Making Progress

Anyone can be a photographer. All it takes is time and effort. I started taking pictures in early middle school and I have come a long way since then. I started out using an IPod then using a regular camera that does not have a detachable lens. Now I have a Dslr camera with various lenses I can use to do different techniques. Here are some things I have learned over the years I have been taking pictures.

“Great photography is about depth of feeling not depth of field.”

Peter Adams
  • Take pictures of things you enjoy.
    • If you don’t enjoy what you’re taking pictures of, they most likely will not turn out or will not turn out how you would like them to look.
    • I like taking pictures of fast action, up close images, and portraits like these below.

Now, these are some of my photos from this past year.

This past year I have learned a lot about the settings on my camera and how to use them correctly. I learned how to get the blurred background that I wanted with portraits and I learned how to get better color quality for my sports photos. These pictures below are from a few years ago before I learned these techniques.

This next picture I took more recently and it shows how the colors and contrast have improved greatly from the softball picture above.

Overall, photography takes time. You will not be a master right from the start. There are many techniques and terms to learn to be able to take great photos. If you have patience and the want to create great photos then you will.


“I Don’t Know What to Take Pictures Of”

Taking pictures can be stressful, especially when you don’t know what to take pictures of. All you have to do is find things that you like or think look good, and just start taking pictures. You can take pictures of anything (within reason) and have it turn out awesome. Just start experimenting to find subjects you like to photograph. There are different techniques that you could enjoy more than others and that could help you narrow down subjects to photograph. For example, portraits require a good use of aperture and patience. Fast action photos require a high shutter speed and quick reflexes. These are the two subjects I like to photograph the most. I like photos with a good use of aperture and I also like fast action.

This first photo was a good use of aperture because the background around my subject is blurred and she is in focus. The second picture is fast action because you have to try and freeze the movement while it’s happening.

This photo is like a portrait and fast action mixed together in one picture. I often take pictures of my dogs as “portraits” I guess you could call it. They sometimes move really fast so I get action photos with a blurred background. There are so many different things you can take pictures of from animals, people, rocks, water, etc.. All you have to do is find something you love or something that inspires you and put your camera to work.

All About Aperture

You may ask, what is aperture? Aperture is something I love to play with when taking pictures. Aperture is what controls how much light is let into the lens. It is represented with f stops such as f/1.8, f/4.5, and f/13. This simply means the lower your f stop, the larger the opening in your lens. This allows for a more blurred background like the photo below.

Aperture also controls something called the bokeh effect. What is bokeh? Bokeh mixes aperture and unfocused images. The work “bokeh” is Japanese for “blur”. This works the best with Christmas lights or any lights in general. Bokeh is something that is hard to master because if you let in too much light, it doesn’t work, but if you don’t let in enough light, you cannot see your subject. One bokeh photo I took is this of a book with some Christmas lights behind.

I never really understood aperture until I joined photography club my junior year. I used to use the default setting for aperture and let the camera control it. Now I have learned how to control it myself with the manual setting. I have learned that when I have a lower f stop my photos are brighter and higher quality. Lower f stops are great for close up photos, bokeh, and portraits. If you are taking pictures of a group of people or a landscape, you want to have a higher f stop so everything you are trying to capture is in focus. The first photo had a lower f stop for a blurred background. The second had a higher f stop so there is more surface area in focus.

Overall, aperture is a great tool to explore. It helps add character to your pictures. You can really tell a story with aperture by putting enhancing focus on one subject. I highly recommend looking more into aperture if you are interested in getting into photography.

Starting Up

So, you’ve found out you suddenly like taking pictures. Where do you start? Photography is something wonderful that I think everyone should be able to do. Photography allows you to capture raw emotions that you can remember forever. A single picture can tell a thousand stories. If you put enough emotion and heart into this passion, you will be able to create beautiful photos that have meaning. Here are some photography basics that every beginning photographer should know.

  • Learning how to hold the camera properly.
    • Two hands; one on base and one on lens. Make sure you have a good grip on your camera because they are not cheap!
  • Understand the exposure triangle. This picture describes the different actions you should take while adjusting your manual settings. If you move one setting, you have to move them all to have a balanced view.
  • Shoot in manual for the most control over your photos.
    • Manual allows you to control every aspect of your photos from the light, blur, and quality.
  • Rule of thirds!!
  • Words to know
    • ISO – Controls the camera’s sensitivity to light. The higher ISO you have, the poorer quality your photo will be.
    • Aperture – Controls how much light is let into your lens/depth of field. A low aperture will allow for better portraits with blurred backgrounds and a higher aperture is better for landscape and group photos.
    • Shutter speed – Controls how long the shutter stays open while taking a picture. The faster the shutter speed, the more you are able to freeze movement.

These are just some basics to get you started taking pictures. There are many other procedures and tricks you can use to get different effects on your photos. We’ll get to those later 🙂