Photo Tip Friday: Understanding your Digital Camera and Photography

by Mary Denman    @MaryDenman

With a new year dawning and lots of new cameras for Christmas, I thought I'd start out with walking you through an assessment of what you want to do with your photography. This will lead to you figuring out what your strengths and weaknesses are. 

There are so many aspects to learn about photograph. Exciting isn't it? Or maybe overwhelming?

Let's try and get rid of the overwhelming part so you can enjoy your camera and capture special moments of your life. 

Even before we get into the technical or artistic parts of photography, I want to think about your experience with it so far.

PART 1: Ask yourself these questions:

Do you just want to take pictures for yourself? Your family?
Do you want to use your photography on your blog or for social media?
Do you want to enjoy your own photographs more?
Do other people ask you to take pictures for them?
Would you like to become a professional?
Would you like to learn more technical tips to help control your camera or the artistic parts?

Once you have a better idea of where you want to go with your photography, then you can start thinking about the areas where you need to learn more. 

PART 2: Now that you've done that, let's talk about different types of photography. See if any of these catch your photographer's eye or your interest: 

  • Portraiture
  • Family Shots
  • Children
  • Weddings
  • Athletic Events
  • Pet Photography
  • Nature
  • Birds
  • Wild Animals
  • Landscapes
  • Flowers
  • Waterfalls
  • Urban
  • Architecture
  • Street Photography
  • Gardens
  • Fashion 
  • Food
  • Travel Photography
  • Black & White

Hopefully, you see some things on the list that spark your interest or are already a passion  of yours.

How can you improve your photography? 

There are so many ways. I'm going to give you another 2 lists to look over. If there's anything in particular you'd like to learn more about, please leave me a comment. I will go through any comments and write posts to help you.

PART 3: Understanding your camera.

DSLR Cameras
Shutter Speed
Manual Control

PART 4: Understanding more of the artistry.


  • Lighting
  • Brokah
  • Bright Light
  • Low Light
  • Rule of Thirds
  • Golden Ratio
  • Leading Lines
  • Perspective
  • Framing
  • Close-Ups
  • Macro
  • Zoom
  • Fish-Eye
  • Positive/Negative Space

Once you've assessed where you are, you can better figure out where you're going. 

And this will help me know best how to help you!

I'm excited to help you with photography tips in 2016. So please go through the list and leave me comments on how I can best serve you.

Let me know what you love about photography and how you'd like to improve! 

Understanding your Digital Camera and Photography (click to tweet)



  1. I'd love a beginners guide to photography. I don;t even have a proper camera (just my iphone) but I would love to understand lighting, composition and focus in more detail. I know I could improve my very poor attempts at photography for my blog but I really don't know where to start!

    1. Kristy, thanks for dropping by! I try to add photography tips specifically for cell phones and have done a few posts specifically for cell phones. I will definitely cover lighting, composition and focus in the future. If you sign up for blog posts by email, you will get the tips each week.

      If you use the search button on the right hand side, you can type in words and see my older posts!

      Thanks for dropping by!

  2. Good job with this, always have such good advice.

    1. Thanks Linda Kay! I hope the tips continue to help you!

  3. Lovely post Mary, I am looking forward to all your tip post as I my husband has just brough me a DSLR:):) I need tips on food photos please, ha!!

    Thanks for sharing at the weekend blog hop

    1. Yay on the camera! What brand is it? I'll be happy to help you with that!

  4. Hi Mary! Thanks so much for stopping by my No Rules Weekend Blog Party and for the kind words. I'm really trying to find my place in this world :) And can you believe Star is going to be 2?!! Time goes too fast.

    1. You can do it Paula! You've been resilient before so you can do it again!

      Have a great weekend!

  5. Awesome! I need to take better photos indoors of my moving little ones. It's tough! :-)

    1. Yes, learning how to get clear shots of little ones is a challenge. I'll be happy to give some tips that will help!

      Thanks for dropping by!

  6. I got a new camera a couple months ago and I took some family shots at Christmas that came out pretty good but I know they can be better. I got a Sony α6000 - probably more camera than I'll ever learn to use. I bought it because it has a view finder. Boy, are they hard to find. I have trouble with glare on the digital screen and got tired of messing with it. I still use the scree a lot but if I'm not sure I can see well, I use the view finder.

    It is a "big" camera - nothing like the Olympus my husband had in the 80s - and I don't carry it with me unless I intend to take pictures. so I still use my phone a lot.

    I'll bring the Sony to Blue Ridge so maybe I'll tag along with you and learn some pointers. :)

    1. Sounds like fun! Let's do it. I'm also going to teach a class at Blue Ridge on improving your photography. :) Can't wait to see you!