Photography can be a good hobby but also a form of artistic expression. Oftentimes, a few new techniques makes the difference between an amateur photographer and a blossoming talent. Professional photographers take great pictures but they also make improvement by developing photographs themselves. Here’s some hints on how you can be more professional.

Try to avoid including an overcast sky in your shots. Your pictures can appear dull and lifeless if they capture too much of a gray sky in the background. Black and white photography may work better if you must shoot into an overcast sky. If it’s a bright day, however, you should include the sky more readily.

Snap pictures with a sense of urgency. If you take a long time, there is a good chance that the subject will move, take off or there could be a change in the background that will ruin the photo. The faster you snap pictures, the better chance you have of getting a good one!

Make sure that your arms remain next to your body when you hold a camera, and make sure that the sides and the bottom of the camera are supported. Clearer shots will result, and shaking will be minimized. Cradling your hands underneath your camera and lens also prevents you from clumsily dropping it.

There is a feature on the camera called white balance, manually play around with it. When you take interior shots, the light bulbs can cause a yellowish hue. By changing the white balance feature on your camera this will be reduced and you will notice a whole different quality to your photographs. This slight change in quality will make your photographs have a much more professional look about them.

Try out all the different shutter speeds and experiment in various scenarios so you have an idea what works best. One of the beautiful things about photography is that it lets you freeze a split-second scene or fuse together extended periods of time. Lighting quick shutter speeds are great for sports shots with lots of action, while slow shutter speeds are nice for landscapes without a lot of movement.

Broaden your photographic horizons by playing with your camera’s features and the colors and angles you use. You can get an interesting, artistic photo without having an amazing subject to shoot. As a photographer, you know you have talent when you can take pictures of familiar objects and make them look interesting and unusual. Practice and experiment until you find your own personal style!

Detail some notes on your camera settings when you are taking photos. When you are looking at your pictures later on, it will be nice to see where the picture was taken, and how you felt when you took it. Use a notepad to record numbers of photos and descriptions.

Photographers will often focus so much on the background that the foreground is completely forgotten or an afterthought, but it makes up the bulk of the photograph and deserves a fair amount of attention. Consider a natural frame in the foreground of the photo so that a perception of depth is achieved.

Take shots from a wide variety of angles to catch different perspectives. Explore different positions relative to the subject. For example, shoot the object from above, below or at an unusual angle.

External Flash

There is a feature on the camera called white balance, manually play around with it. Shooting indoors can give your pictures a yellowish tint due to the light bulbs. Instead of augmenting the light in the room, adjust the camera’s white balance for a different atmosphere. This can help your photos appear more professional.

In general, the digital cameras of today use built-in flash mechanisms that operate automatically when the camera is used in a dim lighting The convenience of this feature can be great for quick candid shots; however, if your goal is more professional shots, weigh options for the purchase of an external flash option. This will allow greater diversity in your lighting needs. Be sure that your camera can take an external flash component and get one that fits it from a camera store.

Play with the notion of scale, perspectives and expressions. A simple object can be made artistic if it is portrayed in a setting that makes it look much bigger or smaller than it is, or places it in an original and funny situation. Experiment with your compositions to bring a unique perspective to an ordinary object.

Drop the background focus when you are photographing people. Having your background in full focus is bad; it will take away the focus from your subject. This is most easily accomplished by moving your subject further away from the backdrop.

When you go travelling, look around for new ideas on all the different things you can shoot. Peruse the racks holding postcards; this will give you an immediate insight as to what the main features of a city are. Study the postcards, taking note of the subject matter and the way the photographer shot the pictures to take advantage of some specific qualities of the subject, then use these techniques when taking your own photos.

Take the time to read your camera’s manual from front to back. Manuals are usually thick and heavy. People tend to place them at the back of drawers or they get thrown away. Open it up and read it instead of doing this. The manual can teach you how to take higher-quality pictures and avoid simple mistakes.

Shoot photos of a wide range of individuals. Do not take photographs of people without their consent. People from foreign lands add authenticity, character and liveliness to photographs. Look for candid pictures and casual clothing.

When taking a picture of a group of people, let them know what they should wear before the shot. It is not necessary to match colors, but you should pick shades that look good together. Suggest neutral shades or warm colors, as they will blend with natural environments. To avoid a garish display, bright colors should be balanced with black or other neutrals whenever possible.

Look for patterns in the background when taking photographs. You’ll find that these patterns lead to more intriguing prints in the end. You can use the patterns to your advantage by creating different angles and backgrounds with your subject.

Practice makes perfect, so buy the largest memory card you can for you camera, and enable yourself to take a plethora of practice shots. You don’t ever want to be in a position where you run out of memory on the card, so by having a lot of space you never need be concerned about this happening. A great part of larger memory space is that you can use the RAW format. This allows greater flexibility in editing.

Do your own editing for your photos. There are lots of image editing programs that are easy to use where you can do it yourself. When comparing different options, you should take note of the number and range of photo-editing tools in each package. You should also narrow your selection to those that look easy to use.

Red Eye

If you believe the nostalgic sentiments associated with film-based photography and would like to try your hand at doing it the old-fashioned way, pick up a film camera at a second hand store. You can use ISO 200 black-and-white film to get a great balance between versatility and dramatic results. Once you develop your film, try printing it on different paper styles, including ones that are fiber-based.

Red eye in your photos can seem like something so small, but really, you will never frame or share that photo. Avoid red eye by not using your camera’s flash. If flash is necessary due to low-light conditions, make sure your subject looks directly at the camera. There are also certain cameras which have a feature for red eyes.

Pay attention to lighting and how you focus the camera to turn an ordinary shot into a masterpiece. Use the advice above and especially concentrate on lighting and focus to produce the artistic photos that your friends and family will envy.

Make sure that you adjust your cameras white balance whenever you are taking pictures under florescent lights. You will notice that fluorescent light highlights the blue and green light spectrum and will require post processing in order to balance your tones.

Chris Fisher Photography
http://CFisherphotography.com