Blogs on easy to remember and easy to apply photo tips are always fun to do but the best photography tips you’ll ever get are from the folks that make a living pointing-and-clicking.
The other part of the “photo tip” equation, particularly for those of us in the amateur (and even advanced amateur) category is that they be easy to recall and just as easy to apply when you’re out there, ready to lift camera to face to capture the world around you.
So then, we decided to turn this blog over to a few professional photographers we know pretty well – asking them to give us a some simply shooting tips, keeping in mind the aforementioned skill level of the picture-taker.
What we got back some pretty clever little reminders that ranged from the technical to the more cerebral. Take a gander.
It’s All About You
Richard Lewin, of Richard Lewin Photography in New York
Think about what you can bring to the image – what your specific and unique viewpoint is with regard to not only the particular subject but what approach you want to take to shooting it. Think about how you can put a piece of you in the image – your experience, your emotion, and your perspective.
Often times the best way to do this is to shoot the things you love, that your are most passionate about. You’ll often times find this will bring out everything on the check list I just laid out. If you’re not passionate about what you’re about to capture the captured image probably won’t deliver any passion back to you.
Use The Tools
Jim Cummins, Jim Cummins Photography
I’m finding that it’s fun to sometimes move away from taking all my pictures with the same type of camera. It’s fun to play with as much of the tech that’s out there as you can.
You can even just rent some of this stuff for a day very cheaply if you need to, but playing with a 5 x 4 film camera or an old pinhole or lomography model can provide a great departure from the usual routine. Using the different tools that are out there just makes you think differently and will broaden your creativity as a shooter.
Give HDR a Try
Lorraine DarConte, San Diego, Ca
Here’s one for all the smartphone shooters out there who probably aren’t using the HDR mode that most of the devices have today. When you come across a situation that has bright and dark areas in the same frame give the HDR mode a try. I’ve found that it tends to balance out the lighting in those situations without really losing the detail you always want.
However, if you’re shooting in a setting with vivid colors the HDR mode can also wash them out, so don’t use it then. The way HDR works on most smartphone is that it gives you two images, one with HDR turned off, and one with it turned on. So you can always give the mode a shot and check out the comparison between the two shots. Used correctly HDR results can be fairly cool.
Let There Be Light
James Rence, Mahway, New Jersey
To me, photography is all about lighting and it’s something every shooter should always think about. Before you decide what to shoot, ask yourself what the available light in the scene is telling you about that scene. It will often determine the look, the mood and the atmosphere of your picture.
This is why, when I’m shooting outdoors I try to shoot during what photographers like to call the Golden Hour. I’m talking about the time period shortly after sunrise and before sunset – this is when natural lighting is ideal for capturing some dramatic portraits and great landscape shots. The sun is less harsh and the way it is cast can provide some very unique opportunities. I’m also a big fan of foggy conditions as well as that again can provide a unique setting to bring some drama and atmosphere to the setting.
Wait It Out
Julia Quinn, Commack, New York
You’ve heard the saying patience is a virtue and I believe that is particularly true in photography. I shoot a lot of pets and people have a tendency to just click away when they shoot animals. With the unpredictability of shooting animal and young kids too, waiting for exactly the right moment will often times be the difference between a good picture and a great picture.
The best example is when I’m shooting dogs. They react to the voices of their owners with interesting expressions. Certain phrases said in certain tone of voices can illicit some great facial expressions from dogs. Being patient and simply talking to a pet can provide some excellent opportunities for great pet pics. Just wait a little while sometimes and instead of finding the prefect picture you’ll discover that it will sometimes find you.