10 Most Common Photography Questions for Beginners (and their answers)

So you’ve got your camera sorted and you’ve decided you want to get into photography. Great! But you’re overwhelmed with all the jargon and complex concepts that surround learning photography. It’s ok I had hundreds of questions when I first started too. Search through the list of photography questions for beginners below and click the link to find the answer.

Where can I find good resources for a beginning photographer?

I truly believe that it doesn’t matter how good a photographer you are, that learning photography is always an on going process. I’ve personally used each of the following and loved all of them.

Kelby One  – A brilliant point of reference if you love to learn from watching demonstrations.

Digital Photography School – Some great tips and tricks here for you to read.

Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography Boxed Set, Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5“>Scott Kelby’s Book’s – Scott loves to tell it to you plainly, it’s like his there giving you suggestions.

Right here – I have lots of tutorials, tips and courses for you to try.

What camera and lens should I start out with?

The one you have. I know that might not be what you wanted to hear, but I believe that you should learn everything you can about what you have before you move on. Don’t get me wrong if you want to learn to shoot in manual mode then you’re going to need that feature within your camera. After that, it’s more about what you can afford. Don’t jump to a Nikon D850 or a Canon 5D but don’t limit yourself either. You’ll need to work out what you want to photograph. I’d personally start with Canon EOS 1300D or Canon 250D, which you can pick up for around £300

Portraits – 50mm f/1.8.

What are all these different lenses for and do I need them?

On your phone or a DSLR you can change the lens you use. But before you go out and buy a whole bunch of lenses. Here a brief outline of the different types.

Wide angle (24-35mm) have a short focal length allowing for wider angel of view to capture more scenery, typically used for architecture and landscapes.

Fisheye (8-24mm) is the next level up from a wide angle allowing a 180’ view, typically used for panoramas and skyscapes.

Telephoto 85-300+ have a long focal length allowing for a higher level of magnification,  typically used for wildlife, sports and natural portraits.

Prime is one with a fixed focal length, these tend to have a better optical quality lens and can normally perform better in low light scenarios.

Macro allows for extreme close up photography, such as insects, animals, flowers and a unique perspective of everyday life.

Do I need a tripod?

Yes, sorry but there’s no way round this one. If you want to take lovely photos then you’re going to need a tripod for a good chunk of them. There are plenty of of smaller ones that work great even with your iPhone. Try…

Should I be shooting in RAW or JPEG?

The better question is do you want to do your own editing and how much space to you have. If space isn’t an issue and you want to do you own editing. Then, it’s definitely RAW. Personally, I always shoot in RAW, even on my phone because I like to have control over the final image. JPEG’s are the computers interpretation of what the photo should look like. The tiny smart computer makes those decisions for you and then shrinks the image size. You can still do small edits but you are limited on what you can do. So if you don’t want to edit or are limited on your space then JPEG will help you.

How do I get a those blurred backgrounds?

You have two options, use a wider lens (smaller aperture f number) or create more space between your subject and your background. The bigger the distance the more blurry you can get. Check out my: tutorial here

Why do my photos have a strange colour tint?

Chances are you white balance if off. If it’s more blue or cooler then you need to add more warmth (orange/yellow/red). If it’s too yellow then you need to add more cooler tones to it. Why does this happen? It’s to do with how light works. Tungsten light in particular makes things look bluer, while home lights have a yellow tinge to them.

 I want my subject’s eye to pop and sparkle! How can I get this?

The reason why some eye pop and sparkle is do with catchlights. Which just means that there is a light reflecting in the eye. All you need to do is make sure that your subject is facing a light and that you manually focus on the eyes.

Do you really have to edit all your photos?

Yes, I know many people say that great art should be Straight out of camera, but all professional photographers do some editing even if it’s just some minor tweaks.

 What gear do I need to achieve great photos?

Well, you’ll need a camera, but apart from that the only other piece of gear I’d recommend to start with is a tripod. Start there, and learn as much as you can.

What Is Digital Zoom vs Optical Zoom?

Digital Zoom is the cameras ability to crop and enlarge the image, where as optical zoom is the cameras ability for lens’ optical magnification. This is why optical zooms are always better quality. So if you only have a digital zoom and you want a clean, crisp image, how do you resolve this? Simply the best zoom you have in this case is your feet. Simply get closer to the subject.

When should I use my camera flash?

Never! The flash on your camera should never really be used. It’s almost impossible to get a flattering and gorgeous photo from an on camera direct flash.
If you’re interested in learning more about flash photography, and how to use an off camera flash, click here.

I’m always available over on Instagram if you have any photography questions that aren’t covered here, whether they are photography questions for beginners or more advanced questions.

Photography questions for beginners and the answers

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