The Master Photography Tip Thread

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by manaheim, May 24, 2009.

  1. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Someone posted a question ... what makes a better photographer? However, it was more about equipment. I was actually thinking, "Gee, you know, that's a hell of a good question."

    So I therefore hereby start this thread...

    The rules:

    1. Post a SINGLE tip per post.
    2. Each tip may be technical or non-technical... your choice.
    3. Post as many tips as you like.
    4. Tip must explain both the tip, and why it is important.
    5. Include a subject line for your tip.

    Ready? Go.
     
  2. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Here are some tips on how to ensure you get nice blue skies.

    1. Keep the sun roughly at your back with the light on your subject. This will keep the sky exposed properly or slightly underexposed- blues do well when underexposed.

    2. Use a circular polarizing filter to help deepen blues (as well as cut reflections, reduce harsh reflections and increase saturation on colors)

    Why this is important? Washed out skies look like crap. :)
     
  3. MattxMosh

    MattxMosh TPF Noob!

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    One of the first things I learned.

    Take pictures in threes, whether it be different angles, or different settings.

    Taking in fives doesn't hurt either.

    It helps you cover your bases on exposure, composition etc More chances to get the shot right.
     
  4. pez

    pez No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Here's one: on partly-cloudy days when the sun is a bit too high (contrasty), and if you have a cooperative subject, be patient and wait for a cloud shadow to provide nice, diffuse lighting.
     
  5. Jaszek

    Jaszek No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Clouds are your friends. Just pretend it's a gift from God of a giant softbox.
    No shadows falling on subject/behind subject
     
  6. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy TPF Noob!

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    Tip: Great photographic moments don't wait for weekends and holidays. Try to keep a camera with you and ready to shoot as often as possible.

    The most interetsing things always seem to happen on the days I run an errand and decide not to bring my camera with it. Drives me bonkers.
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you have a flash - be it a speedlite or a popup and don't have a diffuser to hand then an elastic band and a bit of while toiletpaper/hanky can help a lot. Fold it over a few times to make a pad and then secure it infront of the flash with the bland; making sure that the band does not cover the flash element.
    Now you have a cheap diffuser on your flash. True its not as good as many others, but its cheap, quick and will do in a pinch and does help to take that harsher edge of the flash light.
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Sometimes as a photographer we get into some fantastic places, some outstanding landscapes, see some emotional experiences be it a man standing up to tanks on the street of a lion hunting in the plains of Africa.
    Moreso as a photographer we have a chance to capture that scene before us for a moment and take it away with us - however sometimes we have to learn to put the camera down and watch instead.

    These are times when the light might be wrong, the lens wrong our angle is wrong etc... Its not about being an elitist and only taking Pulzer winning shots its about understanding that we can either take shots and see though blurred shutter vision or we can just sit back and enjoy the sight for what it is.

    And in support of that get yourself a good set of binoculars!

    oh and remember each sight we see is always a one off - and they have been happening since the dawn of time and havn't got any less impressive as time went on
     
  9. Gaerek

    Gaerek TPF Noob!

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    If you're shooting digital, check the histogram after your first shot or two, and anytime the lighting substantially changes, or you considerably change your shooting angle. The main thing you want to watch for is part of the graph spilling over either side. This means you lost detail in the shadows (spills left) or blew out your highlights (spills right). A clumping of the graph to one side or the other can also indicate over or under exposure. Don't be afraid to play with exposure compensation settings.

    I'm not saying you need to start checking after every shot, but checking your histo every so often will save you some heartache later when you realize that shot you thought was perfect is actually over exposed with blown out highlights. Your camera's meter does a pretty good job of determining exposure, but (unless you're using advanced exposure modes) it's taking a calculated average of the entire scene. Knowing how the histogram works, and how to compensate will really be a boon to any digital photographer.
     
  10. newrmdmike

    newrmdmike TPF Noob!

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    OPENNESS TO CHANGE

    I think that being open to various changes in the capture and display format can really help you find ways to better realize your vision. being able to adopt different creative tools without too much bias is a big step for every photographer. this same thing applies to your vision, and what style you may be working towards . . . don't get nailed down to it.
     
  11. In2daBlue

    In2daBlue TPF Noob!

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    This is a good one. When I first started in photojournalism a photographer (who later won a Pulitzer for his editorial work) gave me this tip: "Talk yourself into bringing the camera with you everywhere you go not into leaving it at home."

    Another good tip for the amateurs out there that will follow you into professional work: "Get low and wide"

    There is something about getting low and wide on a subject that seems to add an easy punch to a round of photos. I don't go to a single shoot without taking a handful of low and wide shots. Now, I get high, I zoom in, I diversify depending on the scene but I am always low and wide for part of the day.
     
  12. DScience

    DScience No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    When you take off your lens cap, always put it in the same place (ie your camera bag pocket).

    Otherwise, you'll spend more time searching for your lens cap than shooting pictures. :lol:
     

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