How can I take Fabulous Photographs?
First you need to learn everything about your photo camera. Knowing how to use your photo gear will greatly increase the chances of shooting impressive images. Basically there are two types of photo cameras: compact cameras (point and shoot) and more advanced photo cameras (DSLR, mirrorless, etc.). It is not mandatory to own an expensive camera to take beautiful photos, but a better one usually comes with multiple facilities that could make your life easier. Test your camera and find out what are its strong points and its weak points. Learn how to use each button, dial or switch and study the menu of the photo camera.
There are many other pieces of equipment a photographer can own to help him take better photographs. Some of these items are quite expensive, others are cheaper. The most common accessories are the listed below:
Minimal cleaning gear usually includes lens cloth or tissue and an air blower. Regularly cleaning the camera, lenses and filters will insure a longer life for your gear and better quality of photographs taken.
Filters are accessories that are mounted on the front side of the camera lens with the purpose of enhancing the image quality. For example, polarizing filters are great for cutting out reflections and they dramatically improve the quality of landscapes by enhancing colors of the sky and water. UV filters are good for protecting an expensive lens;
This is an optional piece of equipment most needed in low-light situations (inside the house, inside a church, at night). Photos taken with an external flash look much better than the ones taken with the in-built flash of your camera.
Not always necessary, but recommended. A tripod will improve your photos because it minimizes or eliminates camera shake and it will help you at night time or in dark places. If you find it difficult to carry a tripod around, use a fence post, a camera bag, or any other objects you may find to support the weight of you photo camera while shooting.
Lenses for your camera
Some photo cameras have interchangeable lenses. There are countless types of photo lenses and the right one to own depends on multiple factors like your favorite style of photography, budget or weight of the lens. If you can afford it, buy the best lens possible so you will be able to get high quality photographs.
Lear how to control the light
To shoot absolutely marvelous photographs you must learn how to control the amount of light that enters the camera. Many inexperienced photographers use the auto function of the camera to automatically adjust camera settings. This usually works fine when the light is good, for example outside during a bright day. But in some conditions the photographer must manually adjust the camera settings in order to get a good photo. This is called exposure control and it is highly recommended learning how to do it.
Basically the amount of light can be controlled by either adjusting the size of the aperture (the orifice through which light enters the camera) or the amount of time the aperture remains open. Let's discuss them both!
The aperture size, is the so-called f number. It is normally displayed on your camera and it can be adjusted in manual or semi-manual modes of shooting. The bigger the values of the f number the smaller the opening of the aperture is. For example, f/2 corresponds to an aperture that is twice the size of an f/4 aperture. The f number does one more thing in photography: it controls the depth of field, the distance over which objects appear clear and sharp in the picture. Depth of field increases as the f number increases. In other words, if you are taking photographs in a dark space and you need to let in as much light as possible, use the smallest f number available for your camera. This will also give you a narrow depth of field.
The amount of time the aperture remains open is called shutter speed or exposure time. A shutter speed of 1/10 means that the shutter of the camera remains open for one tenth of a second and this corresponds to a larger amount of light entering the camera (so it is a good setting for photography in darker areas). A shutter speed of 1/1000 corresponds to light entering the camera for one thousandth of a second, and this setting is used in very bright areas. When adjusting the exposure time, keep in mind that below 1/50 it is a good practice to place the camera on a tripod otherwise the photographs will be shaken because of camera or hand movements.
Finally, you should learn the most common rules for composing a photograph, the rules of composition. These ensure that a photograph is pleasant and appealing to the eye. Information about composition rules is available all over the internet. Basically you should avoid placing the subject of your photographs in the center of the frame. Rather, the subject should be placed at about one third from one side of the frame. Another composition rule states that most of the time you should try to obtain a straight horizon line (for example, when the sky is part of your composition).
These are the basic things you should learn in order to shoot fabulous photographs. Keep in mind that good results require a lot of practice. So, if you are passionate about photography take your camera and practice as much as possible following the above-mentioned guidelines. Soon your photographs will become better and will be greatly appreciated!
Written by: Rajesh Bihani, New Delhi, India
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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )