A Favorable Suggestion and Several Things to Consider
Taking great photographs generally involves a lot of skill but there are always a few things that we can do to help us get that perfect shot. Even the most famous of photographers follow a few simple guidelines when setting up their shot. So here are my 10 tips for taking better photographs.
1. No More Point & Push.
Regardless of what type of camera you use, we can often get ourselves in the habit of seeing something that seems photo worthy, grabbing the camera and pointing and pushing. I know it may seem a little harsh, when your kids are doing something cute and you want to capture the moment, but to get an image that you can hang on your wall proudly, you need to stop and take your time.Professional photographers will sit and watch the whatever their subject may be for hours because getting that great shot takes patience. Also, they ensure that the settings of their camera are adjusted correctly to the lighting and movement type of the shot. Do the same. If it is a kids birthday, take a minute to get the settings on your camera right before you need to use it so it is ready and waiting for that perfect shot moment. Don't settle for the first great opportunity that you see. Set your camera to your eye and watch your seen wisely for a few moments, take several photos of different compositions.
2. Always check your settings.
Are you guilty of picking up your camera, removing your lens cap and snapping away, only to realize your settings we're wrong? This is a common issue for people who aren't using their camera regularly. No matter what camera you have, the first thing you should always do after pulling it out of it's bag or case is either set your settings to whatever you intent to shoot, or clear your settings and start each new session afresh. Your settings could be anything from selecting between, action, landscape or portrait; or if you have a more advanced camera, choosing your ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture. Your photos will never reach the great heights you hope for if the settings aren't right for what you are trying to achieve.
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3. Rely on your instinct, not your LED screen.
Although it is a great asset to have your camera screen be able to play back the images you just took, use your instinct to know of you have the right shot or not. The screens are small and the color and detail of your picture is almost impossible to see on a 3 inch screen, even to most accurate of eyes. If your camera is of a more professional standard, then things like your histogram will be very useful, however, the color distribution of your photograph will only get you so far, and the best judge of whether you got the shot that you wanted is you.So even if it looks like you might have gotten it, if you aren't convinced yourself, take another one.
4. Learn about Light metering.
If you have quite an advanced camera, and you don't already know about it, then learn about light metering.Understanding and being able to get the correct lighting onto your subject will make the world of difference to your photographs. If light is metered incorrectly, it can make what would have been an excellent photo one that is quickly ejected to the trash can. It will vastly improve the way you images look and have you well on your way to that elusive perfect shot.
5. Find a Mentor.
I don't necessarily mean approach the first professional photographer you see and ask them to mentor you, however if you can, this will definitely improve your photography. What I do mean is, find photographers work that you like and mimic what they do. We often find that our photographs are all of a similar composition and structure. By finding photographs and photographers styles that we like, we can add new ideas to our composition bank which will help give new and interesting ways to arrange your photograph that you may not have considered before.
6. Be Open to Critic.
It can often be really hard to take criticism, but when you take it on constructively, it can be an asset to your photographic skills. Not only open yourself up to listen to what people have to say about your photos, but ask for their opinion and be willing to take on what they say. This will not only help you improve your photography but it might also help you with your people skills.
7.Invest in a Tripod.
It may seem drastic if you aren't a professional, but the one item of equipment that I would recommend to a photographer of any level is a tripod. The different it will make to your photography will be worth the investment. You will find that with the aid of a tripod, your photography won't stop when the sun goes down and it will allow you take photos that aren't blasted with the luminescence of a flash. It will give you time to compose the photo how you want to and let you take the same image with different settings, or different focal lengths. They are a photographers best friend and something that I think everyone should consider adding to their equipment collection.
8. Vary Your Techniques.
Doing things like changing the position you would normally take a shot from can vary the type of shot you are getting as well as improve your skills by trying something different. Things to try might be extreme close-ups, underwater photography, photographing fast moving objects, taking photographs at night or taking photos looking up or down at your subject rather than from head on. Trying new things will challenge the technique that you know and get you thinking about you settings and how best to get it right.
9. Practice, Practice, Practice.
It is all good and well to want to improve your technique, but actually doing it is another thing all together. Make sure that if you start doing any of the items above that you practice them. Doing something once is great, but to perfect it, you need to work at it constantly. The best way to do this it to be conscious of the above items every time you pick up you camera. Remind yourself of things like trying a different angle, drawing from your composition bank, light metering or even that you can always use a tripod. The best way to get better, is to practice.
10. Get yourself a good quality editing program.
The wonders of editing. I understand that some people feel the use of editing takes away from the art of taking the photograph right in the first instance, kind of like it is cheating, I know, because I used to be one of them. I am converted. Once you use an editing program and see the results of a little bit of exposure correction, color saturation or even simply cropping,I promise you will be converted too.I have completed a list of my favorite editing programs in
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Posted in Photograph Post Date 11/28/2016