B1 Intermediate US 23 Folder Collection
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Fifteen tips that'll improve your photography! Here we go.
I'm gonna start with something everyone thinks they want to hear, but no one
actually wants to hear: Use the camera you already have. Every mainstream DSLR
and mirrorless made within the last 10 years is amazing.
You'll take better pictures if you master the camera you've already got,
rather than replacing it with something else. Now, you'd think that people
would like hearing that. Your camera is good! But what people like hearing even
more is, your camera sucks. Because then they can argue with someone, and they can
rally their team members who use the same camera, and it builds this group
camaraderie. So, I hate to break the news, but the camera that you've already got
is amazing. Spending your time researching new cameras, arguing about
brands... it will not improve your photography. If you're not taking the
photos that you want, it's because you're setting the camera incorrectly, or you
need to put more time into the creative side of things. And that's the key. Use
the camera that you've already got, and learn how to set everything correctly.
Number two. On the creative side of the equation, let's talk about light.
Different mood, right? The light in your photo is never neutral. It always says
something. Harsh light, harsh emotions. Gentle light, gentle emotions. What you
should always be doing is thinking about the light - and also thinking about how it
matches, or doesn't match, the emotions of your subject. It's the "Grand Unified
Theory of Photography." When the light and the subject have unified emotions, your
photography will be grand! Was that too much? It is true, though.
Here's a technical tip: Don't overexpose the highlights in your photo. That sounds
like it goes without saying, but what I mean is that if you have the choice
between overexposing the highlights and underexposing the shadows, it's much
better to underexpose the shadows. Because dark shadows, you can actually
recover surprisingly well. Blown-out highlights are just gone
forever. And that's perfectly fine if it's something like the Sun in your
photo, where you don't really need any highlight detail, but the rest of the
time, you've got to be really careful about them. Actually base the rest of
your exposure around preserving the highlights.
If you really want to improve your photography, you cannot just be on autopilot. You've
got to put thought into your photos. And that's both sides of the equation -
technical and creative. With your feet to the fire, is every single camera setting
correct? And the same goes for composition. Is there anything at all
that you can still improve? These are not quick questions to answer. That's why one
of my biggest recommendations is to slow things down.
Maybe you can't, if you're doing something like sports photography, but
there's a direct relationship between taking your time to get everything right
and taking better pictures.
Okay, what about using a tripod? When is that going to be
a good idea? Well, I would say if your subject isn't moving, almost always.
Even if your subject *is* moving, you should still weigh the benefits of a
tripod before you leave it at home. And this is not just about image quality,
either - although you will definitely get better image quality when you use a
tripod. It's also about, previous tip, taking your time. You have a much better
starting point to work from when your camera is on a tripod. You can set one
composition, and then change minor things about it without a problem.
Personally, nine times out of ten, I would pick an entry-level DSLR with a tripod
over the best camera on the market without one. Next up, when is the best
time to use a flash? Maybe when it's dark, or you're doing some clever studio
lighting, or maybe when you're in the back row of a concert. That one's wrong. I
would argue that the best time to use a flash, especially the built-in flash on
your camera, is on a bright sunny day. It's called "fill flash." What it does is
get rid of those harsh shadows. I use it a lot in macro photography because it's
very common for the subject to have some dark shadows on it. And then fill flash
is also really, really helpful for outdoor portrait photography. So, just
because it's sunny outside does not mean that you should put your flash away. A
lot of times, it's actually the exact opposite. Okay, this is something that I
run into a lot as a landscape photographer - the scene in front of me is
amazing, and I get so wrapped up in it that I just don't pay attention to
anything else. So this next tip has really helped me out,
many, many times: Look behind you. Not right now - I mean, unless you feel a creeping sense
that someone's watching you - I'm talking about when you're out taking pictures. I
was in the middle of taking these photos when I realized that there was a rainbow
behind me. I ran to a spot that I'd scouted out
earlier, and I managed to take this landscape photo. Definitely would have
missed this if I hadn't turned around.
