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How to get into photography: The basics

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Photography is a really interesting and exciting hobby but it’s also something that you can transform into an actual job if that’s your thing. You don’t even need to spend thousands of pounds on fancy equipment to get started; it could even be as simple as picking up your iPhone.

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It can seem pretty scary getting started – all those lenses and all those huge cameras – so here are the eight vital tips on getting started in photography the right way.

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Start practising: Good photographs come with time. Use your mobile phone’s camera at every opportunity you get. Going to a party? Take some pics. Going to a gig? Snap away! Any opportunity, be ready with a camera.

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Keep your chosen camera with you at all times: Keep it in your bag or somewhere close by. You never know when you’re going to get that perfect shot.

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Put your money away: Do not, we repeat, do NOT go out and buy the most expensive camera you see straight away. Start with your phone and if you or your friends or family have a point-and-shoot style digital camera that you can borrow, move up to that.

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Consider investing in a tripod: This is great for still shots and means you won’t end up with blurry mistakes. You can usually pick up a decent tripod online for less than £20 (we recommend exploring Amazon).

Make a list: It’s all well and good going around snapping everything in sight but it’s also a good idea to have a list of shots you’d ideally like to get. Are you looking to grab that million dollar shot of London from the top of Primrose Hill? Maybe you want to catch some wildlife at the farm? Keep your notes close by.

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Don’t be afraid to experiment: Sticking to the rules is for squares. Play with your camera’s settings and don’t just stick with the basic settings. This will help you when you get your next camera too, as you’ll already be clued up on how to get the right shot straight out of the box.

Make use of the internet: Have a look around sites like Unsplash, 500px or Flickr (which even offers up to 1TB of storage for free) for inspiration and ideas on how to go the extra mile.

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Find an editing suite you’re comfortable with: Here’s where things can get a little tricky. Top editing software like Photoshop don’t come for free – and they aren’t cheap either. Sad face. But you’re in luck, because there’s plenty of cheaper or even free alternatives that do exactly what Photoshop does. We’re a lover of paint.net and GIMP, which is a little bit old school but does the job just as well. Photoshop Express is great for mobile editing/retouches on your phone and it’s totally free.

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And there you have it, you should be good to go now! Once you get started, show us some of your examples @maximumpop

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