Since professional Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras have now become more affordable, almost every photography enthusiast is making it their first priority to get one for themselves. However, as the saying goes – what matters is who’s behind the camera and not what the camera is capable of. Check out our list of 30 photography tips that will help you become a master of photography in no time!
1) Get your angles right
Angles play a major role in determining the outcome of the image and how it is interpreted. A high angle shot (taken from above the eye level of the subject) can make the subject look weak and helpless. A low angle shot (taken from below the eye level of the subject), on the other hand, makes the subject look overpowering and strong.
2) Make sure you focus on the subject
This is a mistake that’s made quite often by most amateur photographers. When the focal point is not clearly set, the subject may appear blurry while some other part of the image may appear sharp. To set the focus on a phone camera, simply tap the screen at the point where you want it focused. For other cameras, half pressing the shutter button sets the focus (a red bracket appears on the screen, which turns green when the focusing is complete).
3) Sort the light out
In order to get a clear and well-defined image, it is essential for the lighting to be optimal. Make sure that the subject faces a light source. In other words, the light should come from a point behind the camera. Ensure that the lighting is even across all points of the camera frame.
4) Switch to manual mode
If your camera has a manual mode, switch to it as soon as possible. Manual mode provides greater control on individual aspects such as shutter speed, aperture, white balance, etc. This will give you a much better picture.
5) Leading the eye
Make sure that the image conveys a story. The image should be composed (framed) in such a way that the viewer focuses on the most important part first and then proceeds to examine the other elements in the picture.
6) Colour balance
Experiment with the colour balance to get creative looking shots. A purple elephant perhaps? Your creativity is the limit.
7) The rule of thirds
Aligning the subject with the intersection point of the guide lines will enhance the interest of the viewer. This means breaking the image down into 3 parts horizontally and vertically, thus making 9 parts in all.
8) Choosing the right shutter speed
A slower shutter speed will give you a blurrier picture (which is good if you intend to get a creative shot) and a higher shutter speed will enable you to capture fast moving objects with ease. So, if your object is stationary, slower shutter speeds are ideal.
9) ISO – Your buddy in low-light conditions
When clicking night shots or operating in low-light conditions, to enhance the detail of the images, you can increase the ISO value. The higher the ISO value, the more the detail that is captured in the dark. However, ISO values of over 1,600 tend to cause grainy images.
10) Burst mode for stop motion videos
Shooting objects in burst mode can help you create amazing stop motion videos.
11) Lenses for the best shots
Changing the lenses of your camera can greatly change the output of your shots. While SLRs have detachable lenses, you may have to opt for a clip-on lens for your mobile phone. Some of the popular lenses include fish eye, macro and telephoto lenses.
12) RAW file format
Shooting in RAW format helps you get more control over various aspects of the image during post-processing. However, RAW files eat up more space on your camera.
13) Creating artificial depth
To enhance your photo and create a sense of depth, you can keep an object closer to the lens while keeping other objects in the background.
14) Drawing attention by placing the subject at the centre
For portrait shots, it is best to keep the subject or object at the centre of the frame so as to capture the attention of the viewer.
15) Know how much to post-process
Post-processing in moderation is the key to a great looking photograph. Excessive use of Photoshop on pictures can drastically reduce their value.
16) Keep the camera steady to reduce blurred images
While clicking shots, it is essential that you do not shake the camera. Even the slightest of shakes can magnify into a huge blur in the final shot.
17) Capture the moment without missing it
When you’re shooting something that’s quite important, perhaps an ongoing race, it is imperative to get the winning shot. You don’t really have a second chance to capture the moment. This is when the video mode can help. Pressing the screen or the camera button while the video is recording will help you capture that particular frame. Even if you miss the moment, you have the video as a backup (only certain cameras support this function).
18) The megapixel myth
Contrary to popular belief, more megapixels does not mean a better picture. In fact, the fewer the megapixels, the better your final image could be (due to the reduced need for processing power). For day-to-day use, you’ll never need anything more than 5 megapixels.
19) Lower the resolution for faster and better captures
As mentioned above, lowering the resolution can help you capture pictures faster as the processing time for each picture is drastically reduced. Also, lower resolutions mean lower file sizes, thereby helping you capture and store more photos.
20) Use a high-speed SD card
A higher speed memory card will help you shoot pictures at a faster speed due to the reduced saving time for each image. This also reduces stutter in HD videos.
21) Keep an extra pack of batteries handy
Running out of battery at a critical moment is the last thing a photographer would want. Hence, it is always recommended to carry an extra battery pack.
22) Digital zoom vs optical zoom
Digital zoom is nothing but a mere magnification of the pixels. This can significantly reduce the quality of the image. Optical zoom, on the other hand, causes no visible deterioration of the image quality.
23) Using the IS mode for better shots
Most cameras have a built-in image stabilisation (IS) option. Using this will help reduce blur in cases of unstable camera shots.
24) Macro mode for extreme close-ups
Need to focus on something that’s really close to the camera or perhaps something that’s very small? Switch to the macro mode to get a close-up shot of the subject.
25) Clean the lens regularly
Cleaning the lens with a soft optical cleaning cloth will help your images stay clear of unwanted spots and freckles.
26) Black and white shots
For serious subjects, a black and white shot can help add to its aura. This is also a fantastic option for candid captures.
27) Backing up your photos
Keep a regular backup schedule for your photos so that you won’t have to worry if your SD card gets corrupted.
28) Saving your battery
Reducing the brightness of your camera screen, avoiding playback of shot images and videos, keeping the flash mode off, etc. can help you extend your battery life.
29) Fill flash vs auto flash
In most cases, auto flash is a good choice. However, in certain cases where the lighting is extremely poor, fill flash can help. Fill flash sends a high-intensity beam of flash across to the object, thereby strongly illuminating it.
30) Camera care
Keep your camera in a dry and safe place away from moisture. If you are planning an adventure trip with your camera, make sure you clean it as often as you can. The lens coating can corrode easily, especially when the salt and moisture content in the air is high.
We hope that these photography tips have helped you enhance your skills. In case you have any other ideas, tips or tricks, do not hesitate to let us know in the comments section below.