2 Aug 2017

Basic DSLR Photography Tips For Beginners

After owning a DSLR for a few years now, I've definitely learnt a fair few photography tips along the way! I actually started getting into DSLR cameras for my blog because I wanted to up my photography game... and owning one really did help benefit that. I know you can take great pictures using your phone or regular camera, but a DSLR really helped me develop my photography skills.

Anyway, I thought I'd share some of my tips and advice on DSLR cameras. I thought these would be helpful perhaps if you are a photography newbie or have recently just bought a DSLR camera and aren't sure where to begin.

Auto Focus / Manual Focus

Your DSLR would have an option on the lens that allows it to be changed from auto focus (AF) to manual focus (MF). As the name suggests, auto focus allows your camera to focus automatically and it decides what to focus on. Whereas with manual focus, you have to adjust the focus yourself and therefore you have more control over it. You'll soon realise having your camera on manual focus can be great for when you are taking photos that aren't time sensitive, like blog photos. Whereas auto focus would be better for quick snaps, like family events etc.


Shutter Speed

The shutter speed on your camera is where you have a number that looks like a fraction - for example 1/200. So basically that means that the photo will be taken at 1/200th of a second. The higher the denominator (the number at the bottom) the faster your photo will be taken. Therefore this gives a really crisp sharp image as the photo is captured within a faster shutter speed. The lower your number, like 1/10, the slower your photo will be taken. This is good if you want to capture movement in your images. Like moving cars and also light trials.



ISO is the level of how much light gets in your image. It determines the exposure within your photo and allows you to control how light or dark your picture is. The higher the number, the higher the ISO and therefore the brighter your photo. I would say that increasing the ISO level will make your photo more grainy.



Aperture is what all bloggers crave in their photos. You know those blurry backgrounds? It's down to the aperture. So this is where it may get a little confusing but let me try to explain it as best as I can. 

Aperture is represented by an f number or f stop. So the lower your f number (i.e.: f/1.8) the more depth of field will be present in your photo. Therefore more blurry background goodness. The higher the f stop (i.e.: f/10) the less depth of field will be in the photo and more of the image will be in focus. This is why smaller f stops are better for product photography and higher f stops are better for if you went to get more in the frame. 



There are sooooo many lenses out there and I honestly can't talk to you about each one. What I can tell you is that lenses are probably more important than the actual camera. Your choice of lens depends on what look you are going for.

A standard kit lens is usually something like a 24-70mm lens. This basically means that you can use it for different types of photography, whether its landscapes or product shots. Whereas a fixed 40mm lens allows for great macro (close up) shots.

Lenses also determine what kind of aperture you are going to get. All lenses come with an f number, and as I mentioned earlier, the smaller the number (i.e.: 2.8) the higher the aperture and therefore there is more depth of field. This works vice versa too.


There are a few bits of advice and tips that will help you get to grips with your DSLR. I hope this helps and guides you into getting more creative with your camera! 

I've recently upgraded from a Canon 1200D to a Canon 5D, which might mean nothing to you, but it's really given me a push to begin getting more creative with my photography and encouraging me to up my photography game!


  1. It can be so daunting to start with, but once you get into it and try and get out of manual mode, it all seems to come together!

    Danielle xx

    1. Definitely! Becomes second nature when you get used to it :) x

  2. As someone that has no idea about dslr cameras, you described everything so well and made it easy to understand. Thank you! xx

    Indie// In Search of the Holy Grail


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