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Amateur photographers are always looking for new ways to learn about their camera, its lenses, and the terms that apply to excellent photography.
From the filters that make great pictures possible, to terms like aperture that are essential to understand when taking great pictures, there are a wide array of tips that can produce stunning photos every single time the shutter button is clicked. Those looking to boost their understanding of photography can learn a great deal just by understanding this long list of basic, but essential, information.
1. Buy a Light Box
Though it might seem cliche or useless, a light box is the absolute best way to perform static photography on still objects while creating an indefinite depth of field. The best ones aren’t expensive, but they’re still a great way to get the job done and produce professional results.
2. Invest in Cheap Lights with the Right Warmth
Great lights for photography are not expensive, but they do have a warmth level of between 5,500K and 6,000K. These warmth levels are similar to bright, midday sunshine, and they’re the best way to produce a natural photograph no matter where or when it’s taken.
3. Leverage the Power of the Sun
Don’t be afraid to have subjects change their orientation so that the sun is shining at them, rather than behind them. Doing so creates a more ideal lighting environment all while using the same natural sunlight that would have to be artificially recreated otherwise.
4. Exposure First, Framing Last
Get the right exposure for the photo and everything else will simply fall right into place. Frame the photo as the last step before clicking the shutter button and lighting will be dramatically improved.
1. Know What the Round Symbol Means
That round symbol with a line through it, which is present on each lens, indicates the exact size of the screw required to attach the lens to a camera. This size varies between lenses, meaning that some cameras simply won’t be compatible with some lenses. Do ample research and double-checking before purchasing any additional lens for a digital camera to ensure its screw-size compatibility.
2. Always Go With a Polariser
A polariser is easily the best lens option on the market, since it can produce more stunning colours and contrasts in everyday photography. That’s especially true outdoors, where it can bring stunning texture and clarity to a blue, partly cloudy sky.
3. Never Use Auto White Balance
Automatic white balance is great for amateur snapshots, but it’s a poor choice when mixed with varying lenses and conditions. Always set the white balance to the proper level for the installed lens and the current environment where pictures are being taken.
4. Don’t Go “Stack Crazy”
Stacking too many filters together can alter the amount of light reaching the camera’s sensors, producing unpredictable and unattractive results when the picture is printed or displayed on a computer screen. Even if the picture looks good while it’s being taken, these light levels translate differently during post-production. Work with as few filers as necessary.
5. Understand Camera and Lens Dimensions
For the best shot at buying the right camera and the right lenses, always pay attention to the camera’s specific measurements and the measurements that are paired with each lens purchased. These measurements typically date back to the era of a non-digital SLR camera, using a 35mm film size as a base point.
1. Know What Aperture Is
Aperture is the size of the opening that lets light into the camera, and it’s measured in f-stops. Smaller f-stops indicate smaller openings, which lets in a smaller amount of light. The opposite is also true.
2. Don’t Use Aperture to Boost Light Levels
Though aperture can let more light into the camera, it should not be used solely for this purpose. That’s because aperture can significantly reduce the picture’s depth of field when it is increased significantly. In fact, that’s aperture’s primary function: depth of field manipulation.
3. Know the Best Uses for Wide and Narrow Aperture
Wide aperture is perfect for portraits, since it focuses on the face and blurs the background. Narrow aperture is better for landscapes, keeping a vast amount of natural imagery perfectly in focus and creating a vast depth of field.
1. Ditch the Long-Arm
Long-arm “selfies” aren’t attractive and they don’t prevent the best conditions for an advanced cameras lenses, lighting adjustments, and other modes.
2. Eyes Should Always Be in Focus
Humans connect to a picture that shows them a clear shot of the subject’s eyes. It’s probably evolutionary, but it’s one of the best ways to ensure that a picture looks great, attracts an audience, and finds a real connection with the subject of the photo themselves.
3. Avoid Pet Photo Quirks with Burst Mode
Leverage the power of burst mode, which takes dozens of pictures with a single shutter press, when capturing pets on film. Animals don’t know to sit for the camera, so reducing the likelihood for error is a great way to ensure their portrait looks great no matter what.
1. Don’t Buy into “Big Megapixel”
The digital photography industry could easily be called Big Megapixel, since the industry seems to focus customer attention solely on how many megapixels a particular camera shoots. This is not an indication of overall camera quality, however. The camera’s quality has a lot to do with the included lens and its sensors, as well as the lenses added to the camera. By purchasing for the sensors, and not the megapixels, pictures will be much more attractive.
2. Go for Broke on Removable Storage
Cheap memory is always available for digital cameras, but it’s slow and generally a bit more unreliable. As a general rule, buy only “Class 10” removable memory for any digital camera. Furthermore, always buy fewer large memory cards than many more low-capacity cards. It’s just easier. Be sure to replace cards of any size roughly every two or three years.
3. Shop Cameras by Shopping Their Pictures
Sites like Flickr allow users to view the camera model that took each picture. Use this as a great way to see how each option performs in real world scenarios before buying it for personal use.
With a better understanding of the technical details and more information about how to compose a really stunning picture of any subject, those new to the photography world will be able to impress and amaze with their work. All it takes is a bit of extra time, some addition focus, the right lights, and attention to detail.