Fundamentals are essential to whatever your hobby or pastime is. If you can learn the basics then you have a foundation for the future. So here are some of my tips to get your started.
1. Get into the habit
A casual observer on the fringes of a pastime never really gets involved and never does anything worthwhile. It is the same with photography. Unless you are regularly shooting images you will never really get into photography. You need to develop a routine for shooting images on a frequent basis. Only then can you implement the things you have learned. So plan time into your day or week to shoot regularly so that you know that you have allocated learning time.
Learn your gear basics
Getting familiar with your tripod, flash, camera and other bits and pieces in your kit will help you form a foundation for learning. In order to learn creativity you need to know where to change your aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Familiarize yourself with the most important settings on your camera and get to know their positions with your eye to the viewfinder. Once you know these dials, buttons and switches then you are ready to start shooting real images.
3. Get in closer
So many inexperienced photographers stand too far away from a potential subject and leave huge expanses of dead or negative space which serves no purpose in the image. Use your feet to get in close and fill the frame with your subject or composition. This is what memories are all about. Images with people who fill the viewfinder. Years from today you will want to remember them and not a dot in a photo. Remember that photos create visual memories.
4. Use the rule of thirds
This is a simple yet effective rule which you need to understand before you can break it. Imagine your screen overlayed with a tic-tac-to or noughts and crosses grid which most of us played as kids. These lines break the screen up into thirdly horizontally and vertically. Where these lines intersect are focal points or places where you can position your subjects. The horizontals are where you place your horizon; never in the middle of an image. Effectively using this rule will dramatically improve your images.
5. Change your angles
Think about it! Most photos you see in albums on screens or in books are shot from in front of the subject at 5 feet or 1.5 meters from the ground. By varying this through changing angles, moving your feet, climbing a tree or lying on your back will dramatically improve your images. Do not be afraid to look stupid when trying to get a really great shot. Experiment and find the shot that works for you. You will not be disappointed.
There are many basic tips I could give you. These are a few that will transform your photography very quickly and get you going on your photographic journey at speed and with more skill. Do not ever be afraid to experiment and try different things. Happy shooting!