Back in 2008, I used to be a web designer. And one of my duties every day is to take pictures. That was the point I was introduced to photography. I was astonished that photo shooting is one of the tasks that should be taken sincerely on arts and design industry in particular. Hence for those hobbyists that rely on webinars, tutorials and articles, I hope some of these hacks could help you get by.
Always have your camera in any occasion. –
Canon AE-1 Program SLR camera with a telephoto lens and power winder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This might be funny but what good is your camera if you stash it at home? Your subject can come from anything, anywhere and anytime. You’ll never know when to catch that perfect moment.
Shoot photos as many as you can, and learn from your previous shots.–
Photographers use a Tripod to stabilize cameras with heavy telephoto lens attachments to get sharp photographs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Four years ago, I simply take pictures of whatever things that caught my attention and I stocked them on my hard disk. Practice makes perfect. Soon, you’ll discover how to shoot in various lighting situations, apprehending what’s best and what’s not after taking photos frequently. In time, you’ll learn from your blunders and it will sharpen your skills using your device effectively as well.
Visit parks, zoos and butterfly sanctuaries. –
Butterfly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A local zoo or a garden is a great prospect if you don’t have a telephoto lens. You can capture a nice view of animals as a subject on open spaces because it’s a great source of natural light. In addition, butterflies look great for macro/close-up photography. Take snapshots of flowers and insects at different times of the day.
Join photography clubs and learn from the experts. –
Rob McArthur taking a photo. Lit by two flashes sitting left & right, aperture priority to let the camera decide what’s best for the background sky. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are many groups of professional photographers who set meetings, seminars and competitions for a small monthly fee or sometimes free. It gives you passes to restricted events that are worth taking pictures. You can approach photographers who are really good at what they do and ask for their assistance. You’ll be surprised how accommodating and helpful many of them are. You will learn a lot.
Don’t shoot under direct sunlight. –
Subic Bay at sunrise. (Photo by: Redelyn Juan)
Direct rays from the sun create odd shadows on objects and faces. For taking landscape photos, the best scene is before the dawn or sunset, catching the first or the last radiance of the sun. For face photography, two hours past sunrise and two hours earlier than sunset is the ideal time. The weather is also a big factor for producing best results; photographers like to shoot portraits when the sky is covered up with thin clouds. It is at these times when clouds scatter the shaft of light which strikes softly on the skin. On the contrary, thick clouds reduce light, thus making it hard to shoot moving subjects.
Attend seminars and workshops. –
Tiffany Michelle photo shoot – May 2010. Photo by Mather Photography (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As a hobbyist, I manage to have time attending free workshops since I am not that busy before. But if you don’t have time to do that, you could study by yourself reading books and tutorials.
Learn the angles. –
A model poses for a photographer (out of shot) on the steps of the Met, while a bodyguard keeps the crowds away from her. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When shooting people and animals, don’t just stand, you can have better effects if you bend your knees or lay on the ground. Don’t mind the dirt.
Take it from Henri Cartier-Bresson, according to him, it would take 10, 000 pictures to judge your work and see the difference. Look at your previous shots; do you see improvements compared to your first photographs?