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The biggest mistake beginners make is that they start their photography indoors and face a lot of challenges and frustrations.
Simply move out of the house and start your photography in good favourable light. First you need to understand the light, the way it exists in nature. Do not venture out late in the evening as the light levels are too low.
Simply set your camera on Aperture priority and the ISO at 100 or the lowest that your camera has. Shoot in good light as mentioned above. Shoot whatever you feel like but shooting people will help you learn faster.
Do not release the shutter if you do not want to take a particular photograph. What i mean is that do not just keep clicking aimlessly. You need to develop your eye to see and previsualize if a particular scene or situation will turn out to be a good photograph.
Do not delete your shots - One, I would like to know how consistently you are shooting, and secondly as you develop an understanding of aesthetics, there are chances that you may love the photographs you were about to delete today.
Try to get fast. concentrate more on the subject than on your camera. Photography is more about the subject then the technicalities of your camera. Doesn't your subject always tell you that you take too long to shoot ! even if you are facing a technical issue with your camera just keep your subject involved. see, if he or she looks better with a smile or without. standing or sitting etc. etc. while you solve the technical problem. This way your subject also gets to do something instead of waiting for you :-)
Do not shoot from where ever you are. Its better to move back and use a longer focal length of your lens rather than being closer to the person you are photographing and use the shorter focal length.
Most important ! Do not let the shutter speed drop bellow 1/60th of a second. If it does, check if you can open up the aperture. If you have already opened up to the maximum, increase the ISO step by step to the extent that lets you reach 1/60th sec. As lighting conditions get favourable, revert back to the lowest ISO. Its always better to use the lowest possible ISO.
so in nutshell - Good outdoor light - Aperture priority - keep the aperture such that the shutter speed does not drop bellow 60 -shifting to manual mode is not the alternative if shutter speed gets slow - zoom in rather than going closer with wide angle - Focus at what's your subject - Do not leave too much space above the head - concentrate and control the subject rather than paying too much attention to the camera - Also look at the background to avoid distractions rather than just looking at the subject - do not keep your frames too loose or too tight - do not tilt the camera on one side - shoot in soft diffused light unless you understand how the natural light should be falling on the subject.
Munish Khanna is a well experienced creative photographer based in Delhi, India
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