Dis­cover un­used po­ten­tial in your dig­i­tal cam­era and learn to cap­ture images you may never have thought pos­si­ble

Digital Photograper - - Contents -

Are you re­ally us­ing your DSLR or CSC to its fullest po­ten­tial?

We of­ten pur­chase a new cam­era for a spe­cific pur­pose and with a clear idea of how it will ben­e­fit our pho­tog­ra­phy. Whether we are up­grad­ing to a DSLR from a com­pact or bridge cam­era, or mov­ing up to a model with a more pro­fes­sional spec­i­fi­ca­tion, we will un­doubt­edly be ex­cited by those fea­tures that are most ob­vi­ously ded­i­cated to our main pho­to­graphic in­ter­ests. While this might help us make in­formed de­ci­sions about which cam­era model is best suited to our needs, there is a notable down­side. While we are fo­cus­ing on util­is­ing those tools, we of­ten over­look the many other ad­vanced fea­tures found on our DSLR, mean­ing there is po­ten­tial for unique images that we fail to ex­ploit. Suc­ces­sive cam­eras of­ten build on the spec­i­fi­ca­tion of their pre­de­ces­sors, so that lat­est-gen­er­a­tion it­er­a­tions have ex­ten­sive menus and cus­tom func­tions.

This is most of­ten the case in en­thu­si­astlevel cam­eras, which are pitched to ap­peal to pho­tog­ra­phers ex­per­i­ment­ing with nu­mer­ous gen­res, and it is easy for fea­tures to get lost and un­der­used. Aside from the ob­vi­ous neg­a­tive im­pact this has on our port­fo­lio, it also means we are not ef­fi­ciently op­er­at­ing our equip­ment – we have paid for com­po­nents that we may never use.

It is there­fore good prac­tice to re­visit our cam­eras, even af­ter sev­eral years of us­ing it, to dis­cover which as­pects we may have been miss­ing out on. Once you have dis­cov­ered a ‘new’ fea­ture, you can try to work it into your usual work­flow, learn­ing to use it in a novel or un­con­ven­tional way.

The ad­van­tages of know­ing your own cam­era well are wide reach­ing. Firstly, un­der­stand­ing how ev­ery fea­ture works and how th­ese are laid out across the con­trols, i.e. the man­u­fac­turer’s de­sign phi­los­o­phy, will make your shoot­ing ex­pe­ri­ence feel more in­tu­itive. You will then be bet­ter pre­pared for what­ever chal­lenges your shoot raises. Se­condly, dis­cov­er­ing a new tool at your dis­posal is a guar­an­teed way to ig­nite your cre­ative mo­ti­va­tion, en­cour­ag­ing you to try new tech­niques and learn new skills. Read the fol­low­ing guide to find out how to start us­ing your DSLR like never be­fore.

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