If you have handled a reflex before, great, let yourself be caught by the power of the SLR, but if it is your first SLR camera, as the title says, if it is the first time you have one in your hands for more than a minute, please, before letting yourself be tricked by the power of the ring or pass to the dark side of the force (with your permission I change the saga that comes to me better to explain the following), you should read this article. Seriously, I’m going to tell you what you can do to take better advantage of your newly acquired acquisition. Because you can get carried away by the dark side of strength or train like a good Jedi. It’s up to you
Day 1. Read the instruction manual
Oh, yes, how obvious, right? You probably think that I should skip this obvious step … Well, no. For the simple reason that more than 90% of people who hold their first SLR do not read the manual (or at least at the beginning) and put their hands on the fire for it. Is that it is so tempting to get to shoot the pull … total, if there are automatic modes and there are little pictures on the buttons … Meeec! Error! Do you know by chance the number of options and settings that a reflex camera has? Do you have a slight idea of the possibilities it presents?
If you do not read the instruction manual you can shoot a photograph (or many) but you will not get even 15% of its performance. And then you have to ask yourself why you wanted a SLR, if with a compact you were worth it. Or you will be frustrated because you will not achieve the photographs you intended to achieve with your SLR. Yes or yes. Read the manual, with the camera on the side, button by button, option to option. Go through the menu end-to-end with the manual next to it, reading each of the sections. This can take a day or two, or even more, depending on how much time you can spend. But I assure you that if you do not read it whole, you will have thrown away the money. Know your camera to squeeze it to the fullest, to be faster at the time of shooting, not to lose yourself in the menu and lose a photo, so as not to despair at the most unexpected moment.
Day 2. Walk through the different modes, automatic, semi-manual and manual
Your camera has different shooting modes. The automatic ones, like the automatic mode, the portrait mode, the landscape mode, the sport mode, etc., with which you do not have to do anything, the camera does it for you. Then there are the semi-manuals with which you set one parameter and the camera the other; or the manual, in which you choose both the shooting speed and the opening of the diaphragm. Automatic modes are fine for an emergency. But that’s it. If you have an SLR it is to go beyond the automatic mode. Learn about the programmable mode, the opening priority mode, the speed priority mode and the manual mode and when to use it. To do this, read this article with your camera in hand, try them and little by little you will discover which is best suited to your style of photography or which one to use at any time. For now, you just need to know them and at least shoot a few times with each of them to see the differences.
Day 3. Practice with the triangle of light
Triangle of Light When you try semi-manual modes or manual mode, you will see that some pictures come out very dark, others too luminous or burned. To achieve a correct exposure you must learn to master the well-known triangle of light: aperture, speed, ISO. Only when you know how each of these parameters work, how they influence photography and how they relate to each other, will you achieve a correct exposure in manual mode. Read this article about Mario and you will be a magician of light. Do not despair, this is not achieved in a day or two, the theory does, but you will have to practice it many more days and weeks until you manage to master the light in your photographs. If you know this, it will help you not to be discouraged.
Day 4. Play with focus and depth of field
One of the aspects that you most yearned to achieve with your camera, which was to get a part of the photo focused and another part not. This is a very visual and evident effect at a first glance, that is why it is one of the first things that you intend to achieve with your SLR. To do this, put your camera in opening priority mode and open the diaphragm to the maximum, then make the same photograph by closing the diaphragm. You can also do several tests focusing on the foreground and then the background to observe the different effects. Be careful, do not expect miracles with the aim of the kit, they do not usually have too wide an opening, although enough for you to learn to handle this concept.