PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS Photography Tips Blog SLR Photography Tips When you are new to photography, getting to know your camera is the first best thing to do. As you learn from tweaking the different functions and settings just to get the perfect pictures, you will also learn the fundamentals of photography. Here are some SLR photography tips taken from photography experts. Some of these SLR photography tips can be helpful for those who are new to the career or hobby. SLR Photography Tips 1. ISO. Most SLR beginners really don’t have any idea what ISO means. It maybe the most important technical term that you have to understand about your camera. ISO means International Standardization Organization and has something to do with film speed. If you are taking pictures in dark settings or taking pictures at night or inside a poorly lit room, increasing your ISO setting can dramatically improve your photos. 2. When facing a dark setting which is still blurry even at high ISO settings, look for something to put the camera on. Find something where you can place your for stability. This will greatly improve the camera’s steadiness in order to give a good shot. 3. Get yourself a tripod. However, get yourself a good one! Cheap tripods will easily break, making them impractical for their low quality. Also, they might not work correctly, will easily shake with the wind, etc. 4. Shoot pictures in RAW. RAW files are really large and can be challenging to work with. They can easily fill up the space on your hard drive but the ability to make changes to the contrast, exposure, temperature before processing the image creates a big difference. This tip is most helpful for art photographers when they still want to do modifications in order to create the best photo they can make. 5. Photoshop. Almost all digital pictures can be enhanced by editing it. You can do things like changing sharpness, saturation, contrast, color, etc. If you think it is too much to spend on Photoshop, you can also use other free software like Google’s Picasa. 6. Shoot plenty of photos and take advantage of the digital technology. Feel free to delete most of the images you had. When you spot something which you want to be your subject, take 6 shots of the same thing. Other pictures could be bad and you can only choose the best one and delete the others. 7. Change perspective. When you think that you already have your subject captured and framed, try other perspectives and see the difference. You can go down on the ground and shoot from there. Or you can just set your camera on the ground and capture your subject from there to have a new perspective. You can shoot from above. Find someplace where you can stand up. Look closer. Move back. Turn around and look what’s behind? Are you not noticing something spectacular? Keep your mind open for the various ways you can make the same shot. Change the angle of your shot. Tilt your camera. Make a vertical, diagonal or horizontal shot. Crop out the heavens. Crop out the land, leaving only a very thin strip at the bottom. Change your perspective and make various versions of the same thing. 8. Choosing your lens. It makes such a great difference when you shoot using good lenses. Experiment with different lenses and be sure that a good portion of the budget for your hobby is spent to at least one or two good lenses. Some people like lenses with flexible range of distances aside from those lenses with fixed focal rates. Hopefully, these tips will be of great to the amateur photographer. Just remember that regardless of where you will use your pictures, photography will always be photography. Into Digital SLR? Check out these DSLR photography tips! 12 Incredible Night Photography Tips Image via Wikipedia Taking photographs at night can create the most dramatic images, although it can also be among the more difficult types of photography to master. This article will try to share some night photography tips which can help you in your need to take photographs without the sun. These night photography tips are also useful even for beginners in making sure that they seize the best picture when they need to. Night Photography Tips 1. Plan ahead where you will have your night photography. Spend a few minutes for planning ahead your driving routes, parking, and other related concerns. 2. Know about where and when the sun will set or where the moon will rise if you intend to include them in your pictures. Some of the best pictures make use of these celestial bodies. 3. Find out about the weather forecast for the location you are planning to do your nighttime picture-taking. From here, you will know what to wear and how much cloud cover there should be. 4. Bring bug spray when doing nighttime photography in the warm months especially if you are planning to stay near a body of water or a wooden area. Photography should be fun and fighting insects isn’t exactly part of it. 5. Bring a tripod. It is not unusual to experience an exposure of a full second or sometimes even more with night time photography. For exposures of more than 1/30 of a second, you need a tripod to make sure that the camera is steady enough to take that lovely shot! 6. Use a bubble level to ensure that the camera is level enough to take perfect pictures. 7. Set ahead your camera settings. The more control you have over your camera settings, the greater the possibility of taking the best photographs. If your camera only has automatic settings, your attempt at taking good pictures at night might become a challenge. Regardless of whether you are planning to pursue a career in photography or you are just doing it for fun, it would be better if it is possible to spend on a quality camera that will let you adjust its basic settings. 8. Avoid using flash. Usually, on-camera flashes don’t really work beyond 5 or 6 feet in front of the cam. At night, the flash may overexpose objects which are on the foreground while it may underexpose your prime subject. 9. Adjust the ISO setting higher on your cam to let your digital cam have faster shutter speed. The higher the ISO, the shorter the exposures it will use. Short exposures are important in nighttime photography. Some cameras have higher than normal noise when exposed for long. Check if your camera has noise reduction for long exposure. 