There's a few things to constantly keep coming up whenever I talk to someone new to photography. The questions asked always come back to settings and how to shoot the images that I do. Unfortunately, 90% of the time these people are asking the wrong questions. When first starting out on your photographic journey, start at the very beginning. The following 7 tips might help you towards your goals.
1. Simple Equipment Most beginners believe that the more expensive the equipment, the better. I would recommend that you start simple and explore the type of photography that you actually love taking. Often this will end up being something completely different to what you thought at the beginning. Learn what you like and then find out the type of equipment you will need to make it happen.
2. Unsteady Hands. Tripods are cheap these days. It is definitely worth getting one as your satisfaction with the final result will increase immensely! Couple this with either a remote release or when first starting out just using the timer that is built into your camera.
3. Be Ready If possible, carry your camera everywhere. You never know when that award winning shot will present itself and you want to be ready!
4. Plan Get into the habit of always viewing things from a camera point of view. Keep notes on any interesting areas and subjects that might make a great shot. Take a notepad with you whenever you can. Write down thoughts, ideas and as much information as you can about certain spots so that you can come back armed and ready!
5. Enjoy Yourself The more fun you are having, the more shots you'll be taking. It's really a simple matter of honing your skills and practicing!
6. Play These days even the most basic of point and shoot camera's have a zillion different settings for you to play with. Learn what they all are and how they behave and change the final output. You will amaze yourself. Don't be scared. There's plenty of resources out on the internet to propel you to much better imagery! Learn the basic rules first. Once you're comfortable with these - break them!
7. Shoot, shoot and then Shoot some more! Get into the habit of shooting photo's each and every day, regardless. Practice makes perfect and sometimes even the most mundane of subjects can be spectacular if seen from a different perspective.
Above all, enjoy yourself. It's when you're happy and having fun that the magic happens!~Frank