15 Tips for Digital Photography
First off I would like to say Thank you to Jeff
and everyone else who has made this site happen. That is what led me to give the members here some pointers I have picked up over the few years. Now I must tell you that I have never attended a photography class and everything that I know has been found by searching through Google. I then used the techniques that were avaliable to create a style of my own which I find very unique.
Now I'm not going to give away my entire techinque, but I will give you all a good idea how my work flow goes.
I'm not sure how many parts this will be broken up into, but right now I am shooting for three.
Thank you in advance to all those who use these tips!
*Before you run out and snap a few pictures, make sure that you know your camera. If you don't know how to use the different settings your camera has to offer, then you will never understand how to make your photos better; and, it doesn't matter what type of camera you have.*
Here, I’ve outlined the 15 best tips I’ve recieved/found that are some basic guidelines. Without getting into the technical operations of your specific camera, these are some tips that you can apply to your photography regardless of what level you’re at.
1. Fill the Frame
I include this tip first because it’s the most helpful rule I received from my first photography instructor and I’ve heard it echoed many times since then. The instruction I received was actually, “get closer,” but I feel it goes hand-in-hand with filling the frame.
Most often, if you’re having trouble with your photos, you’re not close enough. Get as close as you think you need to get, then take a step closer. Really observe your subject and see how it’s fitting in the frame. Allow your subject to fill the frame and cut out all surrounding details that are unneeded and distracting.
2. Rule of Thirds
This is another big one and a common rule of composition. Imagine dividing your frame into 3 equal sections, both horizontally and vertically. The points where those divisions intersect are the hot spots for your photo. Position your subject or key element at one of these points to emphasize them.
3. Light is Key
Photography is taken from the Greek words phos and graphos, literally translated as “writing with light.” Without light, photography wouldn’t be possible. When you take a photo, you’re capturing how light interacts with the subject. You can either capture how the light is occurring naturally, or you can try to influence the light and/or the subject to achieve the desired effect.
4. Keep It Simple
This is commonly referred to as the KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid. Less is more and more is less. Simplicity should be your goal; try to avoid unnecessary complexity.
5. Don’t Take a Photograph, Make It
This tip was handed down to us by the great Ansel Adams. Being a photographer is more than just pressing a button. Your photos are your art, your creation. Each one of us has our own unique view of the world, so let that show in your photos. Don’t just take a picture that a monkey could take; put some thought into it, put yourself into it, and make a picture happen.
6. Think Before You Shoot
This applies to everything all at once, from your exposure settings to your perspective of your subject. Think about why you’re taking this picture. Why is this meaningful to you? Are you framing it creatively and/or from the most interesting angle? Would you hang it in your living room?
7. Beware of Over-Chimping
Chimping refers to the act of hunching over your digital camera’s LCD screen to check out the wonderful pictures you’ve just taken. While there’s nothing wrong with chimping, be aware that while you’re gazing at your camera’s LCD you might be missing a great photo opportunity.
While it’s a good idea to often chimp your photos to check for exposure and framing, don’t forget about the subject that’s right in front of you.
8. Know the Rules, Then Break Them
As with most things, the rules are made to be broken. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new ideas and step outside the things you’ve learned.
9. Take Your Camera With You
Photography is one of the few activities that you can do at any time of the day and get excellent and interesting results. For this reason, I recommend taking your camera with you wherever you go. You’ll find that having a camera handy helps you be on the look-out for interesting subjects. It’s a great and easy way to keep photography on your mind. If I wouldn't have had my camera with me I would have missed this shot of my niece.
10. Get Rid of Red Eyes
Red eye is caused by the flash reflecting off the retina of your subject's eyes. In order to reduce red eye effects, try to take photos in outdoor or into an area with brighter light. Red eye can also be avoided by having the subject look away from the lens.
11. Camera Positioning
You can change angle and make a bigger impact. Sometimes, a photo can look much better just by approaching it in a different angle. Move your camera in relation to the subject and zoom in or out to change the composition.
12. Use Lines to Add Depth
You can create interesting perspective and enhance ordinary shots by using straight or curved lines within the frame. This is because lines lead the eye to the center of interest. Also, you can try shooting lines at an angle for unique shots.
13. Golden Hours
Sunrise and sunset are called "Golden Hours" by many photographers. Photos taken at these point are warm and rich. You need to experiment with angles and zoom to find the perfect balance of light.
14. Subject is too far
Sometimes, if you subject is too far away, your photo will lack a focal point. You are trying to fit too much into your photo and it will not look great. This mistake is pretty easy to fix. Just get closer to your subject. If you really can't get close enough, use your digital camera's optical zoom. You will realized that your photo and subject will be nicer if they are closer.
15. Take Time to Study
Last but not least, take the time to learn about photography. Get your hands on a photography book; sign up for a photography class or club in your area; study different techniques; give yourself personal assignments. Anyone can take a picture, but you simply can’t learn the art of photography if you’re not prepared to put in the time and effort.
Take some time and try out some of these digital photography techniques above. Practice makes perfect. Even with a simple digital camera, you can take amazing photos. You just need to have the correct techniques! Also remember to have fun while you are out shooting!
Next week I will continue on with Part 2 which will cover some basic techniques that I feel are very important when shooting farm related shots.