8 things to do with your first photography device

Today I wanted to share with you eight things to do with your first device, or even with your new device if you've just changed it. First of all, the first thing to do is to make some small adjustments, that is to say modify a few options of your device so that it is really well suited to your needs.

What presets to do?

First of all, you have to activate the RAW format. You can add JPEG if you want to have a quick usable file or just plain RAW if you plan to post-process all your images anyway.

Turning off the camera's built-in flash, in any case it does not fire automatically with each shot, that would be a bit of a shame.

If it is possible on your device, it is more and more so, even on somewhat entry-level devices, in any case if it is possible, put a limit on the automatic ISOs of the device, because, more often than not, the maximum possible ISOs on your device are too high.

That is to say that if you set the maximum ISO sensitivity, it will often give an image with too much noise, so it will give a rendering that is going to be a little yucky, quite honestly, and that's fine. little handicap your photos obviously.

So in order to still be able to use the automatic ISOs, the manufacturers have thought of a function which is to be able to limit these automatic ISOs to a maximum.

That is, the device will never exceed this maximum.

If you have this function, set a maximum. You are going to tell me: what value to define  ? Well, you actually have to set the maximum ISOs acceptable to you, so let's say the most rigorous method would be to take, let's say, 15 photos of the same scene, each with a different ISO to see. a little bit at which point you find the noise to be too much, not to mention that if you shoot in RAW, as I recommend you, you will be able to eliminate a lot of noise in post-processing.

A perhaps simpler and a little less rigorous method that I have found is that most of the time, on devices, the maximum acceptable ISO value, at least to my eye, is the maximum ISO value, therefore the maximum on the device, divided by 4.

For example, if the maximum value is ISO 25,600, more often than not the maximum acceptable value that you can realistically use is ISO 6400. And so on, I'll let you do the math.

It works in most situations and you can use it if you don't want to bother more than that.

So limiting the ISO to the maximum, also disable all the functions that only apply to JPEG and not to RAW format. Like, for example, compensation of highlights or compensation of shadows by the device.

In fact, these functions will mislead you a bit because, if you activate them, the camera, when you take a picture with high dynamic range - very high light and very low light, for example -, on the JPEG it will try to catch up with the shadows a little and catch up with the highlights a little. That is, to slightly darken the highlights and slightly lighten the shadows.

Only, when you go to look at your image on the back of the camera, you will see that the exposure is good, that there is no burnt light or blocked shadows, but once you go enter the RAW file into Lightrom or other post-processing software, you will see that it is not.

So it will trick you a little bit when you go to check the histogram on your camera, so you better turn off those functions. They only apply to JPEG anyway and like, if you follow my advice as I imagine it and shoot in RAW and post-process your images, well, that's not going to serve your images. and on the contrary it will mislead you since you will have a histogram which will be distorted. If you turn it off, at least you will have a histogram that will be real and allow you to check the exposure on your device.

Also remember to set the time on your device. It's stupid, but if we forget to adjust it, afterwards, for the photos, we don't know the time or the date on which we took them, and it's annoying because it is data that then are automatically put in the photos and can be used to find the right images.

Also remember to remove the small sound that is made in the focus, if like me, it annoys you. Normally, if he annoys you, you will remove him. It will save you from having that annoying sound and also, perhaps, from annoying others nearby.

And then, in addition, you have a visual confirmation on the device that allows you to confirm that the focus is well done.

And also remember to format the memory card the first time you put it in the device, whether it is from another camera or new, it is better to be sure that the data will be saved well.

Familiarize yourself with the device

Then there is a second thing to do, which is to familiarize yourself with your device.

So, that applies whether it's your first device or a new device.

There are a few things you absolutely need to know how to do: you are bound to find this information in the manual if you cannot instinctively find it on the device.

It is essential to know how to find the semi-automatic or creative modes, the famous PASM modes; often there is a thumbwheel on the device, but not always. In any case, you have to know how to find them.

