So you want to learn how to shoot and produce awesome images like the professionals? You can. It is quite easy and doesn't require spending $1,000s of dollars on equipment. It would help just a tad though. To get you started, all you need is a simple dlsr camera, shoot in manual mode, and a creative mind. With just those, you are off to a great start. Let me first say that I am not a professional. Just a guy who picked up a camera back in 2013 and learn to shoot out of manual mode. The key to great looking photos is not to shoot in auto, but manual mode. That and composing your shot.

Shooting in manual or semi-manual mode may sound very difficult at first, but trust me, it isn't hard to learn. There are tons of tutorials and video guides on the Internet you can browse through. In a few days, you will learn what ISO, aperture, and shutter speed are and how they relate to one another. Once you grasp the concept, you can control the lighting and motion within your shots. Thus, produce stunning images your friends will drool over.

Now that you have purchased your equipment and learned how your camera works, go out there and start shooting. However, shoot outside of the box. By that I mean don't shoot like the average Joe where they walk up to a scene and start shooting where ever they stand. Scott Kelby puts it best. 'Work the scene.' Before firing away, take a second and look at your surroundings. Find a composition that stands out. Get low to the ground if you have to. The few extra minutes waiting for the crowds to pass by or the perfect lighting will produce a better shot than if you didn't wait.

Practice makes perfect. The only way to get better at something is to practice often. It is perfectly normal to make mistakes. We all do, even the pros. Once you have a dozen photos saved, I encourage you to create several photo sharing accounts. There are plenty out there. Some are free and some are not. Smugmug Flickr, G+, Instagram just to name a few. In addition to photo sharing, join forum groups. Post your images for critiques. In no time, you will find your style of shooting and produce great looking images like never before. Happy shooting.

For those wondering, here is a list of equipment I use and carry with me all the time. If you do decide to purchase anyone of these items, I would be grateful if you use the links provided. You would be truly helping me out. Some of my work can be view over at Flickr and Smugmug.

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