Four easy yet fundamental photography tips for taking better pictures
Have you made a decision to improve your photography skills and take better photos this year?
All of our Omnilargess Photography classes are designed with a commitment to helping you achieve your goals for digital capture and editing. Contact us with your questions and we will be more than happy to look at ways we can help you accomplish your dreams.
Here are four Fundamental Photography Tips to assist you with starting this year on the right foot.
1. Your camera is just a tool, learn how to use it
It’s easy to find yourself going round in circles when it comes to photographic equipment, and all too easy to believe that the camera gear you own is holding you back. But really, it isn’t: any digital camera is capable of producing a stunning picture provided you know how to control it.
Yes, there are some cameras which will give you a wider dynamic range and others that may have a more responsive AF system. But ultimately, the success of a photo comes down to its Exposure and Composition – how you manage the light and what you choose to include (and leave out) of the picture and how you arrange it in the frame. In our Digital Camera Bootcamp for beginners you learn how to control and utilize the power of your digital camera!
2. Choose the right shooting mode for the job
Your digital camera’s Auto and Scene modes are okay for snapshots, but if you want to take more creative photos then we encourage you to step up to the more advanced semi-automatic shooting modes.
Program mode (P) is like an advanced fully automatic mode, where the camera sets both the aperture and shutter speed. However, you can rotate the camera dial to ‘shift’ the aperture and shutter speed combination in order to get a different effect while still maintaining the same overall exposure. This makes Program mode a good choice for on-the-fly shooting where you just want to be sure you’re going to get the shot.
Aperture Priority (A or Av on the mode dial) is the one to choose if you want to control the Depth Of Field – how sharp your photos are from front to back. As a result, it’s a smart choice for portraits, landscapes, macro photos – pretty much everything! Aperture Priority is a semi-automatic mode: you set the aperture, and the camera then sets a corresponding shutter speed for a ‘correct’ exposure, based on the camera’s reading of the scene.
Shutter Priority (S or Tv) works the same way, although now you control the shutter speed and the camera sets an appropriate aperture. This makes it a good shooting mode to choose for shooting sports and action.
If you want to learn more about these shooting modes, consider our Digital Camera workshop for Beginners. In this full day Photography class we cover all the shooting modes.
3. Don’t rush yourself to use the camera in manual mode
We highly recommend that you learn the benefits of taking as much control back from the camera as possible for consistent results. Because, here’s the thing: many of the automatic camera settings give perfectly good results.
Take white balance, for instance. The Auto White Balance (AWB) setting does a really decent job in many situations. It occasionally will be a bit off in scenes with mixed lighting, but overall it’s pretty good at neutralizing unwanted colour casts. The camera’s autofocus system is generally a much faster option than manual focus – although you’ll get more accurate results if you tell the camera where you want it to focus by manually selecting one of the AF points in the viewfinder. Auto ISO can be another life-saver. Here, the camera will raise and lower the ISO sensitivity as you move from dark to bright conditions, improving your chances of taking a sharp photo. In our Digital Camera Bootcamp we take you into the realm of Manual shooting and will show you how, when and why you want to choose shooting in Manual.
4. Wait for the right light
This is what photography is really all about: thinking about the light in terms of its quality, quantity and direction, and how it suits the subject or scene. To reveal detail and reduce the contrast of a scene, shoot when the light is soft and diffused. Outdoor portraits and macro photos look great when shot under bright but overcast skies and much less so at midday on a bright, clear day because the light is just too harsh. Landscape photographers set their alarms for the early hours for a reason. The rich, low angles of light at sunrise (and sunset) add warmth and texture to rural and coastal shots. A good portion of our Digital Camera Bootcamp is dedicated to developing these skills because photography literally means “Painting with Light”.
Please check our Upcoming Classes for detailed information or contact us with your photography questions and to learn more about our private photography, Photoshop and Lightroom classes.
Happy shooting in 2016! Let’s make this your best year ever.
Ted and the Omnilargess Team