New Photographer 101

If you're a new photographer, there are only about 8 gazillion web sites and/or articles devoted to providing you tips & tricks for improving your photography. And with only a little refinement, you can narrow your search down to those genres that most interest you, be it landscape, portrait, wildlife, or choose your fave. 

We stumbled across this article recently on the DigitalCameraWorld Facebook site. And their suggestions are solid ideas that every photographer should learn. 

But we've come up with a few we think are among the very first things every photographer should learn once the new toy has been unboxed. These will sound extraordinarily basic, but ask any experienced photographer and we can all relate embarrassing adventures that came to an early conclusion because we failed to do one of these.....

  • Batteries - If you intend to shoot anything more than the occasional snapshot at family events, it's highly unlikely one battery will be enough. While contemporary digital devices have become much more efficient users of power than were their early counterparts, there's still no worse feeling than being out in the field and having the low battery alert on the camera start flashing at us. Don't let that happen to you. Purchase at least one spare.....at least. Oh...., and when you leave the homestead to head out to your shoot, make sure there's a fresh, fully charged battery in the camera, and the spare(s) fully charged as well. 
  • Memory Cards - They are inexpensive these days. Don't cheap out. Maybe only 2nd to having a battery alert start flashing as a cause of in the field frustration  is running out of memory. As an absolute minimum, we'd recommend having at least 2 16GB cards empty and ready to use when leaving home. And note we did say absolute minimum. More is definitely better. In addition to physical capacity, it's also important to pay attention to 'write speed' when making a purchase. Write speed is the speed with which an image file can be saved on the card once the shutter has fired.  The faster that can happen, the faster your camera will be ready to write the next image to the card. In short, purchase the fastest write cards possible (the higher the number provided on the package, the faster the write speed).
  • And last, but not least.......Take The Lens Cap Off!!! You would be surprised at how often this one gets overlooked.

The above are painted with a very broad brush. Some genres of photography will be more prone to ravenous power and storage space use than others. For example, it's likely a sports or 'action' shooter firing off 'bursts' of images will consume oodles of power and file space compared to an avg day time landscape session. And if you intend to shoot in 'RAW' format, be aware those files are much more space hungry than even a large .JPEG file. It's also worth noting that the more MP in your camera's sensor the larger file sizes will be.

In the end, the first 2 items mentioned are inexpensive compared to the camera and lens purchase you've already shelled out hard earned $$ to obtain. While you don't have to spend big bucks on these, they're not the place to become overly frugal either.

The last item mentioned above may not carry any monetary expense. But 'trust me'...., the disappointment you'll experience if you forget to do it will be worse than running out of power or storage space.

Now it's time to go master things like focal length, the exposure triangle, and focusing technique. Good luck!