Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

02 December 2015

The Best Way To Practice Taking Pictures With Your DSLR

The Best Way To Practice Taking Pictures with Your DSLR

After about 6 months, when I had decided I was getting pretty serious with blogging, I went out and dropped too much money on a brand new Cannon Rebel T3i. I think a lot of bloggers (like yours truly) go out and do this without realizing that they have no idea how to use the camera. I would imagine many people get frustrated with their new camera and it no doubt begins to collect dust, transforming into a very expensive paper weight. 

Since I first made the purchase I've taken several classes, but if we're being honest, I can't say that is the number one thing that helped my photos. It was changing out the kit lens that helped more than anything

Now it's obvious that I'm not a professional photographer, and I'm pretty sure that if I had to teach someone else how to use a camera, I'd fail at doing so. I do know what has helped me the most along the way though, and that was switching to the Cannon 50mm f/1.8 lens. This lens is actually relatively inexpensive compared to every other lens out there, and is a miracle worker for transforming your photos.

The first time I went out and tried to practice my photos with that new lens, it made a world of difference that I couldn't even believe. The beauty of being a blogger is that you can turn your camera practice adventures into their own blog post. This is a major pro for me, seeing as I seem to go through dry spells on what to post about. I've done posts like this in the past with recap trips to the Dallas Farmers Market and the Botanical Gardens.

You're in luck this time of year though, because you don't even have to leave your house to practice with your camera. The best subject you could possibly practice photographing is sitting in your living room right now... your Christmas tree!

Practice focusing in on specific ornaments, and getting that bokeh in the background from the glow of the lights on your tree. Practicing your photography skills by shooting your tree is a great way to get some beautiful practice shots under your belt, and generate a blog post with several instagram worthy photos too!

Last night I busted out my camera while I was waiting for a pot of water to start boiling.

I only shot for about 15 minutes, but I think I got some cute pictures out of it! Heck, it might even be cute to print pictures like these out and hang on the walls during the holiday season. You could make a cute gallery wall in just a day using the pictures you've taken. 

Tonight, while you're waiting for the water to boil, whip out your camera and practice your photography. I'd love it if you'd tag me on instagram, and use the hashtag #HeresMyTree if you decide to practice on that beautiful tree of yours so that we can all see your work!

Because, what's the point of taking photos if you don't show it off to everyone, right?? 

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  1. Good idea! I'm hoping to get said fancy camera for Christmas, so that should give me time to practice on the tree!

  2. You now have me inspired to go home and do this. Hubby being home sick might throw a wrench in that plan but going to try. I have been trying to learn my new camera, and think your right this would help. Wish I knew what the equivilant lens was for a Nikon. I have 3 lens already

  3. You have the same lens as me! Which leads me to ask (and I'm probably a no-reply blogger and don't even realize it :P), have you noticed that your photos are blurry and kind of pixelated on your computer? I'm not even blowing them up 100% and they look so bad.

    It could totally be the fact that I can't hold my hand steady, but even with a tripod, they don't seem very decent.

    Have a great Wednesday!
    Laura | Ginger & Co.

    1. Are you shooting in manual mode? I haven't noticed that, and I even size them way down for publishing on the web. You shouldn't need a tripod either, unless you're shooting in super low light. It sounds like this could be an easy fix if you are in manual mode. Perhaps the light meter is not set? I took A Beautiful Mess's DSLR class and it was fantastic, I'd highly recommend it too!

  4. prefect way to practice your camera skills. BTW you have some cute ornaments

  5. Really cute photos.I'm sure the lens makes a world of difference but what settings do you have the camera on?

  6. Great tips! And I love these pics. :)

  7. I've been wanting the 50mm lens since I got my DSLR! I'm hopingSanta brings it this year ;)

  8. So true! I actually bought the Rebel with kit lens from Costco and after using it for a few weeks, I already wanting another lens, which sort of sealed the deal that I needed to return the Costco one and purchase exactly what I wanted. I actually bought that lens that you have, amazing! I actually prefer prime lens...I'm just a novice like you, but love when I take good looking pictures, not because of me, but because of my lens :)

  9. I definitely don't bust out my camera often enough. And when I do get it out, I frequently forget to actually move the pictures from my memory card to my computer. Fail.

  10. I freaking LOVE your ornaments!!!!! And one question did you shoot with lights on or off? With ABM's course did you feel like you got a lot out of it being just an online class? I want to try it and since you took it already figured you'd be the best person to ask♥

  11. Where did you get your disco ball ornaments at?!?! They're so stinkin cute!!!!

  12. I have to agree about the lens, the 50mm does make getting beautiful photos so much more straightforward for the photography newbie. I'd have to say after the lens, figuring out to shoot in RAW made a huge difference. Having more control over the white balance & exposure after I've already taken the photos is amazing! Your tree is so so cute, I really need to get on that and get mine up!

  13. excuse me, can i just steal all these pics and pass them off as my own? these are INCREDIBLE!

  14. Your tree makes me swoon. Also, I think I could frame your photos for my own Christmas decorations. You killed it.

  15. first off, I love this post. Unfortunately, I didn't even go anywhere near a tree this year. Plus, you know, it's dec 30 when I'm reading this lol


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