Wednesday, February 24, 2010

DSLR Photography....Part 2

April writing...

While I am waiting on this sweet little thang, I am learning all that I can about photography!!!

Check out Part 1.

I have been searching all over the Internet for the best tips, tricks and tutorials!! I ran across a great one over at A Southern Accent that I would love to share with you!

You can find the original here and here.

here are some ideas to quickly improve your photographs, regardless of what camera you use:

1) Taking digital pictures is free! Take a lot of pictures. You won’t run out of shots like your old 24-frame film camera. No more “3..2..1..Smile!” Don’t just take one shot, take three or four of the same scene. Chances are that someone’s got their eyes shut in two frames, leaving you one or two good shots. Fire away and dump the bad ones.

I am trying to get better at this...I tend to take pictures specifically based on what I want, and I think in that process I have been missing some potentially great shots!

2) Get closer. I’m not just talking about relying on that 8x digital zoom, I’m saying physically get closer to your subject. By filling the frame with your subject, you’re reducing all other distractions.

Here is a great example. When doing a maternity photo shoot for a dear friend of mine, She was sweating at the thought of me and my camera being so close to her tummy. I assured her not to sweat it...I would take good care to make sure she looked amazing! I really do love close up shots...and thanks to excellent cameras and photoshop...anything is possible.

3) Find a better background. Take a moment to check what is behind your subject. A great picture doesn’t have trash cans or a parking lot in the background. Maybe you can move five feet to the left, changing the background from a parking lot to nice bank of trees. Keep the background clean and simple.

4) You’re allowed to turn the camera sideways. With some exception, you’re more than likely taking pictures of people who are vertical, yet most beginning photographers only take horizontal pictures. Turn the camera on its side. You can do it. It works, particularly for close-up portraits on a person’s face.

5) The most direct route from a good picture to a great picture is the time-tested “rule of thirds”. I’ll bet many of you put your subject smack-dab in the middle to avoid the old fear of cutting someone’s head halfway out of the frame. While simple and effective, it also makes for rather static, boring pictures.

Here's another example of the "rule of thirds."It's one of my favorite pictures of my youngest sister. As you can see I have used the left third for my subject, and her eyes alone along the top and middle thirds.

To use this rule, cut the frame into thirds horizontally and vertically. The main focus point of your picture (like the person’s eyes) should be near one of the intersecting points.

For whatever reason, our brains like to view things following the “rule of thirds”. Look at any magazine ad, the Mona Lisa, any of your favorite photographs. Chances are the main focus lies at or near one of these intersecting points in the frame.
Here’s how to do it:

a) Focus on the main subject and press the camera shutter halfway down. This focuses the camera on your subject (always the eyes in portraits).

b) Keep pressing the shutter halfway down, locking the camera’s focus on the subject.

c) Move the camera slightly to recompose the shot, placing the subject near one of these intersection points (usually the top intersection points for portraits).

d) Press the shutter all the way down to take the picture.

6) Last but not least, sometimes break all the rules. Take pictures from crazy angles. Partially cut off the subject in the frame. You’ll develop your own style.

Here are some more tips....

1. If you shake the camera when taking a picture, it's going to be blurry. This may sound like an easy one, but even the action of pushing the button on the camera makes it move, so you really need to be conscious of that. If you want clear, clean pictures, you gotta stabilize that camera as much as you can. If you have shaky hands, you're gonna have fuzzy pics. So, stabilize it on a table, on a little tripod, put your elbows on something - just be still.

2. Your best pictures are going to be ones with clean, solid backgrounds. Don't worry about whether you're in front of the house, or the flowers in the yard or whatever - you don't even want that stuff in the picture, so get a solid background. The more color, the better.

3. Perspective is key. If you want good pictures, don't shoot something as you are seeing it. Get down on the ground and shoot up. Literally lay on the ground - don't feel stupid, just do it. It makes kids laugh and when you're outside, you can use the sky as your solid background and the ground to stabilize yourself. Take photos at an angle, get up high, get really close, get far, far away.

I have a great example of using the sky as a background, of course it's on my home computer, so I will have to add that one later.

I hope these tips are helpful to you guys, like they have been to me. Challenge yourself to take some shots in a different style or manner than you are used to! Post them and come back and give us the link!! I would love to check out what you guys come up with! I will be sure to do the same!

1 comment:

Mama Hen said...

Thanks for this! I'm still trying to figure out my DSLR ... and I'm having fun but it can be SO confusing so I love all the help I can get.

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