Spring is finally upon us and we can finally venture outdoors and start enjoying some sunshine!!! Beautiful flowers and colours start to emerge and thoughts may turn to dusting off the camera and getting some beautiful outdoor photos with the kids!
I did just that at Kew Gardens recently. Even though it was still a little chilly, daffodils were in abundance providing for some great photo opportunities!
As a photographer, I get asked a lot of questions about how to use a DSLR. In this blog, I have covered the most frequently asked questions – hope they help with your spring shoots!
1) Which camera should I buy?
This is a difficult question to answer and depends on a variety of factors including budget and how you are going to use it etc. My main piece of advise would be to get one with where you can change the lens. Prime lenses are fantastic and I would recommend a 35mm f1.8 which are relatively inexpensive.
2) How do I get that beautiful blurry background I see in so many photos?
This is also known as “bokeh” and is achieved which you have a low f stop (lens wide open) and can be executed extremely well with a 35mm f1.8 lens.
3) Why is the subject in my photo blurry?
This could be for a variety of reasons, the main ones being shutter speed and focal point. Ensure that your shutter speed is at least 1/125 (1/250 would be better). Also it could be that your focal point was on something than your intended subject. Ideally you would want it to fall on your subjects eye. Learn how to toggle your focus point or use back button focusing for best results.
4) Why do my pictures look grainy?
Graininess is also know as “noise” and is caused when your ISO is too high. Whilst some of this can be fixed in post processing, some of it will be permanent if your photo isn’t properly exposed. Your capability to raise your ISO without causing graininess will be dependent on your camera. Some cameras are just better at taking pictures with high ISO and low light. However, your main aim should always be to ensure that your photo is properly exposed and you shouldn’t be afraid of raising your ISO.
5) Should I shoot in RAW or JPEG?
There are pros and cons to both. I shoot in RAW because it captures all the details, lights and shadows. They require editing but are easy to modify if you feel for example that the photos are not exposed correctly.
JPEGs typically look better straight out of the camera but are not as easy to edit or change the white balance on if you have made a mistake. They are however much smaller in file size.
I know professional photographers who shoot in JPEG so really the decision is up to you!
I hope that this has helped you understand your camera a little better.