The Single Most Important Tip For Getting Great Photos:
Always carry a camera with you where ever you go..................
Photo Tips Learn the rules (guide lines ) before you can properly break them.
Good photographs are elusive. For every picture you take you will probably throw away hundreds. Experience will eventually tell you what works and what does not work. Every photographer will come to recognize his own special way of seeing and what he likes to photograph. 1. Bracket your shots for exposure (normal, one stop over and one stop under) also bracket your focus by manual focus.
Set your camera to the lowest ISO speed possible. Use a tripod or some other means such as walls, fence posts etc to
steady your camera. Expose to the right. If you have a histogram on your camera, adjust settings until the "mountain"
is just about to touch the right side of the histogram. If you use the "blinkies", adjust your settings until they just
2. Always shot RAW if your camera allows it for the most flexibility in editing. If not, shoot the highest quality JPEG.
3. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid) applies to photos as well. Leave out anything that detracts from the picture. Let go of
of preconceived ideas of how a picture should look. Eliminate the clutter in the viewfinder and your mind. Discover-
subtract-edit-clarify-find the center of interest. You will have to learn when to leave well enough alone though. Less is
more up to a point and then it becomes less again. Simplicity should not be confused with ease of effort.
LIGHT: Learn to look for the light that will best suit what you want to photograph. Dawn and late afternoon light usually
produce the warmest tones and long soft shadows. Mid day light usually produces too much contrast and that
raccoon eyes look for portraits. Light overcast usually produces saturation of colors for landscapes and low contrast
for skin tones with little or no contrast. Side lighting is good for textures and surfaces producing shadows with
modeling while back lighting will produce rim lighting and requires extra care in metering. Front lighting is good for
documentation but will produce a flat looking photo. In tricky lighting situations bracket your shots with different
exposure settings. Keep the sun off the front of your lens with a lens hood, shade with your hand or from a tree etc.
READ YOUR MANUAL--Learn what you camera can and can't do and how to reach all the different menus.
1. Automatic mode-The camera makes almost all the choices for you.
2. Program mode- Is still an automatic mode but now you can start making some changes and tell the camera
what you want.
3. Manual mode- Here you have control over all the operations and settings.
4. Aperature priority mode- You set the aperature and the camera sets the shutter speed.
5. Shutter priority mode - You set the shutter speed and the camera sets the aperature.
6. Scene modes- If your camera has them-you select the scene and the camera does all the rest. Usually you
can change very little if anything at all. Experiment with them and see if they work for you or not.
7. Flash modes- Learn what the different ones do and how to change the settings if your camera permits it. Photographing People
If you are uncorfortable your subjects will be also. Allow people to be themselves. Ask permission before taking someones picture, it is only common courtesy. A good photograph is usually something a photographer builds towards after some preliminary interaction and experimenting. A good fisherman does not stir up the water before he begins to fish. Try different angles and lenses and try to keep the eyes sharply focused. Watch for the moment-a look, a smile, a gesture that tells something of the person-anger-passion-love-his mask or candor. Do not haphazardly cut off peoples heads or arms.
One of the biggest problems with pictures is the background. Walk around your subject and view it from all different angles and watch for distracting backgrounds and then photograph it from the best angle possible leaving out any thing that does not add to the photo.
Landscape photography - awe inspiring shots are difficult to get because a three dimensional scene is flattened into a two dimensional plane. A good focal point is needed to make them interesting. Ask yourself - what am I trying to show? What is the reason for this photograph? What ever the the reason, show it clearly so it is apparent to the viewer. Start with small landscapes and then work towards larger views.
Nature photography - Go where the wild life pictures are - then wait. Do not try to hunt for these shots but find a possibly good spot and wait. You might bring a good book to read while you are waiting. Check out your back yard, nature preserves, parks etc. Look for patterns, leaves, trees and try to show a sense of place. Do not try to rearrange nature. Nature is untidy. If you try to make a scene better by rearranging it , it can usually be detected. You should always pick up any human litter left behind though even if you did not take any photographs.
"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." Ansel Adams
"The question is not what you look at, but what you see." Thoreau
"There are no rules for good photographs, there only good photographs." Ansel Adams REPEAT-repeative objects and patterns are always impressive and make good compositions. BALANCE-objects, shapes, lines and color that are balanced create symmetricaly pleasing compositions. DRAW ATTENTION- to your main subject by making it larger in the frame, sharper in focus or brighter than other areas or objects. WHAT IS MY STORY-why are you taking this photo? Are you telling a story? Expressing a felling, a moment in or what? If you do not know, anyone looking at the photo probably will not either. ADD DEPTH-by including foreground, middle ground and background objects. CROP-because cameras have a certain aspect ratio does not mean you have to keep that size. Use cropping techniques to eliminate unwanted or distracting areas. If you print, cut your mats yourself to fit the photo not your photo to fit a mat.
Watch yourbackground. Not only distracting objects but also bright spots such as spots of sky peeking through trees etc. Your eye is drawn to the brightest parts of your photo and then bounces back and forth between your subject and the spots. Your subject should be the brightest part of your photo. Recompose your photo to eliminate these spots rather then trying to eliminate them later in editing the photo.
Capturing motion with your camera is a function of the shutter speed you set. The faster your shutter speed the sharper the focus will be of your moving subject and a slower shutter speed will blur a moving object. There are two primary techniques for capturing motion.
1. Blurred Subject With the Background In focus. You see this often in photographs of night shots where a city scape will be in sharp focus while the lights of automobiles wil be blurred streaks through the picture. Here the camera is steady while the cars move past. The slower the shutter speed the more the lights will blur.
2. A Sharp Subject while the Background is Blurred. This is done by "panning" with the camera. This time you will move the camera at the same speed as your moving subject and parallel with the subject. This technique is difficult and takes alot of practice to master it. The fast shutter speed will freeze your subject while your panning motion will blur the background.
Photographing a person wearing glasses
If the person you are photographing wears glasses, how do you keep reflections out of them? The most common reflection is from an on camera flash or studio lights. Have the subject tilt their head down or to the side slightly and then look back at the camera. If the light source is an on- camera flash, move the flash off camera and over to the side so the light to deflect the reflections away from the camera. Preview the shot in your cameras LCD screen and shoot again if necessary.
Vertical or Horizontal????
If your subject suits itself to either a vertical or horizontal format-shoot both ways. If you do not and later crop the photo in your computer you are throwing away information and reducing image quality of your photo.