Feb 25, 2013

20 Essential Photography Tips (Part I)

This photo blog post (Part I) provides the ambitious photographer with the know how and tips needed for immediate and better photography results. Implement one tip at a time or all at once, embrace the learned to move your photography art instantly forward and into the right direction.

Photo Tip #1 of 20:  Draw attention to your main subject. Simply get in closer, use selective focus, use the advantage of bright color or light on the main subject.

Photo Tip #2 of 20: The human eye is almost always attracted to the brightest part of a scenery first. Do not let anything in a photograph be brighter than the main subject.

Photo Tip #3 of 20: Capture photographs at the photo subject’s eye level. To do so, get down low when making a wildlife portrait, rather than standing over the animal and shooting down on it. This way we achieve a more interesting and pleasing perspective of the animal. 

Photo Tip #4 of 20: Be clear on your photographic subject and try to tell a story with a single or multiple photography images. A photograph has the ability to evoke emotion, mood, ideas and messages. Those are all important elements of telling a story.

Photo Tip #5 of 20: Leave distractions out of your compositions. If there is something in the view or background that are irrelevant to the main subject or that somehow do not support the subject, try to get rid of it by using a different perspective or weather phenomenon. In this picture of a willow tree at Jamaica Pond in Boston, the fog got rid of the distracting background of the urban shoreline. I waited years for this photo opportunity and you can imagine my excitement when it finally materialized and I was there to take a picture!

Photo Tip #6 of 20: Fill the frame with a main subject and you can’t go wrong. Many of the best photography pictures are the simplest ones where the main subject dominates.

Photo Tip #7 of 20: Check for intruders in your composition. Is there something popping into the picture from the edge or side of the picture? Is there a tree branch, power line, or telephone poll that creeps into the shot stealing attention from the main photography subject? Recompose and remove it as I did in this butterfly photography picture. At first the background was very busy with branches of a nearby shrub. As a solution I had to move a little bit to the site and recompose the shot in front of a shrub that was further away and sunlit. A large aperture setting (small f/stop like f/5.6 and smaller) combined with a long 400mm telephoto lens blurred out the background exactly as I wanted it for this Birdwing Butterfly photography image.

Photo Tip #8 of 20: When in doubt, leave things out and remove them from your composition. If there is something in the picture that is irrelevant to the photography subject or that somehow doesn’t support the cause, try eliminating it. In this tree picture from Acadia National Park I eliminated the boring overcast sky and by the select focus on some of the tree trunks and moos I was able to eliminate distracting branches and trees while producing a more intimate New England Landscape Photography composition of the scenery.

Photo Tip #9 of 20: Use the Rule of Thirds as a guideline or starting point for your composition. Draw a raster board over the picture in your mind or check your camera manual to see if it is available as a feature on your digital camera. In this landscape photography image I placed the horizon low because the orange sky (2/3 of the image) was more appealing then the blue cold Atlantic Ocean. The bird in the upper right corner and the early sunlight striking the rock in the lower 1/3 of the picture added the icing to the cake.

Photo Tip #10 of 20: Add more spatial depth by including strong foreground objects in shots where the background is also important. In this photograph of the Maine seacoast the tree made for a perfect foreground subject that conveys depth and perspective of the rigid seacoast. The beautiful morning light was still striking the Evergreen tree, granite rock formation and famous Otter Cliff in the far distance when I set up my camera and tripod for this last shot that morning … great day and memories.

Now it's your turn! What do you think is the most valuable photography tip provided and what is your best photo tip ... share it here ~ thanks!

More Reading and Photo Tips you may enjoy: 

Love Jigsaw Puzzles and flowers? 

Favorite Flower and Gardening Quotes 

Painting with Light like Georgia O'Keeffe 

15 Flower Photo Tips and Photography Inspiration

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