Five Basic Tricks to Better Photography. As the old saying goes, ‘a good workman never blames his tools’ and the same applies to photography! A camera is only as good as the person using it, and although you may have one of the top brands, you still need to know the basic tricks in photography! Here are the five basic tricks to better photography.
Compose your Image before You Shoot
Don’t simply push the shoot button, taking hundreds of images before composing the scene. I would rather have a couple of well composed shots, than have to edit many images in my photo editing software. Use the ‘rule of thirds’ method which is a guideline that applies to the process of composing your image.
Photos are divided into thirds with two lines vertically and two lines horizontally dividing the image into nine sections. The most important elements of your composition are placed where these lines intersect.
Pay Attention to the Quality of Light
Putting it simply, ‘photographs are records of light’ and did you know photography actually means ‘study of light’! Light has the biggest impact on your image which controls the intensity, colour and balance.
The best time for photography especially landscapes is during the ‘Golden Hour’ which is sunrise and sunset. During this time the light is warmer and less intense.
Try to Avoid using the Flash
Unless you’re experienced I suggest not using the flash especially pop-ups! Pop up flashes are usually harsh and makes the image look artificial. Try to use your flash as a supplement to existing light, rather than the primary source of light. Better still, learn more about ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed! You can still get amazing shots with flash but perhaps learn the basics first.
Understand Your Camera
Understand the basic controls on your camera. The three most important settings you should learn are: Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO. Aperture is the size of the opening in the lens which light travels through to reach the camera sensor. This also has an impact on the depth of field; controlling the foreground and background sharpness. The shutter speed is the length of time a camera’s shutter is open when taking a photograph. You may want to freeze a sporting moment or add more blur to your image.
Another important factor is the shutter speed needs to be adjusted to the focal length of your lens. ISO settings are adjustments to the sensor’s sensitivity to light. I always try to shoot with the lowest ISO setting possible to reduce noise (grainy) photos.
Keep your Camera Equipment Clean
The most important part of your camera to keep clean is the sensor. We have all spent time taking images, only to get home, upload them and find spots in the same place on every image! This is usually caused by dust on the sensor. I highly recommend LensPen which works extremely well by removing dust and takes just minutes. Don’t forget to keep your lens clean also and dust the camera body with a fine camera brush.