Has this happened to you?

As beginners, we buy a brand new camera with all the latest bells and whistles – mega pixels through the roof, first rate lenses and a flash that has more computing power than the space shuttle.

We get home and anxiously rip into the boxes…one look at the manuals – written by someone whose native language is geek – and we quickly give up on any attempt at understanding them!

We finally figure out how to put in all 75 batteries and turn the thing on. Eventually, through trial and error we discovered how to set it on automatic, and it’s been there ever since.

Our first pictures are ok, but nothing special. No one EVER asks us for a copy! What’s worse, that weird little kid down the street keeps getting photos published in the newspapers and magazines! We know – creatively – that there is more out there, but we don’t have any idea of what to do to make our photos better. We’re getting downright sick and tired of sitting in front of the computer all day trying to “fix” our photos in “Photoshop”.

What to do…There are two simple steps that will immediately improve your photography.

1. – Set aside a few hours, dig through the junk drawers until you find your camera manuals – and read them.

With camera in hand, go through the entire manual, page by page until you understand each of the settings and how to get there when you want to.

Yes, you are in for a few mind numbingly boring hours, but the education you get will immediately show up in your photos. Plus, you will save on a lot of the time you spend trying to fix your photos in Photoshop.

Finally, you will be able to start using your camera the way it was made to be used.

2.- A shot notebook will help you learn to master your camera.

There was a time when people learned to fly an airplane by just getting in one, and taking off. That time is nothing more than a fond memory. A modern pilot has a checklist of everything he or she needs to do to get in an airplane and fly safely to their destination.
The same is true of modern cameras and it is particularly true with digital cameras. They are just too darn complex to just pick one up and hope to get stunning photos.

Start keeping a shot notebook and record all the settings for each shot you take. This simple exercise is one that has been done by all the top pros and will quickly teach you the fine points of your camera’s operation. You’ll be stunned at how much you learn by this seemingly innocuous habit. As far as value goes…this tip should be a part of every professional photography tutorial.
By recording the details of each shot, you are in effect creating your own pilot’s “checklist”. In the future, any time you want to duplicate that particular shot, just refer to your notebook.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this simple , 2 step professional photo tutorial and will actually go out and try it- it works!

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