How To

How To: (Book) Photography Basics

While my instagram account is definitely a work in progress (I simply don’t have the time to dedicate as much effort as I want to), I like to think I can talk about photography and the basics in a fairly simple way. Here’s my photography basics guide, for whatever projects you’re hoping to tackle. Previous How To posts are available here.

How To: Photography Basics

1) First off, you’re going to need some form of camera.

  • This doesn’t need to be something super expensive. However, if you want to get the best shots with the available resources, it helps if you have an entry level DSLR.
  • I stress, a DSLR is not the only way to take better pictures: but we’ll get onto the most important aspect later. These days, even a good to decent iPhone will take pictures of a good enough quality if you’re just getting started.
  • Having said that, something allowing you to control the shutter speed and aperture is the way to go for better pictures.

2) You’re also going to need to think about good lighting.

  • Too often, people forget about this.
  • Yellow light – the kind from most house lights, such as those you plug into the electric and the main switch lights. Ideally you want natural light, white is white and won’t distort the colours (although this can be achieved with studio lighting if you have access to it).

3) Using a DSLR will allow you to control shutter speed, aperture, white balance, contrast and many other aspects of photography.

  • Without a tripod… a slower shutter speed will mean blurred images. However, the lower the shutter speed, the greater aperture size you can achieve without the image being under or over exposed.
  • A tripod doesn’t necessarily need to be a piece of equipment – it could be a stack of books or a pillow. However, this risks the camera falling onto the floor
  • If you find yourself needing an actual tripod, I’d suggest looking at second hand shops, or asking for one as a gift. You don’t need to spend vast amounts of money on an additional piece of equipment!

4) A short depth of field creates a clean, interesting background. 

  • You’ve probably seen the Youtube book community use a short depth of field for their background setups.
  • For example, using coloured Christmas lights or bright white fairy lights. Similarly, using a short depth of field with the subject in front of a book shelf will produce an aesthetically pleasing effect when other factors are taken into consideration.

Do you guys have much experience with photography? Do you think I missed anything? Would you like to know more about my photography? Let me know in the comments!

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8 thoughts on “How To: (Book) Photography Basics”

  1. I love these tips but I just don’t have time to do pics like this. I wish I did. For me it’s mainly just taking a snap of the newest book or the latest library haul. Or other stuff in my life. But if I ever was able to have time for hobbies besides blogging and reading (I don’t know how people have time to blog, read, take pics, AND make a living!), I would def try to use your sound advice to make my pics great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get that, too. While I have the technical know how I rarely have the time between college, running the blog and also getting a qualification in photography – there just aren’t enough hours in the day for me to run good photography of books and related things on top of that regularly.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for this :) If I ever decide to give Instagram a more serious go (and if I get a decent camera), I’ll have to come back to this post! I’m not sure what aperture, shutter speed and those things mean when taking photos though. I’m so clueless when it comes to photography.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this post!! I would add that if you don’t have access to actual studio lighting, that they make LED lights in bright white/daylight that don’t have that yellow tinge you’d get from other types of house lights. They’re not super expensive & they last forever. You can put them in a lamp & it could help! I use them myself all over our apartment cause I always found soft white lights to be too dim & yellow for my eyes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good point! I actually used a bright LED torch for my pictures of Gemina a while back, with the other lights in the room turned off. While photography was get ridiculously expensive it’s all about finding shortcuts to make the most out of what you have, I think. I’m glad the post helped, haha!

      Liked by 1 person

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