Wednesday, May 21, 2008

10 Tips For Better Photography


Once the purchase of a digital camera is made, the beginning steps have begun as a professional photographer. Correctly handling the camera is a great tool to begin learning. The images it sends out are pretty close to perfect, but it takes a little while to get to that point. Understanding how it runs, what steps need to be learned, how to shoot indoor and outdoor pictures, or just limiting ourselves to a point-and-click style of photography are all part of knowing what to do. To not understand any of this is doing great injustice to the camera, which is made for better use. To avoid not learning, or simply not knowing, how to take a picture - we need to follow ten top shooting tips.

1. Too many novice or amateur photographers rely entirely on photo-editing tools to digitally enhance the photograph. Do not depend on this - in the back of the mind will always be the thought, "if it does not turn out, I can always fix it with software". The pleasure of photography should begin with the way the picture is shot, along with its emotional connection, not the result of the digital manipulation with a half-done picture. There is nothing the matter with the photo-editing tools, only what we do with them to make our photos look good.

2. Underexposure lacks color quality, so it really should be avoided. What happens is the sensors fail to read the colors that form the image. However, if given a choice, several photographers choose underexposing above overexposure. This is because even if underexposed, the details of the photograph are still recorded. In addition, it can still go into an editing program over overexposed photographs.

3. Digital cameras use millions of assorted pixels to produce the final image, with each sensor designed to capture a certain tonal range. When we do not allow full light to fall on the sensor, we are doing a great injustice to the image. Most of the pixels are unable to capture the tonal range in their full sweep and brightness, which ends up lowering the picture quality. The choice of sensor size is equivalent to choosing between assortments of formats - 35mm, medium and large format cameras. There are many different sensor size options regarding depth of field, image noise, diffraction, cost and size/weight.

4. When focusing on a subject, there are three factors which affect the depth of field: focal length of the lens; distance from the camera to the subject; and the size of the aperture or setting of the f-stop. You must focus on the subject, and not on people or objects around the subject. The subject at a greater distance will have greater depth of field than one that is close-up. This will reduce the noise level in your photographs. Also, less worry needs to be given to being out of focus, bringing in clarity and sharpness to the image.

5. When a picture is overexposed, too much detail is too high in tonal range. Just as under exposure makes a picture dark and toneless, over exposure makes colors too rich giving the picture an artificial hue - causing highlight to lose their detail. Over exposures also blanks out light and dark effects, along with the tones that give an image a natural look causing everything to look gray with less saturation.

6. Exposure warning lights have a purpose - with the word "warning." We must learn to look and respect under exposure warning lights just like a red flashing light at an intersection. These are especially good for beginners who can change the exposure until the blinking areas disappear. Later, the user can start using their own insights in deciding the exposure levels.

7. The camera can take a great picture, but we as the photographer prepare before then. The best photographs are those whose parameters are decided by the human mind. No amount of automation can change this fact. We, too, should gradually move away from automated functions and start making our own combinations when it comes to exposure, color, noise etc. Only then will we find gradual, but unmistaken, improvement in the quality of photographs taken.

8. Thinking of the composition should be the focus before clicking the button. Composition is the art of focusing on the subject using frames, movement, lights etc. We can learn composition techniques either from a senior photographer or from a book. Then we should start practicing them with new techniques. We will find an automatic improvement in the quality of our photographs.

9. To constantly improve one's photography skills, take as many different pictures as you can - all the time. Take enough pictures that you can tell how they will turn through experience, fixing them in advance.

10. The last one tip is to think ahead, think what you want to shoot, think how it is to be shot, think about its exposure, color, noise - all about visualization. We must learn to critically examine each image that we shoot as if it were our last. Try and find out the weaknesses of the photograph. Shoot again to remove the weaknesses - until we are completely satisfied.

All The Secrets To Art Photography


Art photography is a recently new form of art that has just started to become incredibly popular over the last couple of years as the advancements in digital photography has jumped a level or two. So what is art photography? Basically it's just a form of picture taking that is rendered in a certain way to reflect something 'arty' and that also has some kind of hidden meaning behind it that makes it more special than just a normal everyday photograph.

Many people refer art photography to pictorialism, which then intern means the method of constructing a picture keeping in mind that the picture take must be a form of art or can be turned into a art piece later using computer related technology. In fact this method of taking photos ceased to exist for quite sometime when important artists came to believe that more emphasis was being placed on design rather than on the picture.

With digital work, art photography is becoming more prevalent nowadays and, with the help of a computer, certain effects can be deliberately achieved so photographs can be made to look like an oil painting or as pastel, but this is governed mainly by the expertise of the photographer's own abilities.

