Buckinghamshire Photographer /'10 Tips for Better Photography Part 1
I know a lot of my customers are good photographers in their own right so I thought I might start with 10 tips to get even better pictures I will add to it till I think of 50!! Could be a long time. I have written assuming you have a DSLR camera.
when it comes to getting the most from the shots you take, there are also loads of tried-and-tested techniques and shortcuts that you can use to guarantee the best results – from finding the perfect location and perfecting composition to getting focus right and nailing exposure.
And of course, no matter how much preparation and care you’ve taken when shooting, you’ll need to store, sort and edit the images you take. So we’ll also show you the best ways to cut down the time you spend at your computer.
Whether you like to shoot landscapes, portraits or sport, use these essential time-saving tips and shortcuts to streamline your workflow, improve your technique and edit your shots to perfection. And as always, I love
to see any shots you’ve been inspired to take.
Before you shoot
01 Clean your sensor
Even with in-built cleaning system on most modern SLRs or compact system cameras, some dust will inevitably find its way onto your camera’s sensor, which takes time to remove from your images with photo-editing software.
Either cleaning your sensor carefully yourself or getting it cleaned professionally is the only way to remove this dust. You shouldn’t do this too often, but it’s worth checking for sensor dust before you start shooting, especially if you’ve been changing lenses or shooting in windy conditions. Sensor-cleaning kits can be picked up quite cheaply; I like the ones made by Arctic Butterfly (www.visibledust.com).
02 Keep it simple
While it’s handy to have the option of an extra lens or flashgun for those unexpected shots, it’s also easy to fall into the habit of carrying all of your kit every time you go out.
But unnecessary gear can become a burden, so before you set out, check whether there are any items, such as heavy zoom lenses, that you aren’t going to need. Remember, it’s often better to move closer to your subject rather than zooming right in from a distance with a big, unwieldy lens.
03 Format card/charge battery
There are few things more annoying than going to take a shot and finding that the card is full or the battery is flat. It’s all too easy to leave images on a memory card, and then forget whether you’ve transferred them to your computer or even worse delete them.
So get into the habit of ensuring all of your cards are downloaded and formatted as soon as possible after a shoot, and charge your batteries when you get home. It’s easy to take cards for granted, but they’re precious!
04 Clean your lenses/filters
The front element of your lens and filters can soon get covered in dust, dirt and even greasy fingerprints.
This can cause flare or even affect the sharpness of your images, so it’s worth cleaning them before you go out. Use
a blower to dislodge any dust or dirt, then use a lens-cleaning cloth to remove any stubborn marks
05 Try Picture Styles
Most recent cameras have preset Picture Styles (or Picture Controls) that can be useful for applying basic adjustments to your images in-camera, such as Portrait or Landscape. What’s more, many cameras also allow you to edit the saturation, sharpness and contrast settings to fine-tune the effect to suit your taste or style.
06 Minimise lens distortion
On Nikon cameras you have the option of automatically correcting lens distortion in-camera, while with Canon models you can correct for lens vignetting. These correction features are normally switched on in the set-up menu, although this will only be available if the lens on the camera is compatible with the automatic correction feature of your camera. Minimise distortions as you shoot, and you won’t have to fix your images post-shoot
07 Auto-rotate your shots
In the set-up menu of most cameras you’ll find an option that enables you to automatically rotate images according to whether they are taken in horizontal or upright format. Turning this function on can save you loads of time rotating images once you’ve downloaded them to your computer later.
08 Check file format and size
For the best quality, you’d normally shoot most images at the highest resolution available, and save them in raw format or the highest quality JPEG setting. But remember that you don’t always need to use these settings for shots that you only want to use on-screen or print at small sizes. By choosing a smaller image size you can save space on your memory card,
and time resizing your shots later.
09 Assign buttons
The function of most of the buttons on your camera will be set from the factory, but did you know that you can often customise the function of individual buttons, giving quick access to frequently-used settings and saving time wading through menus. I would recommend you go on a course. Canon use to run courses on specific cameras however there are some very good trainers out there.
10 My Menu settings
Many cameras allow you to customise the menu so that the most used or useful adjustments are quickly available in their own menu page. So if there are particular features, such as Picture Styles or in-camera effects, that you use regularly, load them all into the My Menu page.
Well that's it for the time being better get back to editing a wedding. I will add more soon. In the mean time subscribe to digital camera world which has some great technique articles on all aspects of photography.Remember practise , practise.
All the best