If you have no prior experience, getting started in photography can seem like a daunting task. Those who are new to photography may not know where to begin with regards to technique. The ideas and tips below should help you get stated on the right foot so you can shoot better photographs today.
Pick what you want in the picture. A great picture will allow the viewer to see a particular aspect of the subject in the photograph. Don’t try to crowd too many things into the picture. A series of photographs taken in succession which lack a focus on a single subject create a story, or a general impression of a scene.
When you have the shot set up, don’t delay! The longer it takes to shoot the picture, the greater the chance of something going amiss. Your subject could move, go away or something else such as lighting can affect the shot you wanted to take. It is better if you can take shots quickly.
To take photos that look professional, you will need to upgrade to a professional-type camera. A professional grade camera will give your photographs a more professional finish. These cameras are used by professional photographers because they provide quality photographs. If you want the same type of photos, use the same.
Instead of waiting until your destination to start recording your trip with photographs, start snapping those photos as soon as your trip starts. There will be many photo opportunities at your destination, but you should consider your travel time an awesome opportunity to get good shots as well. Write things down in a journal and you can get ideas at the airport.
For landscape photography, attempt to capture the natural depth of the view. When you place familiar objects in the foreground of the image, you can help viewers to perceive the size and scope of the subject. If you want more sharpness in your photos, especially in the fore- and background, opt for a smaller aperture. This means an aperture of f/8 in a general digital camera or no more than f/16 in full-frame SLR cameras.
Make sure your batteries are always charged so that you never miss an incredible shot. Digital cameras with LCD screens use a ton of power, so make sure they’re fully charged prior to use. Another good suggestion is to bring along spare camera batteries so that you will never miss a photo opportunity.
Digital cameras normally contain a built-in flash, that automatically turns on when the natural light is too low. While this may work for the average photo, you will need an external flash device for more professional photos with more light. For this option to work, verify that your camera carries a “hot shoe” for accommodating the flash unit. A professional camera shop can help you find the right unit that will sync to your camera.
A very sunny day may seem perfect for photographs, but taking a picture in direct sunlight has many pitfalls. The sun will cast awkward shadows along with glaring, and cause uneven highlights that will make your subjects squint when they look into the camera. Whenever possible, shoot outdoor scenes during the early morning hours. Late evening hours are equally ideal.
By focusing your camera before taking the actual picture and then switching the angle or moving to the side, it will cause the subject to no longer be the central point in your photo. Having your subject in the middle of the picture is very expected and subsequently uninteresting. By using this technique, you will find that your photo and the subject matter give off a more interesting appeal to the viewer.
Pay attention to natural lighting! Whenever you take photos outdoors, you should try and shoot either early in the morning or later in the evening. When the sun sits high in the sky, harsh shadows or squinting subjects can become an issue. The sun should be hitting just one side of your subject.
Your arms should be positioned near your body when you use a camera. Also, make sure you support the camera from the bottom and the sides. This will help create clear shots with less shaking. When you place your hands under the lens and camera body, you will reduce the risk of dropping your camera unintentionally.
If you are taking photos of people, like families, couples or a group, be sure to give them some advice about what to wear before picture day. While it is not mandatory for everyone to be wearing the same color, it can greatly enhance the finished photo if all the clothing colors complement each other. Suggest clothing in neutral colors or warm shades because they will blend best with natural backgrounds or settings. If they are people who want bright colors, let them know to tone it down with other muted tones like black or white.
To add visual interest to a scene, explore different settings to adjust the focus. Focus on your subject by using a smaller depth of field, and slightly blur your background. This is a good photograph style to use for portrait images, as the subject is usually close to the lens. On the other hand, a higher f-stop number creates more depth; everything within the frame will appear in focus. This works well to photograph landscape.
It is important to have a sufficient memory to hold lots of pictures; the best way to get good photos is to take a large number of them. If you have a large enough memory card, you can take as many pictures as you want without ever worrying about whether or not you will have enough room. An added benefit of a larger memory card is that you will be able to shoot in RAW (if your camera has this capability). The RAW format preserves more details than JPEG and allows for a lot of flexibility once you get into post-production.
You can improve your photographs by keeping the camera and your attention focused on your subject. Good camera focus is a critical element in composing your picture and is key to creating an image that reflects your own style. Try to keep the main subject of your shot in full view and in the center, especially when you’re just beginning. The background will do it’s own thing.
Attempt to capture your subject from a different angle to change the effect. Anyone can photograph an obviously beautiful scene. Instead, try a shot looking down on the scene or looking up at the subject from ground level. Other interesting alternatives are framing your subject from a diagonal or sideways view.
Write down a few notes when you take pictures. When you are looking through the many photos you have taken, it can be hard to recall the locations in which you took them, or your feelings as you were doing it. Use a small notepad to write numbers next to the pictures’ descriptions.
Play with your camera’s settings to make your photographs more appealing. If you use a shorter depth field you can blur the backgrounds, and bring your subject matter into the foreground.
The brand of the film you use should be considered when using film cameras. This is largely a matter of personal preference. Although most brands of film are similar, every photographer has personal reasons for choosing one over another. There is not much difference between film brands, just make sure to get the right film format for your camera. You can decide which brand to use for whatever reasons you want.
Move closer to your subject when you are taking the photograph. Nothing is worse than viewing a photo of a subject that is too far away to see any clear details or colors. Make seeing your subject with clarity easier for both you and the viewers of the picture.
Hopefully, these tips have provided you with some very valuable information as well as given you a way to organize all of the thoughts and information you may have already had on photography. Keeping these tips in mind when you start taking photos can help you one day become a very successful photographer.
Chris Fisher Photography