A (relatively) short photography guide
Importance of lenses - For you more experienced photographers reading this first point, this might be old news. But for the casual users out there, thinking of getting a new DSLR, let me tell you the importance of having the right lens when shooting. It is not just about the price and how much zoom it has, it's also about the max aperture, the quality of the glass and how wide you want a shot to be. I speak from experience when I say it's very tempting getting a "zoom" lens that can go from 50-300mm and having to just buy one. But if you want to take everyday photos of things around you, and your main goal isn't too take pictures of birds super far away, that zoom won't really be as important in the end, as the quality and light in your picture. Focus on getting a lens that suits what you are taking pictures of and let that decide which focal length to get. My two personal favorites for portrait and city photos is the 18-55mm lens, mainly cause its been with me since the beginning but also cause it's so versatile. And the other one is a 35mm lens, which lets you be creative and move around.
And remember your lenses will most likely outlive your camera. So as long as you stick to the same brand you can always update the camera body and save money on using the same lenses and should therefore invest more time and money in quality products.
See the light - Before shooting of some photos, look around you, see where the light comes from and try and use it to your advantage. Is there sunshine, do you have a lamp close by, how about the natural lighting close to a window? Do you want shadows or not? And so on. Take a second before hitting that shutter to briefly think about these things and your photo will come out a lot nicer with less work.
Shutter speed - Shutter speed is the time the shutter is held open to emit light when shooting. That time and the lens aperture is what determines how dark or light your image will be. A slow shutter speed like 1/30 will give you a brighter picture, while a high speed provides a darker image. The shorter the shutter speed is, the more seconds the shutter is open to emit light. Which means that you have to keep the camera still to avoid blurring. I sometimes find it really hard to shoot with a slow shutter speed unless I use a tripod to stabilize.
I hope this was to any help for some of you out there, and remember I am no expert here, I’m just trying to explain it in a way that I would have liked to read and learn about photography!