I often get questions from amateur photographers asking how they can learn more about photography and what their camera is capable of without having to pay for an expensive course.
Luckily, there are plenty of online resources to help newbie photographers achieve the photographs they’re after – it’s just about knowing where to look. However, the internet is a vast place, and it can be difficult to filter out the useful tools that will actually help you improve, and just the beginners’ guides that tell you what you already know.
I find the ‘technique’ section on the Amateur Photographer website to have some extremely helpful articles for photographers of all abilities, as well as a forum where you can ask questions and discuss topics with other photographers. I find reading opinions and tips from lots of different points of view to be a lot more helpful than just reading a singular ‘how-to’ guide.
Some photography knowledge is harder to explain in only written format. How to balance aperture, shutter speed and ISO to get the perfect photograph is a perfect example of this.
When I’m shooting a wedding, I’m often shooting in a variety of different light levels, backdrops and weather conditions (to name just a few!), so there isn’t a ‘one style fits all’ answer. It’s often a case of working it out depending on the day’s weather, how close you’re shooting your subjects and the time of day.
So, as a general rule, if you’re shooting in low light you’ll want a large aperture as well as raising the ISO. Whereas, if you’re shooting in bright, natural light, you can afford a narrow aperture and a low ISO. That’s why it’s difficult to master the exposure triangle without getting out there and learning by trial and error, but sometimes you don’t necessarily have room for this – if you’re shooting a rapidly setting sunset or an action shot of your subject for example.
This online, interactive exposure triangle that I found is a great tool for getting to grips with shutter speed, aperture and ISO. It means you can experiment with different settings without even having to take your camera out of its case!
Once you’ve read up on the topic you want to know about, the only thing left to do is get out and start snapping – practice makes perfect after all!