Beginning 35mm Photography

"The standard for many remains shooting with a good 35mm camera. Beginning 35mm photography should be part of a photographer's resume."

For many years the standards in photography were set with the 35mm camera. Beginning 35mm photography can offer a place in photography today despite the digital wave.

For beginners it's a chance to learn another type of photography and additional challenges. For beginners here are ten tips for learning to shoot with film.

10 Beginning 35mm Photography Tips

1. Find a camera that you are comfortable with. Basic 35mm photography is much easier with a comfortable camera. Each person's hands and preferences are different. Get a camera that is easy for you to handle for what you want to do. While a bulky camera may work well for some things if you have to hold it for several hours per week it might mean a different choice is needed.

2. What lens is needed? If you are going to be shooting from a distance a longer and more powerful lens is needed. Examples of this would be zooming in on wildlife and the longer or heavier the lens the more stable it needs to be held. For beginning 35mm photography some basic standard lens are sufficient but keep your eye on what you want to do long term when buying equipment.

3. Invest in a good quality tripod. A good tripod holds the camera steady for the long distance shots as well as low light shots. This can allow taking night photos as it doesn't move. Even the steadiest of hands isn't enough to take slow shutter photos. There are tripods that adjust for outdoor use, as well as tripods for indoor use and even table top use for getting small items in a photo light box for example. A good tripod should adjust and yet hold your camera steady.

4. Consider a class. A professional or even an experienced amateur photographer can be invaluable. Observation and feedback is helpful to learning. The best way to learn is shooting photos. There are several good books and online beginning 35mm photography classes but there is no real substitute for someone coaching you in person. Sometimes these classes are less than $20, making them affordable for anyone serious enough to be undertaking photography as a hobby or career.

5. Learn all you can about lighting and exposure. With many cameras the difference in one or two adjustments can make a big difference in lights. Don't ignore the "unseen" lighting in a room as the camera won't. Experiment with position of lights as well as brightness and direct vs indirect lighting.

6. Learn to see the picture before shooting it. Make use of light, color, texture and other elements in the scene to make the photo the most it can be. Look through photography books for examples of photos that do this. Beginning 35mm photography skills include learning to see the total photo including depth and how to make it the best photo possible.

7. As part of the beginning 35mm photography practice try different types of shots. Try children, pets, zoo animals, scenic photos and a wide variety of other photos should be attempted as a means to maximize your photography experience. Try inside and outside shots. Learn the best ways to pose for portraits that bring out the good characteristics while reducing the flaws. This is true whether shooting family portraits or the family pet - get the best shots that you can get!

8. Become familiar with terms such as aperture setting which can alter your photos. This can change the depth of field. The larger numbers such s F11 or F1 actually have a greater depth of field. Shooting close up photos at F4 won't be sharply in focus. The distance between subject and camera matters but do be familiar with basic terms.

9. Learn to properly load film in the camera as well as remove film. Remember that film records light. While digital disks aren't affected by light loading or exposing film to light can mean ruining shots taken or planned. This is an important consideration and difference between film and digital cameras.

10. Action shots as well as changing shutter speeds can be a little different with film cameras than digital ones, but the challenge waits in getting these shots done. Action shots can be of people or animals or even cars or bikes. The important aspect is practicing to capture that movement in an instant.

When beginning 35mm photography shooting be open to the possibilities around you. Get good quality equipment and take good care of it. Learn to operate it to the maximum ability it can be used. The results are worth it!


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