10. Have a full understanding of your camera’s light metering system or if it has a different meter while it uses manual settings. The latest cameras usually have sophisticated metering systems. However, nighttime photo taking needs some tricky lighting situations. If the automatic setting doesn’t give you the quality of photos that you need, use the manual camera setting or use exposure compensation. You can also use your camera’s histogram to help determine how good your meter is functioning. 11. Use the manual focus in order to save time. Most probably, you will be shooting the same subject of multiple exposures, so use auto-focus on your first shot and then change to manual focus without modifying your focus. 12. When taking pictures of buildings and monuments, one good thing about them is that they won’t walk away. Once you have set the focus, you don’t need to refocus after every shot. But then it is also necessary to check from time to time to see if you have not bumped the lens and changed the focus. Food Photography Tips for the Aspiring Photographer Flickr: Sidius Sid Styling food for photography isn’t as difficult as you might have expected. Here are some food photography tips which can help you enhance the pictures that you take with foods. It doesn’t matter where your picture will end up – photo album, facebook or magazine – it is still your work of art. Hopefully, these food photography tips can help you enhance the pictures that you take with your digital camera. Image via Wikipedia Preparation Place some background of simple patterned or solid papers. Experiment on what works best when talking about similarity and contrast. Also, be sure that you have sufficient paper to cover the full field of view. Try including serving pieces, napkins, whole place settings, tablecloths or placemats. Set the table with drinks, silverware or even candles to create the perfect mood. If you are on a tight budget, you can always look for these items at thrift stores or garage sales. When dealing with multiple food subjects, choose only the best examples. You can’t afford to let a blemish ruin all your photo shoot. When taking pictures of vegetables, glassware or fruit, mist those with water to simulate condensation, making them all look more enticing. Also, shiny food looks more appealing than dull ones. So, do anything that will make your food shine to make a more fascinating photo. Combine different elements from the food you are taking pictures of or include some condiments within the frame. Slice thinly some cucumbers and place on top of the yoghurt soup in order to exude the feeling of freshness. Experiment because some ideas will work, while others won’t. Food Photography Tips: Taking Your Pictures When creating interesting photos, experiment with different angles and perspective. For example, taking a picture from a lower angle can create an interesting shot as the food’s height and density increases, making the food more sumptuous. With your lens and your feet, zoom to place the food in position. Whether you are using zoom lens or prime lens, you can still get closer in order to magnify a certain detail of the food or you can loosen the shot in order to depict the food as part of a larger meal. Rotate on all dimensions. Some foods look best when shot from directly above, while some foods have fascinating side profiles which can be obtained by shooting the food from its level. Tilting slightly the camera counterclockwise or clockwise can also add some attention into an otherwise uninteresting photo. Image via Wikipedia Take advantage of the possibility to take plenty of pictures when shooting digitally. Using the rule of thirds. Generally speaking, the rule of thirds can help in creating a strong photo and this is not applicable for action shots and landscapes but for food also. Place your subject in 2/3 of your picture while you reserve 1/3 for its background. Take advantage of the truth that your subjects are immobile. Some people think that you only have a few minutes to take pictures with food after being served, it isn’t always the case. You can always zoom, walk around, hover do anything just to get the picture you need. In food photography, you should remember well-known techniques in order to get your desired shot. You should be able to apply all other general picture-taking techniques that you have learned or have recently read. Go for good exposure, soft shadows plus good color representation. Feel free to experiment with the different apertures and focal point of your cameras. Also be attentive to color casts, white balance or think of shooting pictures RAW. If you are not steady enough to take a picture of the food, using a tripod can be your best solution. Also, do not be scared to include some artistic styles to your pictures using imaginative post-processing. 8 DSLR Photography Tips for Beginners This article will tell you about some DSLR photography tips for beginners. The tips are very helpful for those Image via Wikipedia who have been used to point-and-shoot cams who now want to upgrade to DSLR photography. DSLR cameras aren’t grossly complex but it surely takes some time to get used to it. With the DSLR photography tips here, you should be able to learn the basics while still getting to know your camera. These are just basic DSLR photography tips and hopefully it can come handy for beginners of this field. Composition of Landscape If you are into taking pictures of landscapes, this is a simple rule to remember – the rule of thirds. This means that 2/3 or 1/3 of the image should make up either the foreground or the sky, depending on which object you want to focus on. This strategy will give your image more depth and a dramatic look. Using the aperture Aperture tells you how much of the scene you see in the viewfinder will be focused. When you choose low aperture, this means that only the foreground will be focused while the rest of the picture will be fuzzy. This functionality is used for macro- photography and close-ups, when you just want to highlight your subject in the picture. High aperture also means everything will be focused. This option is best used for landscapes. Since these settings are different according to lens, be sure to play