10 tips to improve your photography skills

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3. Choosing the right lens

If you use a DSLR camera with interchangeable lenses, you might consider using a different lens for different types of photography.

Most portraits are taken with 35mm, 50mm or 85mm prime lenses. The number of millimeters represents the focal length of the lens — or the distance between the lens and the sensor on the camera.

While prime lenses don’t zoom, they’re used for their high quality since there are less glass and components that need to be inside the lens.

However, you don’t want to bring a 50mm lens to a sporting event. Sports photography usually requires a telephoto lens like a 70-200mm, 300mm or even 400mm. These larger lenses let you capture a closer view of the action.

4. Aperture

Aperture is the size of the opening in a lens that allows light to pass through and is measured in f/stops like f/1.8, f/2.8, f/16, etc. The lower the f/stop, the more light is let into the camera.

Aperture also affects the depth of field in an image. In the photo above, the left image has an aperture of f/2.8 and a silky smooth background to really pull your focus to the spoon and the sesame seeds.

The right photo has an aperture of f/16, and while the background is still a little blurry your attention isn’t immediately drawn to the sesame seeds.

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