Beginner Cat Photo Skills

DSLR Photography Tips for Beginners

How many of us buy, or are given a DSLR camera and jump around in wild excitement? You have a fabulous camera, look at how many dials and buttons there are. Doesn’t it look amazing, feel great in your hands?

The world of perfect images is ours. Our blogs and social media shares to family and friends will go viral instantly and we will never look back. We will become instant experts taking amazing pictures.

My Canon DSLR EOS 1300D

 Cat eye Closeup

So, you read the manual, and then find books called How to use your Canon DSLR, Perfect Pictures or ‘DSLR camera for Dummies‘.

Then you find out that AUTO mode on a camera is a guarantee your pictures will at least look good. You take a few pictures and tinker around, and some fun images.

Then things seem to stall.

Frustration for DSLR Beginners

You feel that something is missing. What do you do now? You seem to have the DSLR basics but nothing is happening.

You look online and people are recommending zoom lenses, macro lenses, and all sorts of stuff but you just want to get started with your camera and kit lens.

My suggestion? Keep watching videos and playing around with your camera. I know that every absolute DSLR beginner will have a lightbulb moment of revelation when things start falling into place and you take a picture or two. I know that because it happened to me.

TOP TIP: Don’t give up on your DSLR

How did I make my DSLR breakthrough?

My eureka moment came when I was watching a video by photographer and teacher Mark Hemmings who is Photography Pro on YouTube. Here’s how it happened.

His short video ‘6 simple hacks to get you off Auto Mode forever‘ takes basic tips that a beginner can follow and makes them feel so easy that you pick up your camera and try them out. It is inspiring stuff. He discusses the effectiveness of Av mode (without adjusting anything else) which I have tried in these pictures.

Learn to Use Your DSLR in Easy Steps Cheatsheet ISO Guide for New Users
If you are up for a small challenge, why not adjust your ISO a little?

I have also written a DSLR for beginners post which goes into more depth about using your camera and which I hope might inspire you.

You can find the post here

The DSLR Beginner's Eureka Moment

My First Av Mode Close-Up Experiments

I will report on the hack he shows for setting your camera to Av mode (Canon) or A (Nikon) and the way it transforms cat pictures. I am trying it now.

I still have to improve focus and sharpness but for a first try, the plant images are OK. The foliage further back softens nicely and allows the leaf or flower at the front to stand out better.

The DSLR Beginner's Eureka Moment AV setting for Canon

Now, what have YOU done that pleased you this week?

What are you proud of that you want to shout about? Let me know in the comments!

Sparkle the tortie closeup

17 thoughts on “DSLR Photography Tips for Beginners”

  1. I’m with Katherine -I have no eye at all. I love the results others get though – your images in this post are lovely. That close up of the water on the dark lily is hang on the wall worthy!

  2. Those photos are so beautiful. We are hoping to buy a new camera this year. I am proud that I survived my second full week of babysitting the grandbabies. It is so much fun but WOW! you forget how busy a two-year-old and a five-month-old can keep you. My schedule won’t be every day though, my daughter-in-law was in training

  3. Well, we’d furst have to google what DSLR means. All we know is that mommy would like a better camera, but we don’t have the green papers, so we’ll just keep usin’ the one we’ve got. MOL Great fotos. Big hugs

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Raena

  4. We would not have a clue as to what even DSLR even means! Mom might be able to paint, but she really is NOT a good photographer. Thanks for Photoshop! And People like you that can take photos. We have learned almost everything from people like you and Summer’s Human who share their tips and tricks.

  5. Hey, There is an Av mode on my Canon SX40, which is a Point & Shoot from ca2008…Mostly I either have it on auto, program or ‘sport’ mode.
    What does Av mean, and what does it actually do? Those plant/foliage images are wonderful!


    • This might help. Aperture priority is shortened to A or Av (aperture value) which lets us set a specific aperture value. This is called the f-number (which I am still learning about). Your camera selects a shutter speed to match it that will give a proper exposure based on the light.

  6. I’m at a distinct disadvantage in that I just don’t have the eye for photography. I wish I did. Then again, I use it more practically rather than artfully – if that makes sense.

    • Hmm I need to cover this. We need composition but we are not all arty inspired and there’s a balance. A good picture is just that a GOOOD picture wih a purpose!

  7. Lovely pictures, we can see that you have the depth of field set well and brought the water and leaves and blooms into good focus. Quite inspirational.

  8. Well done, Marjorie! Great plant shots. I am glad you’re having such fun learning the amazing things your DSLR can take. I know I love mine, too.


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