around with this functionality. Image by Wunkai via Flickr Shooting very sharp pictures The first thing to ensure a sharp picture is to have a steady hand. The latest cameras now have built-in stabilizers, allowing some tolerance for your movement. But, when your hand isn’t steady in taking pictures even with this functionality, upon close observation on a large screen, you will still see blurry effects on them. Another way to control this is by using a tripod. Shooting in soft light Most beginners think that the best time to take pictures is during a full daylight, when in fact it’s the other way around. Direct sunlight can actually ruin your pictures. It can cause harsh shadows, overexposure and loss of detail. Go take pictures at dawn, dusk or right after/before a rain shower. If you just need to shoot during full daylight, never shoot with the sunlight behind or in front of you; shoot your photo with light from the side. Using ISO ISO is a camera setting that determines film speed. This simply means that the higher ISO you set, the more light comes in. This means that when you have to take pictures in dark settings, you have to increase ISO in order to capture more light. Although this also has another implication, which is adding noise into your images, which are difficult to remove. Therefore, keep your ISO low and increase it slightly when shooting in dark settings. Image via Wikipedia Shutter speed Low shutter speeds are helpful in getting sharp pictures of mobile objects. You can also alter the shutter speed settings in order to produce a more experimental picture such as capturing fireworks. Also, shutter speed instantly increases in dark settings. When to use Automatic Mode The automatic mode is the completely automatic setting of your camera, where it sets the shutter speed and the aperture for you depending on what you shoot. The best time to use the Automatic Mode is when you aren’t certain about what you’ll shoot. For example, when shooting things which are rapidly changing so that you don’t have any time to manually set the camera, choose this mode. Keeping things simple It is frequently better to keep subjects simple and not to try to capture everything at once. Complex background can actually ruin your photo. Shooting crowds also is another example, where they are complex, uninteresting and can’t give a clear message. 23 Digital Photography Tips for Beginners Your photograph is the most important thing in the end and not your camera type. Digital photography is also photography and it doesn’t matter where you’ll use the pictures. When you are taking pictures using your digital camera, keep in mind these following digital photography tips for beginners. A good picture is able to respond and recognize the subject. This also means shooting appropriately right from the start, regardless of the type of camera you have. Come closer to your subject. Inspect your lens. Check what you can do when you step closer or if you place something on your subject’s foreground. What will happen to the background? Does it become sharp or fuzzy? Take a lot of pictures. Since it is digital, you can easily do this! Low light can increase digital grain. Using an added light or a flash can solve this problem though it should be kept at a minimum. The first step in making better pictures knows how to be perfectly still. Avoid near misses by getting used to your camera’s delay. Try shooting at unusual vantage points when taking pictures of animals and kids. When getting rid of unwanted shadows, try various angles using flash. White balance can do more than correct colors. Use this function creatively in order to have the colors appropriate in your scene. Your camera’s ISO is actually the measure of your sensor’s sensitivity to light. If you will set the ISO manually, here are some basic tips: in very bright sunlight, 100 ISO; on a dull, monotonous day, 400 ISO; under floodlights or indoors, 800 or 1600. Basically, higher ISOs result to lower picture qualities. If you notice too many colors but with a bad light, shoot in black and white so that the substance of the picture takes over than the conflict of colors. Digital Photography Tips: Storing and Transferring Images Image by rachel a. k. via Flickr Guard your images from computer crashes by having another backup outside your computer. Windows and Mac both work well for your pictures. The quality of the image isn’t affected. Purchase the largest memory card possible. If you have to print, store and edit pictures on your computer, doing so using a card reader is better than connecting your camera directly into your PC. JPEG is a good picture format. However, when working on your pictures such as editing, you shouldn’t use this format. Always save your pictures in TIFF or in your image processor’s suggested file formats. Find an image browser that allows you to look at all of the photos as thumbnails for easy sorting of pictures. Image via Wikipedia Looking for Photography Equipment Visit your favorite camera store when looking for equipment. Read reviews on special websites and on photography magazines. Each review that you read can help you make a solid and stronger choice that’s perfect for you. Usually, point-and-shoot cameras’ optical zoom are within a limited range but may have the capability to zoom in electronically. This simply crops your picture, thereby using only a small part of your sensor. If it is possible for your camera settings, turn off this function and only use the optical zoom. You can then always crop your picture later if necessary. When taking pictures of kids swimming or playing at the pool, using a disposable waterproof camera is a good choice. The image quality produced by your camera depends not only on its sensor but also has something to do with image processing within your camera and its lens quality. In order to compare lenses among digital cameras, look for equivalent size, 35 mm. The real focal length can sometimes be confusing because of the difference in sensor sizes. Don’t buy a digital camera by looking at its features along. The way you handle and the way you react to its controls vary sufficiently enough to affect how much you will use and like the camera. I hope you enjoyed these digital photography tips! Now start snapping away!