Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What TODO when you first start learning photography

These are the steps I gone through so far learning about using my Canon A570 IS. This can act as a TODO list for anybody bought a new P&S and wants to start learning.
  1. In general how the exposure parameters control photo (Shutter speed, Aperture, ISO)
  2. What other parameters (Focus, Macro mode, Flash, auto focus methods, IS, metering methods, white balance, focal length or zoom)
  3. A very important skill to learn is half pressing the shutter release button. The both help you to cut down the time between pressing and taking the photo in some situations and also to fool the focusing and metering system by half press and re-framing mechanism.
  4. PIC modes on the camera: These are already programmed modes like (Portrait, Landscapes, sport, night shots, etc) use the manual to know what these modes do to the parameters you learnt in no.1 and 2 and try the camera a lot to test your knowledge.
  5. Check what manual controls you have in PIC modes (mainly they will be flash, ISO, and focusing mode) and try changing them while photographing.
  6. Start trying controlling the exposure parameters you learnt in no.1 yourself. You can do that in creative zone modes (Tv and Av modes) on the camera dial. You can try out simulating each of the PIC modes using the creative zone.
  7. Start trying some photography situations not handled by PIC modes. For example long exposure like photographing a night scene on tripod, or panning a fast moving car.
  8. Try out other parameters you learnt in step 2 in creative zone. This includes shooting macro, choosing some white balance mode other than auto (AWB) when needed, do manual focusing, changing auto focusing parameters like center point focusing or setting off the assist beam, setting flash compensation.
  9. Try out the M mode some times when full control is needed.
  10. Start learning advanced knowlege like calculating exposure value manually (refer to my post about exposure value), and about flash photography.
  11. I think nothing left here except buying a DSLR :D

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