10 Tips For Photography

Posted on 03 January 2011 by Aakanksha Shahi

Don’t you love clicking pictures? Aren’t you really awed by great pictures clicked by your friends or professional photographers? Don’t you wish that you knew how to capture the best moments at your college, during festivals at home, or even at your friend’s birthday party?

Here’s your chance to get your photography basics right! Enhance your photographic skills by these simple tips, get clicking now, and capture the moments that ‘capture’ you!

1.    Good Photo Opportunities – If one does not have specific reasons to shoot particular scenes or subjects, then the best photo opportunities for anyone can be those things that a person enjoys. When planning a trip,  give yourself some time to stay and take photographs. You can spend an entire day or more at a site and not have good enough light to shoot. Photography takes time, and time is often the most important factor in getting great pictures. When you find a good location to take photographs, visit it again and again. Your photographs will improve each time you revisit the location, because you will learn when to visit and what to shoot.

2.    Master Your Camera – The cameras today are sophisticated and with the advent of digital cameras, anyone can take good pictures by simply using an automatic shooting mode. However most of the digital cameras have additional features that give photographers a considerable creative control over how photos are taken to ensure that a higher percentage of photos are as desired. The LCD screen shows you whether you have composed the photo as you wanted. Some cameras even provide a histogram to give a graphical view of the exposure. Learn how to quickly check your settings or to set them to default settings to avoid shooting with wrong settings. The most common settings that can ruin photos are exposure compensation, white balance, auto-ISO change and the image size.

3.    White Balance – One of the most significant challenges faced by photographers is to take photographs with the accurate colour. A common problem with the photograph is getting a photo that has a colour cast, which means that the photo has too much of a certain colour, such as blue, red or yellow. An improper white balance setting often causes this problem. But camera with balance setting allows you to record correct colours when shooting under a variety of different lighting conditions such as incandescent light, tungsten light, sunshine, or clouds. Besides letting users choose an appropriate white balance setting, it can also record accurate colours even if you first take a photo of a white card. If your camera has a feature, it is worth learning and using. One of the surer ways to get accurate colour is to shoot in RAW mode, which enables you to change the white balance setting using a RAW converter after you take the photo. Sometimes you can add a preset white balance setting to add a desirable colour tone to a photo. E.g. using a cloudy white balance setting can add warmth to an otherwise cold or blue toned image.

4.    Possibilities – Each time you take a picture, you should analyze dozens of different variables, including exposure, composition, lighting, depth of field, angle of view and ISO setting. To get better photos, think how you can change the variables to take many different photographs. Study the results to find the one that looks the best. The more you experiment and study the results you get a better understanding of what you like and how you can further develop your style. For good practice consider how you can shoot an object differently. You can, at times, get new and interesting results by going to extremes. Shoot using f-stops, extreme shutter speeds and extreme angles of views.

5.    Compose – The composition of the picture is one of the most important factors in taking a picture. There are a number of guidelines which help you take a good picture. Some of them are broken but still resulting in an outstanding picture. Some of the common rules that should be kept in mind are ‘The Rule of Thirds’, though it can be defied. Angle of view and vantage points are two important factors which can be controlled by a zoom lens. Look for angles that accentuate the picture in terms of pattern, texture.

6.    Theme – You should try to shoot photos based on themes. Take a theme which interests you so that you enjoy taking the pictures and it can be a motivating factor for you. You will also get better and better by taking pictures of a similar subject.  Having more than one picture of a subject helps compare what is good and what is not as good in each shot you take. Take themes that can be completed e.g. antique automobiles.

7.    Understanding Exposure – Exposure is the correct combination of shutter speed, ISO speed needed and aperture. Exposure can be determined solely by the camera, by the photographer and the camera together or solely by the photographer. Whenever the camera helps choose exposure settings, the camera’s built in meter takes a reading of the reflected light in the scene and then sets appropriate camera settings. When taking photos there is no such thing as perfect exposure, only one that is how you want it to be. Overexposed photos are overly light and detail is lost in the highlights. Underexposed photos are overly dark and the details are lost in the shadows.

8.    Achieve Sharp Focus – If you shoot at low light conditions, slow shutter speed, or you want to maximize depth of field by shooting with a small aperture, you will need to use  a tripod to take sharply focused photos. The longer the focal length of lens you use, the more important it is to use a tripod. Because the slightest movement can blur a photo. Besides enabling you to get a sharp focus it enables you to shoot a more precisely and carefully composed photo.

9.    Control Focus Creatively – A sharp focused picture may not always be what you want. Imaginative photographers experiment with the kind of pictures they take. Focus is one of the variables you can change to dramatically alter the picture. A ‘soft out of focus’ can create a mood that cannot be created by a sharp focused picture. You can intentionally focus on one part of a picture that may be important part of the composition or to place emphasis on it. When your intent is to take a picture that is out of focus, or you want to have a precise control over focus and where to position the depth of field, use manual focus to get exactly what you want.

10. Take Advantage Of The Golden Hour – The best sunlight is often found an hour or less before the sunset until twenty minutes past sunset. This time is often referred to as the golden hour for photographers. Having the light low in the sky gives you a directional light that adds wonderful depth to the picture because of the shadows and the directional light. The evening light is also richer and warmer than the morning light. If you want to shoot a landscape this is an ideal time to shoot. When you plan to take advantage of the sun in the golden hour be well prepared to shoot quickly, because the best of that time may come and go in just a few minutes. You should wait until 20 minutes after the sunset for any possible ‘after glow’ which occasionally makes for a spectacular landscape photograph.

Hopefully now you can use your weapon and shoot ’em sharp.

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