Creating Art at Home

Photography Basics

Photography was first invented in the 19th century as a way to capture an accurate snapshot of the world around us.  Since that time, artists have used this evolving technology to capture fleeting moments in time, or to show others unique perspectives.  Learn what equipment and techniques you need to up your photography skills, whether it be for your next Instagram photo, or for a future art exhibition.


What You'll Need

You can get started with the basics of photography using any camera you have (even the one on your phone!), but if you plan to get more serious with your photography you may want some new equipment.

  • Camera.  There are many cameras to choose from, but the two types most often recommended for new photographers today are mirrorless and DSLR cameras.  A camera can be an expensive purchase, so make sure you do your research before choosing.  These reviews from Digital Camera World can help you get started.  If you are interesting in shooting with old school film cameras, these reviews can help you decide what camera best suits your needs.
  • Lens.  The lens you use is just as important as the camera itself.  Understanding how they work and what advantages each lens type has can be a bit confusing for beginners.  Learn what lenses to get started with using this helpful buying guide.
  • Extra Memory Cards or Film.  You don't want to miss the perfect shot because you ran out of storage.
  • Editing Software. This is essential for making sure that your finished digital photos have the look you were trying to achieve.  There are a lot of options out there available at various price points.  PC Magazine has helpful reviews to get you started.
  • Tripod.  Not every photographer uses a tripod, but they can be helpful for providing stability and thereby reducing blur.
  • Cleaning Tools.  Your lens will inevitably get smudged.  Make sure you have the right tools to clean it without scratching your expensive equipment.
  • A Plan.  There are many different types of photography, all with their own quirks and equipment needs.  If you have an idea of type of photos you want to take, it can help you narrow down which of the above equipment you will need.  This article highlights a number of niche photography types and can help you decide what you are drawn to.

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