I think the best way you can learn is by playing around with your camera and taking a lot of pictures. I think my pictures have gotten better over the years just because I've taken so many and practiced.
I take pictures using my Nikon D40. I purchased it maybe... 2 1/2 years ago. I love my camera! I've gotten so much use out of it and I definitely think it was worth the $$$ I paid. I believe any of the Nikon or Canon SLR cameras would be good investments. Eric and my sister both use Canon Rebels, and my dad uses a Nikon D3000.
I will probably upgrade eventually, but for now, my Nikon is treating me well. I even bought a new sling bag for it! (I was sick of lugging it around in my purse.)
I use a 60 mm macro lens or a 18-55 mm lens when I shoot pictures of the desserts I've made. The 18-55 mm came with the camera body, and the macro was an investment I made last year.
There are plenty of point and shoot cameras out there that would work just fine... don't feel that you need to run out and buy an expensive DSLR. I've had my Canon Powershot for years and it still takes really good pictures.
The Nikon D40 is an SLR camera - single lens reflex camera. An SLR camera allows you to manually adjust the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.
Shutter speed is how long the camera shutter is open (exposure time).
Aperture is the size of the opening in the lens when a picture is taken. Aperture is measured in “F Stops.” The size of the stop affects depth of field. Smaller stops (larger f numbers) produce a longer depth of field, allowing objects at a wide range of distances to all be in focus at the same time.
The ISO number refers to the sensitivity of the image sensor. The lower the ISO number, the less sensitive the camera is to light. Higher ISOs are better in darker situations, but the pictures will be grainier.
- Don't use the flash unless necessary!
- Use natural light, if possible. I know this is difficult for food bloggers in the winter. I'm lucky I can take pictures of my desserts in the daytime.
- Have a steady hand when you take pictures or use a tripod.
- Invest in a light diffuser/reflector. I use my diffuser when there's too much light coming through my window. (Especially during the summer months.)
- Use two white boards as your background. I set them on a little table by my window, place the food on top, and then take pictures. I think I'm going to start experimenting with wooden backgrounds now, though.
- Use interesting props, backgrounds, dishes, placemats, to make your photos pop.
- Use a photo editing program such as Photoshop, Picnik, Picasa, etc. to edit your pictures.
That's really all the advice I have for you. I have a lot to learn and this post has inspired me to do so. I've read the blog posts about photography from these blogging experts and I've already learned so much! I would recommend reading these links if you're looking to improve your photography.
*Vegan Yum Yum
*The Pioneer Woman
*La Tartine Gourmande
Feel free to leave any advice/tips in the comments section... I know I would love to read them and I'm sure others would as well.
Cupcake post coming soon. I know more about cupcakes than photography.