Do you have a real interest in photography? Would you like to become so good that you turn into an advanced photography amateur? If you are already an accomplished photographer, would you like to learn how to further improve your skill? Below are 20 digital photography tips, ticks and techniques that will see you move your shots to the next level.
Analyze: When taking photos you want to look at an object or subject from all angles. Notice the shape, the size, the texture, color and polish. Does it seem old or new? What makes it look so? Analyze the perspective as well. Look at how the light in different angles brings out certain moods and feelings. Exploring these options will help you take shots that have the feel you want.
Warm Up the Tones: When taking outside shots, change the white balance to “Cloudy”. This will usually increase shades of red and yellow to reflect a richer, warmer look rather than leaving them looking cool and clammy.
Use Polarizers: When taking landscape and outdoor shots, you want to avoid glare and reflections. If you camera cannot accommodate filters, use the normal sunglasses to take photos that have richer, more saturated colors.
Rim Lighting: This is where you let the background and the subjects in a shot really shine by having the sun illuminate the hair either from the side or from the back. It creates a professional looking shot every time.
Macro Mode for Close-Ups: The “Macro Mode” found on most digital cameras can be used to take shots very close to the ground which will reveal fine details you would otherwise have missed when using the general mode.
Level-Frame Shots: If you want your shots to look level when you view them on a computer, use nature’s horizontal lines as guides. For example, the sky-meets-ocean lines or a strip of land. Shorelines of mountain lakes are also great alignment guides.
Memory Card Backup: To figure out how much extra memory you need for your camera, use your camera resolution. The higher the resolution the higher the memory card capacity should be. For example, for a 3MP camera, have a 256MB memory card and for a 4MP camera, consider purchasing a 512MB card.
High Resolution Always: You never know when you are going to take a 21st Century photo that will hang in the museums. So always take your shots in the highest resolution your camera has to offer.
Carry a Tripod always: We are not talking about dragging your bulky 3-legged stand wherever you go. Purchase a back pocket tripod like the UltraPod by Pedco to help steady your camera in any situation that requires it.
Long Exposure Shots: When you want to say take long exposures of cars driving by, use the “Self-Timer” on your camera to bring out that feel and look to it. This approach can also be used to create a painterly effect of flowing water.
Turn Auto Focus OFF in Low Light: When taking photos of dimly-lit subjects or plain-colored objects, you want to turn the Auto-Focus OFF to avoid focusing on the wrong objects.
Apply the Rule of Thirds Manually: Some shots are best taken without focusing on the subject. The Rule of Thirds works great when you manually use your camera while turning OFF Auto Focus and other Modes.
Take Close-Ups: This is especially important if you are taking camera phone images. Since camera phones tend to be low resolution, you want to avoid zooming in when editing, which decreases their quality, by taking shots that fill your view finder.
Emphasize Stillness in Low-Light Situations: Since your camera will automatically select longer shutter speeds in low light situations, you want to be still as possible in these situations. Try leaning your camera against a wall or a ledge to maintain stillness.
Edit Later: Some cameras have inbuilt editing capabilities. Quality edits however are best done on a computer so you might want to hold on editing and concentrate on taking shots instead.
Keep “Bad” Shots: As it turns out, you may not like all the shots you take. However, do not be quick to throw them away. What may seem to be a mistake initially may actually turn out to be a quality shot when viewed from a quality screen or usable from an abstract point of view.
Angle and Perspective Experiments: Camera phones are especially good when you want to try out a shoot-from-down, a close-up or an up-high. Experiment to get a feel what works best for you.
Get Overhead for Food Shots: Shooting food directly down allows light to hit the food just right and create interesting contrasts.
Use Window Light: Use window light to light backgrounds and bring out pleasing contrasts.
Shoot for Specifics: This involves taking a specific genre, maybe architectural buildings or repetitive patterns, and working with that for a period of time. This perfects your skill while keeping things interesting and challenging.