So you’ve chosen to follow your shutterbug inclination and purchase a digital SLR. It feels great to have a machine capable of shooting high-quality images at your own disposal, doesn’t it? 

Regardless of whether you’re intending to follow a career in the photography industry or are looking for a new outlet to express yourself, buying your first DSLR is just the beginning of your journey as a photographer. With a high-tech camera in your hands, you’ll probably find yourself feeling overwhelmed with all the buttons and dials. 

Now, before you drop everything and head out to shoot anything and everything that you come across with your fancy new DSLR, it’s best to brush up on the basic knowledge first. 

Every professional photographer started out in the same place as you: new, hungry for more, and excited to explore. But your advantage is that today, you can learn invaluable tips that took them years to learn more easily. 

If you’ve come to learn what you feel like you should know about using your latest investment and starting on a lifelong passion, then you’re in the right place. Without further ado, here are a few essential DSLR photography tips that you should know: 

1. Keep your camera manual

One mistake that most beginners tend to make is that they throw away the box that their camera comes in—including the all-important camera manual that’s in it. The manual that comes with your camera is your guidebook to learning more about the seemingly complicated contraption that sits in your hands. Your camera manual will be your most valuable document, as it stores every bit of information that you should know about your camera. 

2. Don’t be afraid to bring your camera everywhere with you

Newbie photographers tend to be a tad bit too shy to whip their shiny new camera out at the ready to take wonderful photos of anything they find snap-worthy. Our advice? Don’t be this kind of photographer. 

Whether you’re out on a nature trip, a visit to the museum, or a calm walk around town, don’t be afraid to bring your DSLR with you because every moment spent outside is a perfect time to refine your skills. By bringing your camera with you anywhere you go, you’ll learn more about what you want to shoot, how to shoot it properly, and where you can refine your skills.


3. Buy a UV filter for your lens

The lens that your digital SLR camera uses to capture crisp, clear, and high-quality photos is a lot more fragile than you’d imagine it to be— which means that the treated glass it has isn’t exactly scratch-proof. If you’re looking to protect your valuable investment well enough to last you for decades, then it’s best to buy a UV filter for your camera lens so that its most important part is as protected as can be! 

4. Learn about the “big three” settings: ISO, aperture, and shutter speed

No matter how many filters you slap on your photo or how many times you try to crop and colour correct it, it will not be as great as it should be if it was taken with the wrong ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. 

The “big three” settings are your bread and butter for better-looking photos: they allow you to refine and refresh the overall quality of your shots – effectively creating a more amazing-looking photo in the process. Having a keen understanding of what the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed of your camera do and experimenting with what happens when you shift around each one is the first step to mastering your shots. 

Being able to take photos with a DSLR camera is one of the most exciting experiences that one could possibly ever go through – especially at the start of ownership. By keeping these four tips in mind, you can ensure that your first experience with using a digital SLR camera will be as best as it can be! 

If you are looking for a DSLR beginner’s course in the UK, get in touch with us today! We’re happy to help.

Kav Dadfar is a travel photographer and author of almost 400 articles on photography. He has years of experience shooting assignments and his images having been used by some of the biggest brands in the world.

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