Good for you! You might be overwhelmed by the scope of the topic, and wonder where to begin. Listed below are some sensible tips that will help you see a rapid improvement in the quality of your shots.
Apply digital techniques in order to make pictures that look like watercolors, oil paintings, graphic pencil sketches, etc. Many companies have software which is used for digitally altering photographs, but generally speaking, Adobe Photoshop is known to be the best in the industry. It is easy to convert pictures to nice art pieces by choosing the “filter” button, picking your favorite medium, then clicking selection.
Decide what is going to be in your picture. Great pictures are like tiny windows highlighting specific things about your subject. Don’t attempt to include too much. If you want to give a more general impression of something, take a series of pictures, rather than a single photograph with no real focus or details.
The camera settings should be kept simple. Become familiar with one of the settings, like shutter speed or aperture, before you tackle the others. By learning one setting at a time, you will be able to capture your subject.
When deciding which of your pictures to show or put on display, choose the absolute best shots you have. Don’t show every picture you’ve ever shot, and don’t show too many photos with the same theme or subject. Your audience does not get as much out of each picture, and can become quickly bored from seeing the same photo subject matter over and over. Look for ways to highlight different facets of your photographs as you inject each image with a fresh take.
Use different colors, features, and angles with your camera. A good picture isn’t all about the subject, it’s also about the artistic way it is portrayed. Great photographs can be made by taking a picture of something that isn’t usually interesting and making it interesting. Play around to gain experience and build a style of your own.
Protect your camera equipment while traveling. Packing it in a carry on may be your best option. Take all different kinds of lenses, and make sure you take cleaning accessories and enough batteries. Only take as much as you think you will need, and carefully consider the convenience level to transport these things for your trip.
If you want to take great pictures, you have to take a lot of them; buying a big memory card will allow you to hold the many pictures you need to take. A 16 gigabyte memory card will store all of your photos without the necessity of changing memory cards during a photo shoot. A spacious memory card will also enable you to shoot in RAW, presenting more opportunities for editing in the post production phase.
Take pictures of small details while traveling. While you might normally skip over these types of shots, you should consider whether or not you’d enjoy seeing it again when you are revisiting the photographs from your trip. Take a picture of the bus you took or the hotel lobby. Take pictures of the outside of a theater or your goofy doorman.
Detail some notes on your camera settings when you are taking photos. Just looking at all those pictures you took could be hard to recall your feelings about them or where they were even taken. Bring a notebook with you and write down a description of every photograph you take with the corresponding number.
Keep a notepad to record your shots. As your collection grows, it will become more and more difficult to remember the details, such as where and when you took a particular shot. Use a notepad to jot down a few notes about the pictures you take.
When working in low lighting conditions, many digital cameras have a built in flash feature that pops up automatically. This flash is great for quick shots, but more professional photographs should use an external component for flash and lighting. Look at your camera and determine whether or not it features a “hot shoe” near the top; this is where the external flash unit attaches to the camera. If your camera can accommodate the external flash, bring it with you to the camera store to find the right model.
Pre-focus your camera and move to where your subject isn’t dead center in the frame. Having the subject centered in-frame is quite common; such photos are at a disadvantage when it comes to being memorable. Shooting a photo that is not exactly centered on the subject may produce more interesting results for your viewers.
Be sure to find a subject who is interesting and compelling. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are, or how great your equipment is, you need a great subject to photograph. Choose something which inspires you or a model to pose for you.
If you are attracted to the old-fashioned feel and look of the photos taken by film-based cameras, you can buy a film-camera at a discount price through a second-hand store and give it a try. You can create a dramatic look by choosing monochromatic film. Ideally, your film should be rated at least 200 ISO, which is sufficient for most circumstances. After getting the film developed, consider having prints made onto a variety of papers, including fiber-based papers.
If you don’t know a model, try to make them feel as comfortable with you as possible. Many people view having their pictures taken as something that could be threatening. Help your model to relax by keeping a friendly atmosphere, and the mood upbeat. Also, seek their permission before you start taking their picture. The simple act of conversation can change the perception of the camera from an invasion of privacy to an expression of art.
Fluorescent lighting requires a lower white balance for indoor photos. If you want to take pictures under fluorescent lights, compensate for it by pushing the tone of your picture toward the red side of the color scale, since this type of lighting gives a slight blue or green hue to the picture.
