Photography tips

Photography tips

If you’re learning photography, these should be especially helpful for you along the way.

Work with Your Composition
To take engaging photos, you need to be engaged with what you’re doing. Don’t just fly by on autopilot. Instead, put thought into your composition and try to make your photos as good as possible. That starts with knowing the basics of how to compose good photos. Don’t cut off important parts of your subject with the edge of your frame. Keep your horizons level, and try to eliminate any distractions in your photo by adjusting your composition. See if your photo has a sense of balance and simplicity.

Use the Camera You Already Have
Camera gear is not all that important. There are countless cameras, lenses, and other accessories on the market today. The differences are almost always minor, especially at a given price. Much more important are your creative skills and knowledge of camera settings. Focus your effort on those, not on collecting camera equipment.

Learn Which Settings Matter
You won’t learn anything if your camera is making all the decisions for you. Aside from aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, which are the three most important settings, learn how to focus properly by practicing with the different autofocus modes. Lastly, shoot in Raw if you want to edit your photos, or think there’s any chance you’ll edit them in the future.

Don’t Overexpose Highlights
It is critical to avoid overexposing highlights in a photo because it’s impossible to recover any detail from white areas of a photo. When you’re taking photos, watch the camera screen to see if there is any overexposure.

Pay Attention to the Light
Often, the goal here is to balance the light’s intensity between your subject and background. The easiest way to solve this is to pay attention to the direction and softness of the light. If the light is too harsh, you could get bad shadows going across your subject, which is especially a problem for portrait photography. If the light is coming from an unflattering angle, see what you can do to move the light source (in a studio) or move the subject (outdoors) – or wait until the light is better (landscape photography).

Take Your Time
Slow down and take the time to get it right. Keep the mindset for every important decision. Is your composition as good as possible? Did you autofocus in the right place? Have you done everything possible to improve the lighting conditions?

Move Your Feet
Climb on top of things, change the height of your camera, walk forward and backward, do whatever you need to do – but keep moving. Moving around is the only way to change the relative sizes and positions of the objects in your photo.

Know When to Use a Tripod
With tripods, you can shoot multi-minute exposures and capture details so dark that they are invisible to the human eye. Even in a brighter scene, tripods improve the stability of your composition and help you take sharper photos. You use a tripod if your subject is stationary, almost always.

Pay Attention to the Edges of Your Composition
For starters, make sure that your subject has enough breathing room so that it’s not bunching up against the edge of a photo. And certainly don’t cut off an important element, like the top of a mountain, unless you have a very good reason.

Know When to Use a Flash
Flashes aren’t just meant for dark environments. They’re great if you need some extra light. Get an external flash, tilt it at the ceiling, and use a relatively long lens.

Clean Your Camera Lens
When your camera lens are dirty, dusty, and smudged – that’s the easiest way to get blurry photos. Get a microfiber cloth and lens cleaning solution.

Don’t Use a Cheap Filter
The second easiest way to get blurry photos is to use a cheap filter on the front of your lens.

Back Up Your Photos
Ideally, you would have at least three copies of all your photos at a given time. This should include at least two different media types, such as an internal hard drive and a removable storage medium. And at least one of the backups should be stored off-site. This is known as the 3-2-1 rule. It’s the best way to avoid losing any of your photos.

Get Organized
The good method is simply to create a new folder of images for every year, then divide each year by months (labeled “01 January,” “02 February,” and so on, for alphabetical order). Another very useful method is tagging. You can tag your photos in most postprocessing programs with many tags. There are many possible methods.

Meet Other Photographers
Meeting other photographers is one of the best ways to keep learning and improving, either for inspiration or for advice. If you’re the type of person who prefers self-guided learning in photography, this still applies. Ask questions on online forums, email photographers whose work you admire, and otherwise save resources you find valuable.

Have Fun!
Photography is supposed to be fun. Even professional photographers chose this career, almost without exception, because they enjoy photography. Don’t let that spark die out.