Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Top Ten Tips for Digital Photographers

Ten most important digital photography tips for beginner photographers.

1. Move In Close

Once you find an interesting subject to shoot; take out your camera and take a shot (this is all the more important in case of wildlife photography) we will call it the record shot. As it is a record of you being there and actually seeing the subject / scene. Now move in close to your subject for an even better view or to get the subject to fill the frame. Moving in close will also help you capture more details and the increased subject size will help your viewer better understand and appreciate your work.

digital photographer
Photo By Tjflex 2

2. Get Down on Their Level

Shoot your subjects from their eye level. This is all the more important when shooting kids or pets, don’t shoot down on them, instead get down on your knees and shoot them from their eye level. Shooting from their eye level will help you see the world from their perspective and it will help create a personal and inviting feel to your pictures.

pet photography
Photo By Boxercab

3. Move Your Subject From the Middle

Most people take pictures with their subjects placed right in the centre of the frame. However this does not make for an interesting picture. Try framing your shot in such a way that your main subject is placed off centre. Compositional rules like the Rule of Thirds could serve as a guide to help you better place your subjects in a frame.

rule of thirds
Photo By Chango

4. Use Focal Lock

Learn how to use focal lock to take sharp pictures of subjects that off the centre of your frames. A quick peek at focal lock
  1.     Place the subject in the centre of your frame
  2.     Press the shutter button halfway to acquire focus
  3.     Once focus is achieved re frame your picture while still holding the shutter button halfway down
  4.     Press down fully to actually take the picture

focal lock
Photo By Vandan Desai

5. Get Your Horizons Level

Always watch the horizon when framing a shot, get them level. A slanting horizon is one of the commonest elementary mistakes done by amateur photographers. Unless otherwise you need to purposefully get a slanting horizon for creative effects always make sure that your horizons are level. We have a previous article to help you achieve it – Getting Horizons Level

Photo By  Tom Gill (lapstrake)

6. Use a Plain Background

What constitutes the background of a picture is as important as the main subject. While a cluttered background will be distracting, a simple plain background will actually emphasize your subject. You can change your background by changing the angle you shoot from, shifting your position, shifting the subject etc. You could also make the background blurred by using wider apertures.

lady bug
Photo By Westpark

7. Watch the Light

Observe the light in your scene and make a note of the following points:
  1.     What is the main source of light in your scene?
  2.     How big or small is your light source when compared to the subject?
  3.     How far is the light source from your subject?
  4.     Whether the light is harsh light or soft light?
  5.     What is the direction and angle of light?
  6.     What is the intensity of light?
  7.     Is the contrast of the scene within your camera’s dynamic range?
Once you analyse the above points ask yourselves how you could improve the situation either by reducing the amount of light in a scene, or by reducing contrast by using a reflector or a flash to fill up the shadows, etc. Observing and manipulating the light in a scene to suit the mood of your photograph is one of the most important aspects of photography.

Photo By Fusion of horizons

8. Use Flash Outdoors

 What most beginners to photography do not know is that the flash could be put to many creative uses other than taking pictures at dark places. Even while shooting outdoors on a bright sunny day you could use the flash to enhance your pictures by using it to fill the dark shadows under the subject’s eyes and nose. On cloudy days using flash would make the subjects stand out from the background making for an interesting picture.

outdoor flash photography
Photo By Chemisti

9. Shoot Vertical Frames

Always make it a point to shoot vertical compositions too. You will never know which format suits your subject unless you actually shoot them vertical. It is not surprising that many interesting landscape pictures are vertical frames. So make it a habit to shoot a vertical composition of every subject you shoot.

vertical landscape
Photo By Wild Pianist

10. Take lot of shots

Shoot a lot, long gone are the days of expensive film and processing and all. Digital photography is actually free (once you have invested a fortune in equipment) and you could shoot as many frames as your heart desires. The more you shoot, the more you learn and the better your photography gets. Don’t get disheartened if your ratio of good pictures versus bad ones is low. It is the same with all beginners, it will increase eventually. Keep Shooting.

digital photography
Photo By Pierofix