A landscape photo is nice. So is a bird
photo, or a portrait photo. But are any of them really successful on their own? The
best photos aren't just nice. They tell a story. So, which one sounds more
interesting to you - a photo taken of sand dunes on a nice day, or the same
composition as a sand storm approaches and turns everything into a crazy
nightmare? That's why you should capture your subject doing something. Even
something minor, like showing a slight smile or jumping over a puddle. Or, for
landscape photographers, try to capture your *scene* telling a story - like the
sandstorm example, or an amazing cloud overhead. Either way, photography is all
about the story. Keep that in mind.
Here's another tip about camera gear: Keep the
front of your lens clean. It's very basic, but it's also genuinely weird how often
I see photographers who have just the dirtiest possible front element. And, in
the same category as a dirty lens, is a low-quality filter. They will really
damage your image quality. Geez, this sounds like an advertisement for a filter
company. I'm not trying to sell you anything! I just want you to improve your
photography. Personally, I never use any UV filter (or clear filter) at all, except
in cases where I also need protective eyewear for whatever I'm photographing. I
used to use a cheap UV filter when I was starting out, and I ruined a couple of
good photos that way, so don't make the same mistake.
Number ten: Move your feet.
because sitting too long is bad for you. Also, this applies to photography. When
you're out taking pictures, a lot of people's first instinct is to set up the
tripod, set up the camera. Or, just hold the camera up to your eye and take a
picture. But you can do way better than that. You've got to move around. Stand
back from your subject; get up close. Move the camera from eye level to, like, knee
level. Seriously, you'll get better pictures if you find
the perfect position for your camera, and then match the tripod to that position -
not the other way around.
Once you've taken the photo, you still have work to
do. It's not as fancy as everything else, but editing your pictures is a big deal.
It helps you guide your viewer's eye through the photo and also capture the
right emotions. And it's really easy to overdo post-processing. I highly
recommend being subtle about it - but if that's not your style, at least make sure
that none of your edits are permanent! "Save As" rather than "Save" your photos. Or,
better yet, do your post-processing in non-destructive software like Capture One
or Lightroom. That way, you're storing all your edits in a separate file rather
than baking them onto the image.
One of the most important parts of becoming a
better photographer is to organize and back up your photos with a good system.
You don't own your photos. Chaos owns your photos. The moment that you turn your
back, the universe will conspire to delete every picture that you've ever
taken. Here's a test - do any of your photos have the same file
name, number one? And if your house burns down, God forbid, would you lose all your
photos? The answer to both of those questions should be, "No, of course not, are
you crazy?!" Unfortunately, that's not the answer that
I hear most of the time. And that's really one of the biggest differences
that I see between professional and amateur photographers: how they deal with
their data.
Every photographer out there has some weak points. Doesn't matter how
good you are - there's always something that you can improve. And that's a good
thing! But you've got to avoid working around your weak points. Instead, barrel
straight through them. A couple examples. If you're trying to wrap your head
around camera settings, you should never fall back and use automatic mode. Or, if
you just can't make the light from your flash look natural, don't chicken out
and take all your portraits next to a window. Instead, put the time into
learning what you don't understand. Not always easy, but you won't learn anything
if all you do is work around your weak points.
Next up, look back through your
old photos. If you just watched the previous tip, and you couldn't come up
with any weak points, here's a really good spot to find them. Because everyone
takes some photos that they don't like. On average, why do
your unsuccessful photos not work? Is it exposure, focus, composition?
Whatever it is, that's useful information. Also, going through your old photos is
great just because you'll find some good ones that you totally overlooked earlier.
I didn't notice this photo the first time around, and now it's one that I
really like. Every single photographer that I know has the exact same story.
The big, gigantic secret of photography is practice. Practice the things you don't
understand, and practice the things that you do.
That's how you get better at anything, not just photography. So, close out of
YouTube. Geez, the algorithm's gonna kill this video if I say that. Leave YouTube
running in the background. Go outside. Take some pictures. Sure, keep these tips
in mind - they're very good! But fundamentally, that is how you're going
to improve your photography.
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15 Photography Tips In Under 10 Minutes!

23 Folder Collection
Henry 楊 published on June 18, 2020
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