Buying art photography at a gallery is relatively a simple task and with the advent of online art photography galleries, buyers can locate photographs that best suit their individual desires and tastes without the need of commuting or attending art exhibitions. Art photography is basically art that is creative, more so when it is visually aesthetic and is mostly appreciated for a having lots of imaginative and intellectual content.

There are two types of cameras that a photographer chooses to use, manual and automatic. The photos are processed by hand and only experienced printers have the ability to make sure the photo is not damaged and comes out perfect in the end.

Many photographers choose to take black and white photos for their art photography as they believe that they can play on more emotions that have the ability to affect the human psyche in a more effective manner. However those photographers who tend to use more color in their photos believe the opposite is true that in fact color has the ability to create more emotions and inevitably stir more senses in the brain that black and white could ever achieve. If you are starting out in the world of art photography than it's best to implement both(perhaps in the same photos if possible)

Some Of The Reasons Why You Should Start a Photo Blog Now

Web logs or blogs have quickly become one of the most common forms of self expression. They allow people to post their thoughts on the Internet, to be viewed by the world at large. Usually they are done in text, but now technology has opened a whole new generation of blogs, known as photo blogs.

Remember the old expression, "a picture speaks a thousand words"? Photo blogging is the embodiment of this concept. Instead of people voicing the stories that they want to share by writing them out, they do so using photographs. These pictures can often convey sentiments that are hard to express in words and invoke the emotions of those who view them. Not all of them are dramatic portraits that required years of skill to take. They can be as simple as a mother smiling with tears in her eyes, as she holds a new baby in her arms. A picture like this sends a lot of messages, from the appreciation of new life, to the huge responsibilities that parents hold, as symbolized by the child in the mother's arms.

Many photo bloggers are expert photographers and share their art with the world through their blogs. Many of these photographers have received acclaim for their skills and have been recognized as the true artists that they are. They post pictures that they have taken all over the world, from serene mountain scenes, to violent confrontations. All of their pictures convey certain messages by the images that they contain.

Amateur photographers also use photo blogging as a way to establish themselves as artists. They may not be able to travel the world over to obtain their pictures, but can still take them locally to convey their messages. A picture taken of children at play in a schoolyard can carry invoke all kinds of emotions if taken at the right angle and with varying light. Even a picture as simple as a person deep in thought while walking a dog can convey the message of a how an animal can be happy while attached to a leash, while also showing how humans can suffer although they are free to do what they want.

Photo blogging has become so popular that forums have been created for them. Here people can talk about blogging, get advice on techniques or share their pictures. So much for the old photo albums that you used to pull out when you had a visitor. Now you can share all of your favorite photographs with the millions of people that surf the web just to view them.

If you love to take pictures and are proud of your work, consider starting a photo blog. It may be the most rewarding way for you to enjoy your hobby and display your craft.

4 Simple Tips To Taking Great Pictures

Are you interested in developing your photography skills and becoming an expert at photo shooting? You may be just starting out or just bought a digital camera. After snapping up numerous photos, you are beginning to wonder why your pictures do not look that great after all.

When you look into a picture that pleases the eye, can you detect the subtlety that makes it appealing? We all know a well taken photo when we see one. Here are some tips that you can use. These tips apply to both digital and traditional cameras.

Here are four tips for a better picture.

1. Get a little closer, do not be shy. One of the biggest mistakes most beginning photographers make is shooting from so far away. They leave too much distance between themselves and their subjects. Instead, get up close and personal. Fill up as much of the camera frame, with your subject, as you can. You can always reshape, trim, and resize a good quality shot. But you cannot continue to blow up a distant subject and hope that it will come into focus. It just won't happen.

2. Focus your shot on only one subject. Determine what the main subject of the photo will be, and catch that image. Try and find the one key subject, person, or event that accurately portrays the feeling you are trying to capture.

3. In addition to getting one subject, in your photos, you will want to make the background of the photo as simple as possible. Busy, distracting backgrounds pull the attention away from the central theme of your photo. The subject of your photo is absolutely the most important element, and anything that detracts from the subject can ruin your shot.

4. Subject placement. Most people place the subject at the exact center of the frame. There is nothing wrong with this. However this often leads to a bland and uninteresting picture. You may use a method called the rule of thirds. Imagine having a camera lens split into 9 equal sized boxes, 3 across and 3 down (like having a tic tac toe game printed right on your camera lens). Where those "tic tac toe" lines cross, should become the focusing point of your subject, when you are arranging to take your photo.

Based on this tip, every time you compose a shot, the main subject of your photo should be located primarily on one of these "third" lines.

These are just four very fundamental tips and strategies to help improve your photos. Photography skills can always be improved and is never ending. You have to keep on practicing and shooting in order to improve your photography skills. Get a critic and show them your pictures. Then you will able to improve your skills. You can even post your photos to online forums for them to rate your pictures. Take advantage of these and hopefully you will become the next award winning photographer.

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