Thursday, November 19, 2015

Photography Life cycle: Beginer Guide

Recently I have bought a Nokon D7100 DSLR camera. Then started to play with it for some time and started to take photos around the home. Then I realized how interesting it was as I had a passion from childhood for Art which influence for the art of photography. So I would like to go through the steps I have followed from buying a DSLR camera to best practices to take good photos for a beginner. So I'll be covering the following topics in this blog.

  1.  Comparing and buying the appropriate DSLR camera
  2.  Other essential accessories required
  3.  Learning the concepts behind Photography
  4.  Leaning to operate the camera (menu Guide)
  5.  Taking photos depending on the environment conditions
  6.  Editing the photos
  7.  Upload and sharing the photos with the friends and community
  8.  Best Practices of using the camera

1. Comparing and buying the appropriate DSLR camera

i. Camera models

When it come into camera models, we can find Nikon and Cannon as the most used and recognized models available in the market.

There are different classes of Cannon models
  •  XXXXD (4 digits) entry level -- ex: 1000D
  •  XXXD (3 digits) beginner level -- ex: 700D
  •  XXD (2 digits) mid level --- ex: 70D
  •  XD (1 digit) professional level -- ex: 5D

Single digit cameras having full Frame Sensor where as others having a crop sensor

Resealable models available are :
Canon EOS 750D with 18-135 IS STM
Canon EOS 700D with 18-135 IS STM
Canon 60D, 70D

Nikon has two series..
  • D3XXX / D5XXX beginner 
  • D9X / D7XXX advance

Reasonable models are :
Nikon D5300
Nikon D7000, D7200

Anyway I'm not recommending to go ahead with beginner level camera as you may need more features when you get some experience with it.

ii. Camera lenses

WRT to Lenses, there are multiple sizes. 18-55mm, 18-140mm etc... So better to go for 18-140mm as you can take objects which are far away from you. That is you can use it for wide angle to telephoto. 18-55mm is wide angle range and when the range is low, this lens can be use. That is very good for wide angle photos.  Best option to learn photography is to use 18-135mm lens.

So my I have selected 55-135/140mm lens. As a beginner 1 lens option is sufficient so later we can buy more lenses once we get some more experience. Anyway once you become a professional,  you may need more variation of lenses definitely.

In addition to that, please check for vibration reduction lens. When you are buying the lenses check whether it is a 'IS' or 'VR' one.  It is reducing the handshake effects.

Based on my requirements and budget, I have selected Nikon D7100 with 18-140mm-vr Lens

iii. Compare camera models

If you are to compare the camera models, there are enough web sites available.


iv. Places to buy

You can try Amazon or ebay. Or locally there are places like, available with reasonable prices

2. Other essential accessories required

In addition to the camera body and the lens, following accessories are essential to operate and maintain the camera

  •  Camera Bag
  •  SD Card
  •  Dry Box
  •  UV filter

Tripod, Lenee Cleaning set are optional items and you can buy them later as when required.

3. Learning the concepts behind Photography

There are lots of youtube materials available to learn the photography. Basically we are to have a very good understanding about the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. I would like to recommend the following learning materials for you.

4. Leaning to operate the camera (menu Guide)

Operating the camera properly with very good understanding about the menu is a very important aspect. Since I'm having Nikon D7100, I have used the following guide.

Nikon D7100 Tutorial. How to Tutorial Menu Set Up Guide Part 1/2 :

5. Taking photos depending on the environment conditions

If you have gone through the aperture, shutter speed and ISO tutorials, then you have the basic understanding of how to take a photo based on the environmental conditions as well as per your requirement. I herewith share some of the Tips of photography.

  •  To take Group Photos or Landscape --> Use bigger 'F' value. Like 8, 12.
  •  For portraits and you wanted to blur the back ground--> use low 'F' value. Like 5.6
  •  To take the moving items freeze --> use higher shutter speed. Like 1/400
  •  If you are to take silky like look of a water fall --> Use Lower shutter speed. Like 1
  •  Take Sun set --> Use fast shutter speed
  •  If you are taking photos in day time with enough light --> use low ISO. Like 200
  •  Low light situation like concert, Night birthday party --> use high ISO. Like 2400
  •  When you are taking photos of people --> Focus to their eyes
  •  Wild life photography --> Concentrate on FPS(Frame per second) so you will not miss the scene, Also consider tge High shutter speed like 300
  •  If we are to take photos with low shutter speed --> Use tripod as much as you can

Few other very important Photography tips can be found here too:

6. Editing the photos

Once you have taken the photos, better to use editing tool to edit the photos. So you can add some amazing effects to the photos, crop the photos and removed the unwanted areas etc... One of the bet tool I'm using is picasa. You can download the windows client from

Follow this tutorial on how to edit photos using picasa:

7. Upload and sharing the photos with the friends and community

Once you have done with the editing, best thing is to upload and share with the friends. Best place to use if the flicker. ( It is having 1TB free for you and specially designed to share the photos.

In addition to that, you can use, Facebook to share the photos you have taken. But picasaweb is having 15GB of storage with other Google services as its a free service provided by Google. Even Facebook having lots of friends and community, it is not designed to use for professional photo sharing

I would like to share my flicker photos with you :

8. Best Practices of using the camera

  •  Don't delete the unwanted photoes from the camera as it will corrupt the SD card. Once you have fransfered the data to a computer, you can do the deletions as required
  •  Don't move the focusing wheel if you have configured auto focusing
  •  Use a good SD card with high speed and high class
  •  Use a dry box to store the camera to protect from fungust
  •  Use UV filter to protect the lences
  •  Remove the baterries when you are not using the camera as it will improve the life time of the battries
  •  Clean the camera and the lenses at least once a month using the camera cleanng kit
  •  Protect the camera from rain/water

So have a nice time with photography and make it as your hobby. Cheers