Photography is one of those things that everybody does, but few can do well. We’ve all had the experience of going on a shoot and having something really simple go wrong. But there are some simple but disciplined rules which will help your photographic expeditions be more successful. You may already be familiar with some of these tips, but if you even find one more for your daily procedure, you’re already ahead of the game.
Take twice as many photographs as you think you’ll need.
After all, in these days of digital cameras with loads of memory, spending money on film is no longer an issue. Subtle variations in conditions will lead a model to have a slightly different pose, more or less sun when a cloud passes by, a sudden breeze ruffling the hair just right, and so on. Taking many shots just increases your chances of getting the perfect shot that you came for. You can experiment with lighting, angles, lenses and composition.
Take time to plan the shot.
Almost self-explanatory. But some shots you can plan to the last detail, and still when you view the results you notice that the model was standing in front of the car in such a way that it appeared that the antenna was coming out of their head. Just the kind of thing you don’t think of when you’re taking the shot. Plan ahead, think of it as a painting, and decide what goes into the frame and what you’re going to leave out.
Change an angle every now and then.
This is one you’ve probably already heard, but few people actually do this. They do it reflexively when they get close to the ground to take a snap of a child or a puppy, however. Variations on this technique for other subjects can be getting down low when you’re taking pictures of pedestrians in busy places, or shooting up at subjects who are seen as important people in society. This technique, when used at the right time, will make many normal shots extraordinary.
Natural lighting is your best friend.
To put it bluntly, built-in flash is a loss. All it does is make people’s eyes red and cast a hallow pallor over the subjects making them look like figures in a wax museum. Daylight is best, and lamps are second best. Even an ordinary room lamp is better. Soft lighting will create some exceptional shots when you’re doing portraiture or looking for a special effect. Here’s another article on getting the light source right.
Keep extra supplies handy.
Batteries and memory sticks, or whatever else you’re using. Nobody wants to get all the way out to the location and then find out they have to abandon the perfect conditions to drive the two hours back to town for supplies.
Explore every feature on your camera.
So many people rely on automatic features, and yet cameras these days have tons of features. Just like with a computer or a cell phone, it can’t do everything it was designed to do until you know what every button and setting does. If you don’t know the different affects that modes like Action, Nighttime, Macro, Close-ups, Portrait, and Landscape do, you’re missing out.
Keep a steady hand.
This is often the first thing we learn in photography but people forget that this is why pictures comes out blurry. Practice keeping it steady and smoothly squeezing the trigger. Invest a couple of dollars in a tripod stand if you still have problems.
By Ray Baker. Ray guides you on starting a photography business and places strong emphasis on profitability issues & guidelines. You can also gain photography insights, help (mostly free) or even a digital photography tip or two. For brief reviews on services or equipment (many free) see photography equipment