15 common photography questions from beginners (and how to solve them)

15 common photography questions from beginners (and how to solve them)

If you’re new to photography, chances are you have a few questions. In this post we aim to remove all the stumbling blocks and common problems photographers face starting out by answering 15 of the photography questions we hear most from beginners.

15 common photography questions from beginners (and how to solve them)

Common Photography Questions From Beginners, 1-2

Common photography questions: do I need to charge my battery?

01 Do I need to charge my camera’s battery?

Yes. A new DSLR will have a battery that’s only partly charged, but to avoid ending up with a dead battery at a key photographic moment, we’d recommended charging it fully before you start to play with your new camera.

Pop it in the charger, the light on the charger will flash when your battery is charging, and will turn solid green when fully charged. It normally takes around two hours to fully charge a completely flat battery.

Common photography questions: batteries

To see how much charge is remaining in your battery, check the little battery icon on your camera’s LCD – it will flash if it’s nearly flat.

We’d recommend buying a spare battery as well – your manufacturer’s official batteries are best, but expensive; Hähnel also does good batteries that are half the price and offer reliable performance too.

 SEE MORE: 44 essential digital camera tips and tricks

Common photography questions: which memory cards do I need?

02 Which memory card do I need?

Different DSLRs use different memory cards – either CompactFlash (CF) or Secure Digital (SD, SDHC or SDXC, depending on capacity). Consumer DSLRs use SD cards; prosumer models use CF cards; while the latest pro cameras take both CF and SD.

As camera megapixels increase, so do image file sizes, which means you’ll need bigger memory cards.

Common photography questions: which memory cards do I need?

We advise using between 8GB and 32GB cards with speeds around 400x or 45MB/s for faster writing (to your card) and downloading speeds (to your computer). The higher capacity and faster the cards, the higher the price.

When you’ve downloaded your shots, we’d always suggest you format each card you put into your camera before shooting again to ‘wipe it clean’ so it’s empty and ready to store new images. This is done easily via your camera’s menu system.

SEE MORE: The 10 rules of photo composition (and why they work)

03 How do I change lenses without damaging my camera?

As you improve and take more chances with your photography you’re probably going to want to take off your standard kit lens that came with your camera and try another optic. Below we show you step-by-step how to change lenses safely.

How to change lenses safely: step 1

Don’t do this in a dusty atmosphere. Ideally, switch lenses indoors or sheltered from the wind to avoid dust or dirt reaching your camera’s sensor.


How to change lenses safely: step 2

Lay your camera on its back on a soft surface, such as a jacket or kit bag, to protect your rear LCD, and so you’ll have both hands free to switch lenses.


How to change lenses safely: step 3

Have your new lens within reach to minimise the amount of time your DSLR’s insides are open to the elements to stop dust getting in.


How to change lenses safely: step 4

Use your left hand to press down on the Lens Release Button, use your right hand to turn your lens in an anti-clockwise direction and pull clear.

 SEE MORE: How to find your lens’ sweet spot

How to change lenses safely: step 5

Put the lens down to one side. Remove the dust cap from the lens mount of the replacement lens and put it on  the lens you’ve just removed.

SEE MORE: 10 things photographers can do to stop wasting pictures

How to change lenses safely: step 6

Depending on what brand your camera is, you’ll next want to line up the dots on the lens and camera. For example, with Canon EF and third-party lenses, line up the red dots on the lens and camera. For EF-S lenses, line up the white squares on the lens and camera.


How to change lenses safely: step 7

Slot the lens in, turn it clockwise until your hear it click. Take the lens cap off your replacement lens and you’re ready to take some pictures!


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  • Joe Edwards

    Still giving rubbish advice about changing lenses. Are you getting kickbacks from dust cleaning service? People please ignore the advice to change the lens with the sensor pointing up. That’s heaven for dust bunnies. How can a supposedly professional magazine get something completely wrong?