For every bad habit, give yourself a test score.
The best camera is the one you have with you – even if it’s in your smartphone. Not every photograph you take is photography contest material, or is of commercial value. Regardless, a enormous camera count and optimal lens quality on a DSLR is useless if left at home.
Those small storage cards are hugely expensive, but the temptation to be frugal will bite you on the bum. Murphy’s Law states your memory card will fill up exactly when you are shooting that’money shot’; if the light is right; or when the whole group is smiling at you. The remedy?
I know a buddy who fills a memory card with graphics, then buys another, fill up that, then buys a second – a dangerous habit! He confessed he has lost some of his cherished photos. Personally, I have experienced the pain of having a hard drive fail, losing over a year’s commercial photography work. To be super-secure, you should really keep your photographs in three distinct locations.
Constantly checking your pictures on the LCD screen is known as chimping. Nothing wrong with it, except in the event that you’re into street photography, or in a wedding or celebration. You will miss that critical moment, as you are too engrossed in the perfectionistic trend of chimping.
Amateur shutterbugs have a tendency to hold the camera in head-height. But this will produce predictable outcomes. When shooting at a place, learn to’work the spectacle’. Drop to your knees, or lie on the floor, searching for new angles. An aerial view can be stunning. Do not forget that the ideal tool of makeup is your feet.
Start looking for a simple background behind your subject. By way of instance, avoid using a telephone pole (in the space ) that seems to protrude from someone’s head. For those who get a long lens, you can use a narrow depth-of-field to blur the background. This will isolate your subject in the clutter beyond, attaining a level of separation.
Ignore the principles of composition at your own peril. If you would like your photos to stand out, learn and use the Rule of Thirds, rather than put your focal point rush in the middle, like most people do, (in blissful ignorance). Do not forget to try various kinds of framing: portrait orientation versus landscape orientation. Or even a very wide panoramic harvest.
Confession time… I’m guilty of this. Since I trained back in the bad old days of movie, when powerful light was necessary to capture great images, I turned into a fair-weather photographer. I also used compact digital cameras for a decade, which were impossible in low light conditions. So I had been infatuated with clear, blue skies, as cloudy skies frequently washed into a white haze.
But under a harsh, midday sunlight, shadows are short and therefore objects don’t seem three-dimensional, lacking form. Human subjects may squint in the sun, or float. Worse, they might have an ugly’sun-dial’ effect under their noses! Better to present people in the colour.
Landscapers should learn how to work with softer, diffused light – that is compulsory for waterfall scenes. Thunderclouds overhead will introduce a feeling of foreboding that blue heavens cannot. Golden hour light will exude warmer tones and more shadows.
Same old story: you purchase a new camera, put the box away and the camera’s manual remains in the plastic bag. Maybe you were too excited to use your new gadget. Well, now it is time to dig out the guide, and strike it with a highlighter pen.
Be methodical, and work through every part of your camera. You might discover features you did not know existed!
When you haven’t read the camera manual, your photos may suffer from the constraints of shooting in Automatic mode. Modern cameras are amazing, and will produce terrific effects on Vehicle, but not always. Learn the semi automatic shooting modes, such as Shutter or Aperture Priority. Then, if you’re brave, try shooting Manual.
It’s far better to have a shot directly in-camera, for instance, right exposure, as blown-out highlights can’t be retrieved later. Another consideration is ensuring that the horizon is right, or you’ll lose the advantages of your image when rotating then cropping it on a pc. Use the 3×3 grid on your LCD screen, or a soul level fitted onto the hot shoe.
If you shoot landscapes, then purchase some ND and ND Grad filters. The most useful filter is that the Polariser, the effects of which can’t be replicated using applications. Finally, it’s much better to do a little gardening, eliminating distractions from a spectacle, than be made to replicate them out in Photoshop – dull work!
Sadly, this narrows the dynamic array of your photos, and changes the color, according to the camera’s presets. This can’t be reversed. Take using the RAW file format, since it is more forgiving. RAW allows you the latitude to adjust exposure and color, in addition to sharpen the picture, on computer program. Consider RAW files as digital negatives, that require processing and fine tuning.
All of us take bad pictures, badly exposed or blurry… but there is no need to inflict these on the unsuspecting public! Carefully select only your best pictures, then process these on the computer.
Also, display various images on social networking, or online galleries, but limit these to 3-5. Essentially, do not submit minor variations of the exact same shot.
Tick these customs and tally up your total.
Wow! You’re disciplined, and must have done a few photography classes.
4-6 habits. Not bad. But there’s room for improvement.
7-9 habits. Do not despair; there is still hope for you.
10-13 habits. You need professional help!