Education is a big part of becoming a good photographer, but nothing can replace the sweat, the hard work and the effort that goes into actually photographing something. So we’ve figured we could at least help with some hacks that will save you some valuable learning time.
Get as close as you can to your subject
Powerful photographs are often in your face. Ironically that’s where you have to be sometimes when you want to take a powerful portrait, up and close to the subject’s face. Don’t try to cheat with a long lens because the effect is not similar. Put a classic 50mm lens on the camera and get as close as the model will let you while still feeling comfortable. It’s one of the best ways to capture expressions.
The human brain naturally responds to patterns, and often when you see a series of doors, windows, buildings or whatever, it just seems to click. A well composed image often has symmetric elements. Look for natural symmetry and use it in a way that doesn’t make it boring.
Take the external flash off TTL mode
A flashgun can greatly enhance your photography, if and only if it is used wisely. The TTL capabilities of modern flashes are impressive, but they don’t always adapt to the situation like they should. As with exposure on a camera, your best bet is to learn how to use the flash on full manual mode. Sure, it will take some time to master it, but after you get used to it, you will hardly want to use TTL again.
Don’t be afraid of hard light
So many photographers are scared of hard light, most of the times because they don’t know how to work with it. Be it natural or created by flash, a hard light can bring drama and visual appeal to a photograph if positioned properly. I guess you could say it’s harder to learn how to work with hard light, but think about it this way: if you start getting good results with hard light, everything else will seem a lot simpler than before. And yes, I am talking about soft, ambient light.
Hold your breath
I don’t know about you, but working in low light with a long lens can be quite challenging. Sure, the lens has a stabilizing system, but that has its limits. I learned that holding my breath while shooting a 70-200mm lens at longer exposures than 1/100s does make a significant difference. It also makes me feel like a sniper sometimes which is kind of cool.
Hold your camera
This might seem like a no brainer, but think about all the photographers who keep their cameras strapped to their necks. It’s wrong because it slows you down and when an awesome moment happened, it will find you unprepared. Cameras are meant to be held so if you have to hang it somewhere, hang it around your shoulder. It will provide quicker access. But in the rest of the time, just hold it.