Look around for good subjects for your photos, any time you are on the road. If you need some inspiration, check out the postcard racks. The postcards will show images of places and subjects that people would like to see and would be a welcome addition to your portfolio.
Read your camera’s instruction manual. Manuals are often thick and bulky. It’s all too easy to throw them out or put them in a drawer. If the manual is going to get tossed or buried, it should at least be read first. You will avoid simple errors and improve your skill.
Most often, your subject looks directly into the camera lens. Ask subjects to focus on something other than the camera. This will create a unique look. Or, you could have your subject focus their gaze on something or someone else in the frame.
When taking a picture of a group of people, let them know what they should wear before the shot. They do not have to match, but the photos will look better if the colors that are worn complement each other. If it’s a natural environment, let them know to wear warm colors or a more neutral shade of clothing. If your subject wants to wear a bright color, try pairing them with something neutral so it does not clash.
Try framing all of your shots. You can utilize the environment around your subject to frame your snapshot in a unique and mood-evoking manner. Try looking at surrounding objects, such as trees or hills, to create a “natural frame” for your subject. This can be a wonderful way to compose your shots.
While it may be tempting to lower the settings on your camera in order to store the most possible photos, understand that you are sacrificing image quality in return. Lower settings should only be used when you are one hundred percent confident that the images you are capturing will never see printing on paper.
Using the manual white balance on a camera can be very beneficial for your photography. This allows you to have greater control over your pictures by altering the overall mood and tone. You may have to experiment a bit when you’re first learning how to manually adjust the white balance, but you’ll soon see how inventive and resourceful you can be with your photography when using this technique.
Understand how sharpness is distributed across your camera’s image sensor. The image will appear sharper when you look through the center of the lens. The image then becomes progressively more blurry closer to the edges.
When you are ready to take a photo, you should first figure out if you need/want to expose the shadows or highlight of your subject. On the other hand, if you take two pictures, using different conditions, you can use software to blend the two together into one image of perfection.
Use shutter speeds creatively. While most recreational photographers rely on a faster shutter speed to snap action shots, a slower speed offers a variety of different effects. For example, suppose you are preparing to photograph a bicyclist in motion. Your resulting shot will capture the bicyclist in pretty sharp detail, while the background will be blurred horizontally, indicating speed.
Create a silhouette. Of course the classic silhouette uses the sunset as a backdrop; however, there are other ways to get the same effect. To create a silhouette, you just need to ensure that your background is much brighter than your subject. To shoot the perfect silhouette, position your subject by a window full of natural light; you can also use an off camera flash behind the subject. Be sure, however, that the resulting outline gives a flattering depiction of the subject.
When shooting photographs in the wilderness or other natural environment, give your surroundings some extra consideration. Do not litter or otherwise disturb the environment you are capturing, and truly respect the beauty you have found. If you discover a clean, lovely area that allows you to take very nice photos, try to leave it the way it was so that other photographers can enjoy it as much as you did.
Red eye is a minor detail but it can really ruin an otherwise noteworthy picture. Avoid your flash to prevent this, though if you must use the flash, do not have the subject look directly at the camera. Many cameras have a special setting that prevents red eye.
The brand of the film you use should be considered when using film cameras. Film brand is a matter of personal preference, so find the brand of film that works best for you. There’s no one brand of film that is significantly better than other brands for every photographer. The choice is completely yours, so experiment until you find one you like.
When shooting pictures in nature, do so with care. While appreciating the scene is good, take an additional moment to see to it that you are not leaving any traces. If you find a fantastic spot for taking pictures, make sure your leave the spot the way you found it so the next photographer can get a picture as good as yours.
Sometimes, the available lighting just won’t cooperate when you are trying to get a landscape shot. This is especially true if there’s no good light anywhere in the landscape you want to photograph. How do you solve this dilemma? Photo editing software, like Photoshop, can help you to adjust and perfect the light in your photos.
Think of your camera as your tool for photography. If you use a shorter depth field you can blur the backgrounds, and bring your subject matter into the foreground.
You should now have some ideas about new steps you will take to improve your picture taking skills. Come back anytime to review the article and brush up on new skills. Be patient with yourself as you learn to perfect your photography skills.
Think of an idea before you start taking photos. Take some time to write ideas and notes that you could use for shooting better photos. Taking good photographs is an artistic endeavor and the more successful pictures are those that show some planning. By treating your pictures more seriously, you will see a big improvement in the photos.