Good morning, it’s Wednesday (obviously) which means that we’re already halfway through the week and only a couple of days away from the weekend, Woo-Hoo! I hope you’re all doing ok and keeping warm, the weather here (in the U.K) has been horrible with the strong gusts of wind, so it’s been very cold and at times very wet from the torrential downpours of rain.
As photography is always progressing and there are always new things to be able to learn, I thought it might be nice to share some tips that are helpful, which have also become very useful to me to be able to advance with my photography skills.
15 Photography Tips
1. Learn To Hold Your Camera Properly
This may sound obvious, but many new photographers don’t hold their camera correctly, which causes camera shake and blurry images. While you’ll eventually develop your own way of holding the camera, you should always hold it with both hands. Grip the right side of the camera with your right hand and place your left hand beneath the lens to support the weight of the camera. The closer you keep the camera to your body, the stiller you’ll be able to hold it.
2. Work With Your Composition
To take engaging photos, you need to be engaged with what you’re doing. Put thought into your composition and try to make your photos as good as possible. To do that start with knowing the basics of how to compose good photos. Don’t cut off important parts of your subject with the edge of your frame. Keep your horizons level, and try to eliminate any distractions in your photo by adjusting your composition. See if your photo has a sense of balance and simplicity. And if the photo doesn’t look good on your first try, keep experimenting until you get it right.
3. Wide Aperture Is Better For Portraits
When shooting portraits, whether of people or animals, your subject should be the main focus of the picture and the best way to achieve this is to use a wider aperture. This will keep your subject sharp while blurring out any distractions in the background. To better understand how the aperture affects your images, switch to Aperture Priority Mode (Av or A) and try taking some shots with different apertures.
4. Narrow Aperture Is Better For Landscapes
Landscape photographs require a different approach because everything from the rocks in the foreground to the mountains in the background should be sharply in focus. So any time you’re shooting a scene where you want everything to be fully in focus, you should select a narrow aperture rather than a wide one.
5. Back-Up Your Photos
Keep a backup of every single one of your photos. Your photos should never be stored on just a single hard drive at a time because eventually, your hard drive will break. Ideally, you would have at least three copies of all your photos at a given time. This should include at least two different media types, such as an internal hard drive and a removable storage medium. And at least one of the backups should be stored off-site. This is known as the 3-2-1 rule. It’s the best way to avoid losing any of your photos.
6. Check The ISO Beforehand
Discovering that you’ve accidentally shot a whole series of images in ISO 800 on a bright sunny day can be extremely frustrating, especially if the photos were taken to document a special occasion such as a birthday, anniversary or other events that can’t be recreated. It’s an easy enough mistake to make, though, so to avoid this unpleasant surprise, make a habit of checking and resetting your ISO settings before you start shooting anything.
7. Try New Techniques
The more you experiment with photography, the more interesting it becomes. It’s easy to fall into a routine and take similar photos over and over, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s also important to try something new from time to time.
8. Be Careful With The Flash
If you’re not careful, using your camera’s built-in flash at night or in low light can lead to some unpleasant effects like red eyes and harsh shadows. In general, it’s better to crank up the ISO and get noisier photos than to use the on-camera flash and risk ruining the shot altogether. Sometimes, there may not be enough light, and if you don’t have off-camera lighting, you’ll be left with no choice but to use the built-in flash. If you find yourself in this situation, there are a couple of things you can do. First of all, find the flash settings in your camera’s menu and reduce brightness as much as you can, and second, you can try diffusing the light from the flash by putting something over it.
9. Play With Perspective
The best way to get a bit more creative with your photography is to experiment with perspective. The exact same scene can often look very different when approached from a different angle, and capturing your subject from above or below may change the whole feel of a photograph. When shooting animals you can try getting down to their level and viewing the world through their eyes. If you’re shooting a portrait, you could stand on a chair and shoot what you are photographing from above.
10. Learn To Adjust White Balance
White balance can help you capture colors more accurately. Different types of light have different characteristics, so if you don’t adjust the white balance, the colors in your photography may take on a slightly blue, orange or green hue or ‘temperature.’ Some of the standard white balance settings you’ll find on your camera include Automatic White Balance, Daylight, Cloudy, Flash, Shade, Fluorescent and Tungsten.
11. Shoot In RAW
RAW is a file format like jpeg, but unlike jpeg, it captures all the image data recorded by your camera’s sensor rather than compressing it. When you shoot in RAW you’ll not only get higher quality images but you’ll also have far more control in post-processing. One downside to shooting in RAW is that the files take up more space. Additionally, RAW photos always need some post-processing so you’ll need to invest in photo editing software.
12. Pay Attention To Light
Probably one of the most important parts of photography is light. Often, the goal is to balance the light’s intensity between your subject and background. Even if you’re photographing an amazing sunset, the photo could be ruined by a completely dark and silhouetted foreground. The easiest way to solve this is to pay attention to the direction and softness of the light. If too harsh, you could get bad shadows.
13. Invest In A Good Photo Editing Software
Once you start shooting in RAW, post-processing will become a must rather than an afterthought, so you’ll need to invest in some photo editing software that will allow you to perform basic editing tasks such as cropping, adjusting exposure, white balance and contrast, removing blemishes and more. A lot of photographers like to use programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.
14. Learn From Your Mistakes
Getting overexposed, blurry or badly composed photos can be frustrating, but rather than letting such photos discourage you, use them as a learning tool. The next time you get a bad photo; don’t immediately hit the delete button. Instead, spend some time studying the photo to work out what went wrong and how you could improve it.
15. Have Fun
Hopefully, you’ll find at least one of these tips helpful.
Enjoy the rest of your week and I will see you next Wednesday! 😃