It is also necessary to know how to modify the ISO sensitivity, the exposure compensation, the modes of measurement of the brightness, which I told you about in a previous video of this series, the exposure lock, possibly, and it is also necessary to know how to change collimator, in any case change the focus, so it depends a bit on the cameras, but on reflex cameras there are collimators, on hybrids or other cameras it will rather be the way in which we are going to place the focus or, simply, the focus mode, if we are going to detect a face, focus on a specific point, etc. So you have to adapt it to your needs, what I recommend is to choose a collimator and change it for each shot if necessary.

And also to know how to locate the focusing mode  ; often there are two main focusing modes, let's say, simple focusing  : you press the shutter button halfway, it focuses on the selected point, at the selected point, and then it is locked as long as you keep your finger pressed.

The second focus mode is continuous focus, where it continues to focus as long as you have your finger pressed halfway on the shutter release button, and it continues to focus. This is good for fast subjects.

You have to know how to change this mode quickly enough to be able to do it in a situation if you have to be a little reactive.

The 6 things to do next

So that's to do whether it's a new device or your first device, and then after, especially if it's your first device, or if you haven't yet made those few small efforts, there is six more things to do with your new device.

It is first of all to learn to hold it well  ; a camera does not stand like that at arm's length to take a picture on the screen from a distance. Hold it in the right hand with the index finger on the shutter release, with the left hand it is supported by the lens, below, or if the lens is too small, simply under the body by putting your hand below, and you wedge up well, you put your arms against you to stabilize yourself, and you shoot with your two feet firmly anchored on the ground to be a little stable, because it is super important for the quality of your photos afterwards.

Also, never use the automatic mode of your camera, you don't need it, you can quite start directly with the aperture priority mode, for example, which is super simple. Or really program mode, P, if you're ever just starting out and aperture-priority mode scares you a little. But you can switch to priority mode very, very quickly.

First learn the basics of exposure, that's in the best of, I put the link to the best of under the video, to be able to learn the aperture, shutter speed, ISO and a little how to use these famous semi-automatic modes which I spoke to you just before. It is really the basis of the basis of the photo, it is really the first thing to do when you have a camera.

Then learn the basic rules of composition as well. So, rather than the rules, we often say the rules of the composition, but we should rather speak of a guide, that is to say that it is something which will guide you well at the start, but which you will end up going out a bit.

But it's still important to start by following these rules, in fact not so much for the rules themselves, but to be careful of the composition. That is to say, to think about it during the shooting. If you are thinking about applying these rules, in fact you are already thinking about composing an image.

So, at the start, it may be in a little closed rules, a little bit of a straitjacket, but it teaches you to think about it and then, you learn to think about it and you will be able to get out of this straitjacket a little. rules and to go there more instinctively when you have taken a little photo of the bottle.

Photograph a lot, also, photograph as much as possible, do not hesitate to do lots of tests. You are going to be wrong, you are going to take bad pictures, it's normal, everyone has done it and everyone still does, it's absolutely normal. So do n't be afraid to make mistakes, shoot over and over and over again, this is only how you will progress.

Like that and by analyzing your photos, by criticizing yourself as I mentioned in a fairly recent video.

And finally, once you've got your teeth into it and, let's say, you've fixed the main issues, exposure issues, etc., you have photos that are technically about right, well, start subjecting your photos to criticism.

It's really super important to have feedback to improve.

There are quite a few things for that, there are Facebook groups, there are forums, there are quite a few things to be subject to criticism, and do not hesitate to criticize the photos of other people, because it will often bring you criticism on your photos, and then it will also sharpen your eye.

Because if you see a flaw in someone else's photo, which is easier because on theirs, we tend not to want to see the flaws, or on the contrary to see them too much if you are too self-critical or too perfectionist, and by criticizing other people's photos, you may see things that you would not have seen in your own photos and which will serve you in your next shots.

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