It’s been almost a month since I got my Fujifilm X30 and have been shooting a lot of photos since then. I knew the theory well enough to be able to shoot using the non-auto modes (manual or priority settings), however all the theory is not enough when you don’t practice and acknowledge that you are not yet good enough. Thus, here are some of my realizations and learning.
- Good camera doesn’t translate to good photos. I saw a lot of people asking “what is the best camera for this or that?” I, too, asked that kind of question. I wanted to maximize my money, therefore I should get the best camera that my money can afford. In my opinion, there is no best camera, there’s only a camera accepted by many as the better one. Each camera has its own strengths, all the photographer needs to do is to “exploit” that strength to produce the best image that you can get.
- Don’t rely heavily on on-the-spot setting. Being new in photography, I had the impression that you should be able to tweak the exposure triangle on the spot to get the best photo you can. This is true since you have to get the right mix of ISO, Aperture size and Shutter speed. This, however, can be a trial-and-error, brute-force approach and by the time you are done with the settings, the moment is already gone. Stick with the settings that you are comfortable with and start shooting.
- White balance dictates color. Getting the right color, in my opinion, is crucial. For me, it directly correlates the image I produce with the image I saw using my naked eye, letting me know that I “captured the moment”. Although this can be solved by post-processing, I don’t really want to rely on that. I often post SOOC (straight out of camera) images because that’s what I saw when I took the picture, and for me, it looks nice.
- You can’t get the best shot in one go. Being a newbie photographer, this is important so you won’t get frustrated with the images that you produce and quit because you might think that you are not cut out for this kind of hobby. At first, you might need to take 10-20 shots (not immediately within 5 shots!) before you can get the image that you want.
- Know your camera. Before I use any piece of technology, I study the manuals and tweak the settings. My camera is not an exception. I browsed every single item in every menu that I can find and read from the internet if I can’t fully understand what a particular setting means. This way, I am able to know what my camera can and can’t do.
- Shoot often. Take a photo every time you see an interesting imagery, scene or object. Don’t be shy to take pictures. Consider every event an opportunity to take a good photo. Bring your camera everywhere!