If you are serious about becoming a better photographer, then you need to pay attention to every aspect of your craft including lighting, composition, posing, etc. However, there is one area I believe is often overlooked and that is the area of camera handling and technique.
In this section, we will discuss 20 photography tips you must know if you really want to be a better photographer. These tips will help you improve your photography no matter what kind of camera or lens you are using.
01-Avoid Camera Shake
Shaking the camera will cause blurring and reduce sharpness. Even a slight movement can be disastrous. A simple way to avoid this is to put the camera on a tripod. But you should only use a tripod if you are going to be photographing for a long period of time.
If you are going to be photographing for just a few seconds, then you should hold the camera steady yourself. The easiest way to do this is to put your left hand on the lens and your right hand on the body of the camera.
02-Start shooting in RAW
The benefits of shooting in RAW are numerous: you can recover lost detail, correct exposure, make color tweaks, and more.
Plus, you can process your RAW files on your own computer, so you won’t be tied to a particular brand of camera or lens. This means you can use the same gear for all your shots, no matter what camera you are using.
03-Use Appropriate Lens
Most photographers know what they should use for the job at hand, but it is important to remember that different lenses have different characteristics. For example, a wide-angle lens will tend to “crunch up” the image, making it appear more compressed than a normal lens would. This is especially true when used wide open.
A telephoto lens will “pull things back” and give a more distant appearance to whatever is being photographed. This is especially true when used at the long end of its focal range.
There are many other lens characteristics, but these are the two most important ones to be aware of.
You don’t have to use expensive gear, but make sure you are using the right gear for the job.
04-Use the Rule of Thirds
The Rule of Thirds is a compositional guideline that helps you achieve stronger results when you shoot. It basically tells you to divide your frame into nine equal parts horizontally and vertically.
Anything within the intersection of those lines is “in-focus”, while everything else is out-of-focus. If you follow this simple rule, you will find your photos more visually appealing and your subjects will seem to “bloom” in your frame.
05-Focus On Lighting
The most important element of all is lighting. You can have the best gear in the world, the most perfect subject, and the most interesting composition, but if the light does not fall on the subject in just the right way, then it is all for naught.
You should spend as much time as you need to get the lighting exactly right. When I first started out, my mentor told me, “Pay attention to light. If you pay attention to light, the rest of your work will take care of itself.” He was right. Light is the lifeblood of any photograph.
06-Learn to use the Exposure Triangle
There are three basic settings on your camera which determine how much light reaches your sensor; these are:
Shutter Speed: How long the camera remains open to let in light
Aperture: How much the lens lets in light (bigger numbers = more light)
ISO: The sensitivity of your sensor to light
You can adjust one of these three settings while keeping the other two constant.
For example, if you want a certain exposure but you don’t want the shot to be too dark, you could adjust the shutter speed. However, there is a limit to how far you can go with this. If the subject is too far away or the light too dim, you will not get the correct exposure. So, you will have to adjust the other two settings (aperture and ISO).
07-Create a Sense of Depth
Try to create a sense of depth in your photos. It’s very easy to do and will make your images much more interesting.
Look at the horizon in your photos. Does it appear to be flat or curved? If it looks curved, your image will appear more three dimensional.
Use low camera angles. This will make your subject look bigger and closer to you. It also makes it look like he or she is standing on the edge of a cliff or other drop off. This will give the viewer a sense of depth.
Use high camera angles. If you photograph someone from above, they will look tiny and far away. Use this to your advantage by using telephoto lenses or even a long lens with a close up setting. This will make your subject look much closer to you. It also creates the illusion of space and makes your subject look more substantial.
08-Use Simple Backgrounds
A cluttered background can be distracting and even ruin a good photograph. Instead, use simple backgrounds that allow your subject to stand out.
Use plain white walls or even a simple green curtain as a backdrop. Make sure it’s not busy with patterns or anything else that will distract from your subject.
09-Don’t Use Flash Indoors
Unless you are shooting a very formal portrait or a product shot for which you have a model wearing a brightly-colored shirt, it is almost always best to avoid using flash indoors. This is true for both amateur and pro photographers. There are a couple of reasons:
+ Firstly, it creates a harsh, unnatural-looking light.
+ Secondly, it can blind your subject if he or she does not have good eyesight.
