Amateur photographers have one trait in common - always searching for ways to become better in the craft. Well, there are lots of photography tips and none of them can boast to be exhaustive.
T here is always something to learn from each photography tip littering the internet, no matter how small the knowledge. Some of the photography tips out there will only become useful to you as you advance in photography.
A lot has changed in photography especially with the advances in the types of camera and picture editing tools. In the past, you may have needed to break the bank to get a camera that will give you a great image. Today, even smartphone cameras can guarantee you something decent. Tweaks in settings, too, have made it possible to deal with some of the major photographic issues like lighting and shaky hands.
Ultimately, good or bad photography lies in your hand as the photographer. There is no good and bad image, just good and bad photographers. Your first error as an amateur photographer would be taking pictures with analog cameras in this age of digital photography. The major problem with analog photography is that you cannot alter the image as much once it's captured. We streamlined all the important photography lessons into five tips you will find invaluable as an amateur photographer.
1. Create The Image You Want In Your Mind
The easiest thing to do is to point your camera and shoot - even non-photographers can do that. But, as a photographer, you want your pictures to tell a story. To achieve this, you need to have (or build) some key virtues: focus, imaginative sense, and patience. If you have a vivid picture in your mind of the kind of shot you want to take, it becomes easier for you to churn out great pictures. If, on the other hand, you rely on hunch or luck, good pictures will only come to you haphazardly - and it won’t take long before you run out of business.
2. Stick With The Rule Of Thirds
Pictures are made up of elements. A ‘composition’ is how the elements are arranged. The ‘rule of thirds’ divides a frame into nine equal squares arranged into three rows and columns. The viewfinder can be set to include a visible gridline to enable you to compose your scene. A good landscape shot, for example, would have the horizon in the top third while the land takes the middle and bottom thirds, or a key figure might line up with one of the intersecting points, rather than being in the center, allowing more context to the scene to be visualised in the image. When you have a vivid imagination of your goal, arranging the elements becomes easier.
3. Capture A Niche
You have to answer this key question before going into photography, “Is photography going to be a career or something I would do on the side?” Well, if you are into photography as a side-hustle or for fun, it doesn’t matter which pictures you take. If, on the other hand, it would be a career, it is best to have a niche and grow on it. Photography is a vast topic but narrowing it down to a niche will help you to specialize and become more marketable.
So, what subject interests you the most? It could be stunning landscapes or anything related to nature, everyday street scenes, or events. Think carefully about what interests you and improve on it until an audience forms around you.
4. The Quality Of Light Tells On The Photograph
The lighting has to be perfect. Harsh or dull lighting will leave you with a grainy or blurry image respectively. This is one of the first things you will have to figure out and balance as you progress your career.
Generally, people tend to prefer pictures with warm tones. If you rely on sunlight, scenes based on, or at the times of, sunrise and sunset will be your best bet. Adjusting the white balance setting on your camera can change the color temperature. Diffuse light creates soft shadows which is great for most types of photography. Diffuse light can be created by filtering a light source with a translucent material.
5. Reduce Blurs By Keeping The Camera Steady
Blur can take the glow out of a creative shot. The more unsteady the camera, the more the images are prone to blurs. You can take care of this by using a solid support or using a camera with a fast shutter. Holding the camera with both hands can increase its stability.
6. Spend Time On Post-Processing
Post-processing is an essential part of photography. The idea of perfect conditions in a real-life situation is now a myth. Thanks to great photo editing tools, you can transform an average photograph to a masterpiece using filters. Photoshop is one of the greatest photo-editing tools around and it may be a great idea to take a few courses on its use. However, don’t be too carried away by the glamor of post-processing that you ignore the basics.
Photography is an interesting as well as creative adventure. As you advance, you will likely develop techniques that are unique to you - and probably come up with a few tricks yourself which we would be glad to hear about.