These days, almost everyone has a digital camera. Even smartphones or android phones have cameras. This means that capturing photos is not as expensive as it used to be. Gone are the days when professionals, amateurs or hobbyists have to buy several rolls of film and are careful to take shots that are deemed perfect or at least, close to perfect.
Digital cameras enable you to point and shoot and study the shots later. Not-so-good ones can be deleted while others can be Photoshopped. Still others give the photographer a pat on the back for a job well done.
On the advantageous side, digital cameras enable you to take as many shots for just a single subject. As what people often say, “practice makes perfect”. So there is no valid excuse for not taking excellent professional pictures.
Nonetheless, you can take the tediousness of the effort and limit trial and error by keeping pointers in taking excellent pictures.
Here are a few photography tips to help you improve your skills right away:
1.- Get to know your equipment.
I know real men don’t read the instructions. So even if your wife came with instructions your still wouldn’t understand her. I personally hate reading manuals but I do it anyway.
Although taking great photographs has a lot to do with the ability and skill of the photographer, it is still essential to know your equipment. Familiarity with your equipment enables you to take photographs with some help from your camera.
Knowing its features frees you from worrying about the technical stuff and lets your eye for beauty and your interest in the subject have free reign. More importantly, knowing the features of your camera and knowing how to use them ensures that you get good image resolution.
Sure you can discover the features of your camera without reading the manual but, trust me, it is much easier to just read the instructions.
2.- Minimizing image noise.
Try to avoid image noise. I see this a lot and it just diminishes the quality of an image.
Usually, when photographs are taken indoors, there is a tendency for it to get noisy. In photography parlance, it simply means that at close inspection, the picture tends to have noticeable dots – or to pixelate.
Digital pictures are characterized by tiny dots that actually form the picture. When the picture is said to be noisy, any shadow it has is captured with colors of the rainbow. Sometimes, the picture may also seem to have grains.
The common solution to this problem is using a filter that reduces or eliminates this noise. Some digital cameras, especially digital SLRs, have this feature. Noisy images can also be minimized if a subject is pictured with a steady hand. If not, a tripod may be used.
3.- Know how much light is allowed to enter.
If you want to take excellent picture, you need to fix the light settings. In taking pictures, the aperture setting is important.
If a higher number is set for the aperture, a subject that is a bit distant from the photographer ensures that that subject is captured clearly. Sometimes, when you want to capture an image or subject that is at close range, a lower aperture setting is enough.
The camera blurs the background or things that are not important or should not be part of the picture. This is okay because it allows the viewer to focus on the subject, and not the background. This creates depth and is also a technique in taking excellent pictures.
4.- Using flash.
A lot of people think that flash is only used for taking pictures indoors. That is wrong. It can also be used outdoors.
As a photographer, you should notice that when shooting a subject outdoors, especially with overcast skies or late in the afternoon, light can be very minimal and subjects tend to have shadows. It is at this time that using a flash could correct what would otherwise be a bad picture.
When using flash indoors, it is not enough to just turn it on. Merely turning it on can give a wash out effect so that if a portrait is done, the subject looks frightened.
At this point, use sync modes that will allow enough light to enter at the right moment so that the shot looks more natural.
5.- Consider shutter speed.
When taking pictures of fast action, like a sports event or a car racing by, it is important to capture them at the right moment. Capturing them at the right moment will result in a clearer picture.
At times, this is not possible, mainly because of a camera’s shutter speed. A faster shutter speed enables you to capture one single, fast-action moment. This, however, should be coupled with a great amount of light.
On the other hand, a slower shutter speed is needed to capture clear images in the night time or in a darkened room. Slow shutter speed allows the camera to let a lot of light in.
If you like part 1, continue reading part 2