Digital photography has been a boon to photographers since one can shoot to heart’s content since the cost is nil compared to film days. However this has also lead to a down-fall as most amateur photographers do not think twice & keep on spraying(on shooting spree) the shutter in hope to capture a good shot. However, if you put a few simple things into consideration before shooting, it will do a world of good to your photography. Here is a small check-list.
Tag Archive: Better Photographer
Internet with all its websites, blogs, forums etc have made it possible to learn photography(any art for that matter) without spending anything. Youtube has been a revolution in the internet chapter & learning with the aid of video has made it much easier to grasp the knowledge & understand it in a better way. However, not knowing which channel to subscribe for learning photography can be frustrating as there are tons of them & not all are helpful. Here I list some of the best channels for learning photography over youtube.
DigitalRev is the most funniest channel to learn photography on youtube. The DigitalRev team lead by the excellent presenter Kai Wong injects humour & helps to keep the videos fun to watch with low on technical jargon. The cameraman Lok C also pitches in with videos from time to time. This channel deals with gear reviews, photography ideas & shooting techniques. From time to time, the videos drift out of serious photography which some might not like but I feel its a great way to keep the things freshen up.
AdoramaTV channel on youtube is a huge resource to learn photography over youtube. Mark Wallace teaches you almost everything related to photography be it shooting, composing, using flash & even post-processing. The videos are rated as per expertise level & Mark manages to explain the technical aspects very lucidly. Time & again, other presenters pitch in & offer their photography knowledge on this channel too.
Don’t go by the name, this channel is applicable to photographers using camera’s of other brands too. That Nikon Guy(Matt Granger) offers gear reviews, shooting techniques, using flash, photography business advice & other photography related videos. The videos are well balanced & calm to watch. There is absolutely no fanboyism & priority is given to learning photography.
Fro a.k.a Jared Polin shares gear review, shooting techniques, using flash & post-processing tips on this channel. The videos run long but are well detailed. There are also photo critique videos which will help you learn from the mistakes of other photographers. Jared also runs videos where FroKnowsPhoto forum users edit a particular RAW file & then it is edited by Jared himself over the video and wrapped up showcasing other wonderful edits by the forum users. Jared also does sniff tests, gear preview & detailed review which are great to watch. A well rounded channel when it comes to content, it offers just about everything in photography.
SnapChick offers videos on photography advice, answers photography questions, general photography talk, gear unboxing & other miscellaneous photography videos. For a change, this channel is run by a chick & she does a good job at it.
Happy Learning. If you know of any other helpful youtube channel for learning photography, do let everyone know in the comments
To become a better photographer, a photographer must be able to anticipate the moments. He/She must have a foresight which will allow him to prepare well in advance for the shot. A lot of time, photographer do have the foresight but are still not able to get the shot. The Reason? Improper camera settings.
Most photographers think with today’s high precision automated features in camera’s setting it up is not a big deal. The fuel to this belief is added further by camera manufacturer who tout their camera’s will do all the required stuff as the photographer concentrates on the moment. Sure, its true but to a very certain degree. Unless you switch onto the AUTO mode, you’ll need to think of certain setting beforehand to capture the future moment perfectly.
When I’m about to photograph in crunch situation where getting a shot is crucial, I tend to make note of some simple things in mind. I foresight the situation in which I will need to make a photograph & plan accordingly.
Shooting in windy conditions is a challenging task. Yesterday, I was shooting at the coast & the wind was furious. In-spite of a tripod, I had to take some actions in order to prevent blur in my pictures.
# Secure Tripod – You’ve a tripod so you think it would be stable enough in ferocious wind. It might be but you need a decent tripod. Most entry level tripods won’t stay put in strong wind. Make sure you’ve setup the tripod properly. The legs are extended properly and the legs are pulled out properly & secured tightly. Make sure the tripod legs lay firmly over the ground. You may need to clear small pebbles or other things which may not give adequate friction to the legs. Most of the tripods come with a hook which enable you to put on some weight. It is exactly made for such windy situations. Places some rocks & sand in a bag & tie it to this hook. Alternately, you can even put any bag you might be carrying like I do. Finally, avoid raising the center column of the tripod. On extending, the center column without much support is prone to vibrate from strong wind currents. You may not be able to see it vibrate but you’ll see the outcome in the resulting photo.
# Remove the Lens Hood – Yes, remove the lens hood. If the wind is blowing across you from a side, then you must remove the hood. This is because the wind will hit the floral extended part of the hood & cause it to vibrate. The aerodynamics take a hit & due to this the camera will begin to shake. Remove the lens hood & keep it aside so you won’t face this issue.
# Use Self-Timer/Remote Release – If you’re shooting landscapes, put up self timer on your camera of 2 or 5 secs. Alternately use a cable release/wireless remote release. Off-course this will not apply when you’re shooting portraits.
# Block the Wind – This is a no brainer. Try to block the wind by standing in the direction of it hitting the tripod. This small tip can tremendously increase the stability of the tripod. If you’ve large reflectors with you, open it up & ask someone to hold it for you or you can do the same.
Watch the background. It is the background which will often make or break your image. No matter how good your subject is & how pleasant the light is but a cluttered background can ruin your entire photograph.
The key to a good background is to keep it simple. Often including too many things can give the background a cluttered look. Even if you shoot with a shallow depth-of-field, a cluttered background will still look busy. If you’re shooting outside, be on the lookout for streams of light which may be passing through tiny gaps in your background. These can be a nuisance. Instead try to get a clear single coloured background which would not compete with the subject. Often we see tree branches poking out of people’s head. Unless you want to portray your subject as a reindeer, its better you take time while framing to avoid this common mistake.
Most amateur photographers are tempted to include a flashy background which off-course looks good but directs the viewer eyes to the background than the point of interest in the photograph. You do not want this to happen. A good background is one which complements the subject & not one which competes with the subject.
There are many tips on how one can get a good background to shoot but that will demand an entire post. I’ll do it in future. For time-being, watch the background & see how your photographs improve radically.