DSLR photography for beginners

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Fitness and lifestyle blogger Tess from Fitbits shares her tips for beginners’ photography from Practical Photographer magazine.

Cat photos.

I’ve got hundreds of them – on my phone, on my laptop, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I’m that crazy cat lady friend we all have. If I had my way, I’d just be a cat, but I’ve got rent to pay and have to do that thing called being a human… so I’ll settle for taking a shed load of cat photos instead.

I’ve had my DSLR for a few years now and it’s still very much hit and miss whether I’m able to take a good shot with it. I did a Photography AS Level at college, and did a fair few photography modules at uni too but most of this work was with my manual SLR camera using actual film (remember those?!) being developed in the darkroom.

Since then I’ve done a DSLR learn the basics day course in Brighton but promptly forgot everything I learned as I didn’t practice enough. I want to start taking more professional looking photos for my blog so it’s time to get serious!

One of my magazine subscriptions with magazine.co.uk is for Practical Photography Magazine, and I’ve spent the last few weeks dipping in and out of it, drooling over the kit pages and practicing the photography tips on the cat.


He’s a complete tart and loves having his photo taken – and he hasn’t gone for the camera once yet, which is always a bonus.


This month’s issue has a feature on how to get the correct aperture, and why it makes a difference to the shot. It also covers the rule of thirds, which I remember from university, so was good to refresh my knowledge on how to compose a good image.

Alongside practical tips such as this, the magazine also includes Photoshop tutorials, more in-depth ‘how-to’ guides and special projects to get stuck into, as well as a monthly CD. Alas, my new MacBook Air doesn’t have a CD drive and I can’t be bothered to power up the old laptop, so haven’t tried any of these CDs yet.

I’m very much still a novice and only have one standard lens and no filters, lighting or off-camera flash guns etc… so I’ll be taking a much more casual flick through Practical Photography’s pages to pick up the tips I can use with my limited kit.

So far, practicing on the cat at home I’ve managed to take some alright pictures – it’s amazing what effect depth of field can have on a photo!

Stay tuned for more of my photography attempts as I finally learn to use my camera properly!

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