June 2013
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5 tips to improve your photography skills and your photos (contd..)

In the previous post (5 tips to improve your photography skills and your photos), I am writing a set of general guidelines on how to improve your photos. Taking better photos does not only deal with knowing your equipment and its settings better, in fact, the best of photographers always claim better technique and temperament as one of the prime techniques of taking better photos. I would love it if you could provide comments on whether you agree or disagree with such tips, and if you feel that you have tips you want to share, please do let me know via the comments. Here goes:

Tip 1146 (Take an active interest in photos of other people): One good way of improving your photography is by looking at the works of others. There are so many places where people post great photos – these include many locations on Facebook, on Flickr, and numerous other places. In many of these, there is an emphasis on posting information about the photos, including EXIF information (the aperture, shutter speed, ISO) as well as the setup used for taking such photos. There is a great deal of learning possible from such information, and all this will help you in improving the photos you take.

Tip 1147 (Using extra light for shooting cars and other such objects): When trying to shoot a large object such as a car, look to ensure that there is lighting to ensure that the angles of the car come out well. Because of the shape of the car and the single source and directional nature of natural lighting, there will always be a tendency for some lines of edges of the car to be in darkness; for this purpose, you would need to use some additional source of light to bring out these lines.

Tip 1148 (Using noise in your photos): Most tips or techniques are provided for how to remove or reduce the amount of noise in your photo. However, there are cases when the photo can be improved even by adding noise to your photo. For example, you may want to simulate an older photo, or create an effect of an old newspaper, or even hide some kind of other artifacts in the photo. Try it out, and you might like this kind of effect. You can use some great software such as Adobe Photoshop CS6 or Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 for this purpose.

Tip 1149 (Look for variations in color): How many times would have you have seen a striking image where there is a sudden dash of color in an otherwise white background ? These images are very striking, and look great. This kind of imagery is an example of using color or variations in color to attract the eyes of the viewer to the photo; and you need not do this only in a staged or studio environment. You can look for such color variations in natural settings itself, but you can also convert your photos into such a setting using software such as Adobe Photoshop CS6 or Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5. Look to use your imagination to get some great photographs.

Tip 1150 (When to use motion blur): You would have seen images with motion blue in it, with the subject of the photo seeming to move. Typically, the movement has to make sense for the motion blue to have been successful. One prime example is some kind of racing or spots, where the object is moving in a determined direction and you are able to figure out the reason for the movement and appreciate it. So you would have a racing track, and cars in movement around it, showing the speed of movement. Another great example of motion blue is to show the movement of time, where you could have a stationary location such as a metro train station and the frenzied movement of commuters all around. For shooting such a scene, you need to use a low shutter speed, and to keep the camera as stationary as possible.

Some books to improve your photography:

Tony Northrup’s DSLR Book: How to Create Stunning Digital Photography Photography Q&A: Real Questions. Real Answers BetterPhoto Basics: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Taking Photos Like a Pro

Some videos about photography from Youtube:

How to Take Great Photographs

Natural Light Portraiture – Get A Little Known Secret

Photography Tips, Essential Skills, Quickly Transform Your Photos

Improve your photos with two simple rules

Read about using histograms to improve your photo taking skills in the next post (link).

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