If you’re new to photography, getting the hang of shooting with a DSLR camera may seem a little intimidating. With so many features, it can be hard to know where to start, so we’ve put together a list of quick tips for beginners:

1. Pay attention to lighting.

Lighting really makes or breaks your photos. Take the time to research how lighting works in terms of photography. For example, if a photo is too dark, you might want to increase the aperture and ISO.

2. Don’t think you need expensive gear to capture great photos.

While quality gear can definitely help you, it’s not absolutely necessary in order to get a great shot. So, don’t be discouraged if you don’t own a high-end camera.

3. Get acquainted with shutter speed, ISO, and aperture.

These are responsible for capturing light, and unless you want to be shooting in auto mode forever, you’re going to want to develop an understanding of them!

4. Think about what your focus is.

Sometimes you want to focus in one one thing, while blurring the background. Other times, you might want the whole picture in focus. For the former, use a larger aperture. For the latter, use a smaller one.

5. Play with the pre-set modes.

Try out the built-in pre-set modes, like macro and landscape, while you get accustomed to your new camera. They’ll help you get more comfortable using your camera before your fully ready to photograph in manual mode.