Try using a diffuser or a softbox instead, or even better, don’t use flash at all. You can add light to an indoor scene by opening a window or using a desk lamp.
10-Choose the Right ISO
ISO stands for International Standards Organization. It is the sensitivity of your camera’s sensor to light.
A low ISO the standard is will let in less light and give you a darker image, but it will be clean and sharp.
A hight ISO the standard is will let in more light and give you a brighter image, but it will also tend to make your photos grainy and noisy.
Experiment with different ISOs and see which one works best for each situation.
11-Learn to adjust white balance
White balance is what controls the colors in your photo, and it is important to get it right.
To do this, you simply point your camera at a white object (like a piece of paper or your hand) and adjust the color temperature until the object looks “right” to you. It should be neither too cool nor too warm.
Once you have achieved the right balance, your photo will have a natural appearance with no “flatness” or unnatural colors.
12-Experiment with Shutter Speed
Shutter speed is the amount of time your camera remains open to receive light.
Most people think of shutter speed as a way of controlling motion blur, but it’s actually far more useful as a way of controlling the “feel” of the photograph.
A slow shutter speed will give you a soft, dreamy feel, like looking through a camera lens at a lake in a gentle breeze.
A fast shutter speed will give you a crisp, clear feel, like looking through a camera lens at a lake in a hurricane.
Experiment with both speeds and see what feels right for each situation.
13-Wide aperture is best for portraits
Aperture is the “f-stop” of your lens. It controls how much of the image is in focus.
A wider aperture (meaning smaller f-stop number) lets more light into the camera and creates a shallower depth of field, blurring out backgrounds and bringing into focus foreground elements.
This is great for portraits because it helps separate the subject from the background and makes them stand out.
14-Narrow aperture is best for landscapes
If you want to take great landscape photos, use a narrow aperture. It will give you greater depth of field and make it easier for you to isolate your subject from the rest of the scene.
15-Invest in a tripod
One of the most valuable investments you can make as a photographer is a good tripod. It will allow you to take great shots from even the most awkward angles, and it will also prevent camera shake.
A really good tripod will last you a lifetime and be worth its weight in gold. The most important consideration when buying one is the size of the base. You want something that is large enough to keep your camera level and steady, but not so big that it becomes a pain to carry around.
If you are on the go a lot, you might consider getting a foldable model. Of course, you should also look for a good, sturdy construction with metal or wooden legs.
16-Use a Polarizing Filter
A polarizing filter is one of the most useful accessories for a beginner photographer. It will make all your images look more colorful, it will reduce glare, and it will give you more control over the light in your scene.
You can use it for both indoor and outdoor photography, and it is especially useful when you are shooting in direct sunlight.
17-Learn to read the Histogram
A histogram is a graph that tells you how much (in comparison to the total amount) of a particular color is in an image.
If the graph is mostly in the middle, then your image is a balanced one and will appear natural.
If there is a lot of red in the histogram, then your image will tend to be more “red”, and if there is a lot of green, then it will be more “green”.
Most cameras have a small graph that appears next to the viewfinder when you press the shutter button, and another one that appears on your screen after you take the shot.
If you are using Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom or a similar editing program, you can also use the histogram to help you make sure your photo is properly exposed.
18-Shoot in the early morning and evening
The light is softest and most flattering during those hours. You can use this to your advantage by simply getting up early or staying up late to shoot. This will give you more light than you would otherwise have available.
19-Invest in some good photo editing software
You can do so much with a decent photo editor these days, it’s a shame to let it go to waste. Get something that runs on both Windows and Mac platforms like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP.
You should also get a copy of Adobe Lightroom (or similar), which is an app that lets you manage, view, and edit your photos. It’s a great investment, especially if you are serious about becoming a better photographer.
20-Invest More In Learning (and Less on Gear)
Gear is important, but only if you know how to use it. If you are just starting out, save your money and buy books, take lessons, and attend workshops.
You can spend a small fortune on the right gear, but without knowing how to properly use that gear, you will be lost.
Gear alone will not make you a good photographer, it is the photographer inside the gear.
This is one of the most interesting articles about photography that we have ever published. It contains some great tips about photography that will improve your pictures dramatically.
We hope that after reading this article, you will never stop taking photos again.
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