Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The First 10(Really 11) Part 1

My top ten tips for beginners would be more accurately entitled "Top 10 tips that you often don't hear." Nothing about composition here.  It has often been my thought that there are things that don't often get said or are too obvious that they never get emphasized.  So my very first list was to embark on this list.  Since I am now expanding on these, let me break the list into manageable parts.
Tip 10: Read your camera manual. You won't understand it all, that's ok, but you will be aware of what it can do.  Seems simple right!  But most people have yet to open the manual when they first open the package.  A new camera is so exciting to get and yet, a bit of reading can help you avoid all sorts of goofs and disasters!  Particularly on the entry level cameras that have extensive menus... There is no substitute for knowing the manual... 
Tip 9: Keep the lens clean. Dust on the lens causes fuzzy images. Have a clean micro-fiber cloth with you always!  Next to camera movement (use a tripod as much as you can!), a dirty lens will ruin the sharpness of a lens or the filter. Clean it often.  I use a blower when I can and will then use a microfiber cloth.  This will clean all but the most extreme situations.

Tip 9(a): I wanted to add this to tip 9, but it became to lengthy for Twitter. Micro-fiber cloths are reusable. Wash them. Rinse them in hot water after the wash to remove all the leftover soap. This is really important, the soap you wash them in can smear your lens.  In fact, I don't even wash mine in soap any mere.  I rinse them in the hottest water I can, then soak them in boiling water for about ten minutes.  After that I rinse them out again and let them air dry.
These may seem insignificant, but believe me, you can improve your photography by just keeping your lens clean and knowing how to use your camera.

Next: Tips 8-5

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