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As a beginner in photography, there is a very good chance your first camera will be a consumer grade DSLR. If you happen to get a lower-end DSLR, it will probably be offered as a package complete with 1 or 2 kit zoom lenses. While it may seem tempting to get both a camera and inexpensive zoom lenses that cover a wide range of focal lengths as a package deal, it’s not necessarily the best choice. In this article, you will learn why buying a fast 50mm prime lens is a much better option than settling for a slow kit zoom lens.

Buy a 50mm prime lens, not a kit lens
Red X on the 18-55mm slow kit zoom lenses from Canon and Nikon; green check mark on the fast 50mm f/1.8 prime Canon and Nikon lenses.
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Modern digital cameras are complex pieces of equipment with a wide variety of settings you can use to control how images are captured. One of these many settings is called metering, which is used to measure the light reflected off of the subject/s you are shooting. Understanding your camera’s metering modes and when to use each of them is crucial when it comes to properly exposing your images. In this post, you will learn how metering works and why it is important to keep it in mind while shooting.

Metering modes on a DSLR
Modern DSLRs are equipped with the three metering modes seen in this image: Matrix (Nikon) or Evaluative (Canon) Metering; Center-Weighted Metering; and Spot Metering. Canon also has a fourth mode called Partial Metering, which is similar to Spot Metering, but it samples a larger area of the frame.

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There is a wealth of knowledge about every conceivable topic on the internet, including photography. In this post, you will find 10 awesome photography blogs filled with useful photography tips, resources and information for both beginners and more advanced users. From tutorials to gear reviews to helpful techniques and much more, these 10 blogs have all the information you will ever need about photography. The blogs listed below are in no particular order.

Digital Photography School

Digital Photography School screenshot
Digital Photography School is a website founded by Darren Rowse, an Australian blogger who – along with 75 other authors – aims to teach beginners all about photography. He previously owned and operated a digital camera review site, where he received many emails from readers asking for tips on how to use their digital cameras. Because of this, he decided to create Digital Photography School. It is not a formal school, but rather an online learning environment with tons of free information for the beginner to semi-experienced digital camera users. Continue reading ›

White balance is a setting on your camera which is used to control how colors are captured in different types of light. When you correctly set your white balance, you are taking into account the “color temperature” of the light in your scene. Color temperatures range from cool (blue tint) to warm (orange tint). Using the right white balance setting will eliminate unwanted color casts that can ruin your image and make it appear unnatural. In this post, you will learn about white balance, and why it’s important if you want to reproduce colors accurately in your images.

Camera white balance, a visual guide
As you can see from this visual guide I created, changing the white balance setting on your camera greatly affects the appearance of colors in your photographs. I took this photo of an exterior wall under a cloudy sky, so it makes sense that the Cloudy white balance setting most accurately displays the colors as they appeared in real life. These images were taken with a Nikon D610.
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As a photographer, you have to put your work out there – online, in physical spaces or both – in order to get noticed and help create a personal brand. Exposing your work leaves you prone to criticism, and quite possibly rejection. When a person or gallery rejects your work, it doesn’t feel good and may cause you to question the quality of your art. In some cases, this may be a valid concern, but in many cases it probably has more to do with not being a fit for a particular exhibit or project. The bottom line is that one person (or group of people) didn’t appreciate your work, or felt as though it didn’t fit their current physical or online exhibit. It is important that you do not take rejection personally, and that you continue creating art for yourself. As with many things in life, you must be persistent and keep pushing forward to create meaningful work 🙂

Suburban exploration photos that were rejected
10 “suburban exploration” images that I submitted to a popular photography blog, where they were rejected 🙂 Click on the image to see a larger version.

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Camera ISO, ranging from 100 all the way to 25,600 on a Nikon D610 DSLR.
As you can see from the images above, the grain gets progressively worse as the ISO is increased.

Aperture, shutter speed and ISO combine to make up the exposure triangle, which is the foundation of photography. It is crucial that you understand all three of these elements, and how they work together to create an exposure. In basic terms, the ISO setting determines your camera sensor’s level of sensitivity to light. Read on to learn more about ISO, and why it is so important. Continue reading ›

Shutter speed is one of the three elements that make up the exposure triangle, and plays a fundamental role in photography. Through the use of different shutter speeds, you can achieve a number of unique effects. Read on to learn more about shutter speed and why it is important that you pay attention to it while shooting.

Shutter speed displayed on top LCD of a Nikon D610 DSLR
Shutter speed is displayed on the top, in the center of the LCD screen on this Nikon D610 DSLR.

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Apertures on a Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 lens
Aperture stops on my Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 lens.

As a beginner in photography, aperture is one of the first things you will learn. Photography is all about exposing your camera’s digital sensor (or film if you still use it) to the right amount of light. An aperture is simply a hole or opening through which light travels. You can adjust the aperture on your lens, to either let in more light with a large aperture (low f/number) or less light with a small aperture (high f/number). Continue reading ›