clear winner for some time after the first generation of digital SLR cameras were introduced. It’s not that way anymore, however. Recent advances in digital camera sensor manufacturing has brought the current range of digital SLR cameras to a state where they exceed their film counterparts in terms of noise handling.
DPMag offers a very useful article outlining what you, as a beginning photographer, need to know in order to get the utmost out the high-ISO settings available in today’s digital cameras. The article is available here. Another essential part of a beginner’s guide to digital SLR photography.
A Beginner’s Guide to Focal Length — What it is, and How it Affects Your Photographs
Different lenses have different focal lengths. And, depending on what the focal length is of the length you currently happen to be shooting with, coupled with the size of the sensor on your digital SLR camera, your photograph can be effected in different ways — from depth of field, to image distortion, to perspective alteration — all of these things can be effected by focal length. And, a skilled photographer must know exactly how the focal length of the lens they’re using is likely to effect the final appearance of their image.
Thorough instruction on lens focal length and how it effects your images is an absolutely essential component of any beginner’s guide to digital slr photography. DPMAg offers an informative primer on understanding focal length — Focal Length Facts.
What Makes a Digital SLR Camera Work?
When I first began learning photography, a very successful photographer said to me “Probably the best piece of advice I can give you is this: Know your equipment!” He went on to explain how important it was that I was as familiar as I could be with each piece of photographic equipment I was using, because the more familiar I was with it, the familiar I would be with the results it would produce, and what I must do to pull the results that I wanted out of it.
If you’re a beginning photographer, the chances are that you’re not all that familiar with how exactly how your equipment operates. Learning the fundamentals of how your digital SLR camera functions can actually do wonders to improve your photos. If you know what your camera is doing and why its doing it, you’ll have a much better idea of what you have to do to your camera to get it to do what you want it to do.
Tutorial9 has provided a quick but useful primer on the basics of how a figital camera works to produce photographers. Tutorial9’s “Photography Basics” article is viewable at this link. No beginner’s guide to digital SLR photography would be complete with touching on the very basics of a digital camera’s functioning.
Beginner’s Guide to Digital SLR Photography – Lighting
Light is what makes your pictures — photography is nothing but the recording of light. At some point in their development, every beginning photographer must begin thinking in those terms. As a photographer, what you do is capture light and record it onto a visual medium. You can either chase and use the light that is available naturally to you, or you can use electronic lights, or light modifiers to create the light you need in order to get the photo you want.
All photographers start out learning how to use natural light in order to get the most out of their images. But, at some time, very many photographer eventually turn their eyes toward artificial lighting. The world of artificial lighting, however, opens up a whole new box of complexities and skills which need to be learned. It can be truly overwhelming for a beginning photographer.
Photoflex Lighting School offers a wealth of information on basic lighting for beginner photographers.
Beginner’s Guide to Digital SLR Photography – Histograms
You camera’s histogram could very well be the single most important thing to develop a thorough understanding with if you want to take high-quality photographs with consistency. A single glance at your histogram, if you understand what it’s saying to you, can provide you with a wealth of information regarding how your photograph is likely to turn out. Is your image properly exposed? Is there any clipping taking place that will blow out your shadows or highlights? Is the lighting in your image too flat? Too harsh? Your histogram can tell you all of these things — if you speak its language.
Sadly, though, understanding exactly how to effectively read the histogram is something that a lot of beginner photographer just can’t seem to get their head around. Fortunatley, Cambridge in Colour provides a very useful lesson on how to interpret exactly what your camera’s histogram is telling you. Read their aticle: Camera Historgrams – Tones & Contrast.
Beginner’s Guide to Digital SLR Photography – Macro Photography
Everybody seems to be impressed by macro photography — non-photographers and photographers alike. It brings the viewer into an interesting and miniature world they don’t normally get to see, yet is all around them at all time. Practically all beginning photographers eventually pick up an interest in trying their hand at macro photography. A truly complete beginner’s guide to macro photography is sure to include a thorough section on what the beginner photographer needs to know to enter the world of macro photography.
PhotoGearHeads.Com offers a very extensive explanation on the specifics of macro photography equipment that every beginner looking to experiment with macro photography will want to read. And, DIY Photography offers a fun guide entitled The Complete Guide for Photographing Live Insects at Home.