So you want to be a photographer? Great! The first step to doing this is to learn how to use your camera. A camera is the main tool on a photographer's tool belt, so it is crucial to learn every aspect of it. You will want to shoot yourself ahead of the crowd and become an expert with your tools, not just rely on luck. Here are just a few tips that helped me when I was discovering my love for photography.
This is a lost art form, but read your manual! Heck read it twice. These little books are often left in the box, but the secrets they hold will change your life. Maybe even blow your mind.
When I got my camera, I went all in and switched it over to the little "M" on the dial. I was a little lost at first and my pictures weren't great, but thanks to Youtube, web articles, and trial and error I discovered the joy of manual. I learned exactly what every setting did, how the ISO affected the aperture, and what to do in different lighting situations.
This was the BEST advice I have ever received. I was told by a guy at my camera shop to buy a cheap 50mm f1.8 lens for 100 bucks. He told me to zoom with my feet so that all of my brain power would go towards learning the camera. You also are able to learn how to deal with a large aperature. Once you become comfortable with the camera, upgrade your lens. Buying new lenses becomes an addiction so be careful!
A good way to learn what your camera can do is by experimenting with different techniques. Learn how to take long exposures, play with depth of field, take photographs of the sunset, and look around online for fun things to do with your camera. Each experiment will teach a little bit more about your camera.
You are not going to be a master over night or even in a year. To become an expert with anything in life you must make it your obsession. Practice, practice, practice!
Enjoy this first leg of your journey to becoming a photographer. It is so much fun! Perfect your craft and always keep learning. Happy shooting.