Photography can be an incredible hobby to pursue or a wonderful career to have with many fun and interesting challenges along the way. Whatever may be your future goals or interests, it is always great to have an arsenal of photography tips at hand be it for the rookie beginner or the more seasoned professional.
Here are ten great practical photography tips to guide you forward on this journey.
1. Work with what you already have
While it may be tempting to start your new hobby with a spanking new DSLR and an expensive lens, it is best to use the camera that you already have. There is a lot that older cameras can do as the basics of photography and camera settings are still the same.
2. Learn to hold the camera
While this may sound very basic, learning to hold the camera correctly and comfortably is a first step towards being a better photographer. Holding the camera closer to your body, supporting the lens with your left hand and ensuring you get your horizon straight while gripping the camera with your right hand helps a lot. Blurry, shaky and out of focus images can be avoided by following these simple steps that prevent camera shake.
3. Learn Composition Techniques
A golden rule in photographic composition is the Rule of Thirds. Learn all about it, experiment with it and use it wherever possible. Also, try breaking this rule when you want to. Know what your subject is and try keeping it as the main element in the frame. Learn to keep horizons level and not cut off important details at the edge of your frame.
4. Learn how your camera works
There are certain key camera settings such as aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Understand their interrelation to each other and what makes up the Exposure Triangle. Learn how to tweak these for different photographic opportunities. Also, photograph in RAW file format. It will give you a lot more information to work in your photo editing software later.
5. Learn to work with light
Light plays a major role in photography. After all, what we see with our eyes or what the camera captures is all reflected light! Shoot during different times of the day. You will understand the differences in early morning light vs a harsh afternoon where shadows turn darker and everything takes on a grittiness.
6. Walk around
Trying different shooting perspectives can make a world of a difference to your images. Moving higher or lower or just moving a few feet to your left or right – all these show your subject differently rather than just plain eye level. Also, zoom in or out and capture your subject. You will be surprised how perspective changes can make your photos strong and more interesting.
7. Keep your gear clean
Maintenance of the lens and storing your camera equipment in moderate temperatures and humidity is important for the longevity of expensive equipment. Learn should be cleaned with a soft microfiber cloth periodically. When you return from shooting be it rain, snow or dusty environments, make the time to ensure all equipment is in a spotless condition.
8. Learn to read the histogram
Digital cameras capture the range of tones in a photograph in a pictorial way called the Histogram. In simple terms, the darkest parts or the shadows are indicated on the left and the brightest parts or the highlights are indicated on the right side of a graph. All other tones are distributed between these two extremes. Learning to read a histogram helps a photographer adjust the exposure and ensures that details are not lost in the shadows nor are highlights blown to the best extent possible while on the field.
9. Invest in a good photo editing software
Photo processing sometimes gets a bad rap and is misunderstood as a drastic way of image manipulation. This need not be te case at all. Simple adjustments to exposure levels, shadows, highlights, contrast, white balance and cropping can enhace your images to just the right extent.
10. Shoot Often
Practicing and improving your skills is an imperative and very enjoyable process in photography. It provides you with a chance to explore new locations, people and events around you in a creative way. Shooting images on a regular basis helps you understand your camera, your lenses and settings and allows you to eventually master your equipment while you set out on a creative path that provides you with much satisfaction!