I've wanted to write a guide for a while now.. But I wasn't sure what to write about. In my poll, this was the one you guys most wanted to see.. So here it is! If anyone has something to add, please note me!
It really bothers me when people ask about my camera because they like my pictures. My camera is just a tool, it's not magical. You don't even need a DSLR to be a photographer. Anyone can take a picture on any device, and it be considered art. It is how
you do this that most effects your outcome. For example, a photographer I watch, *oO-Rein-Oo
, frequently takes wonderful pictures with his iPhone.
So, for this guide, I'm going to be talking about the basics of how you go about producing a quality picture, both when you take the photo and afterwards.
Taking the Photo:
People often get distracted with the complex settings on their camera. The best thing you can do for any situation you're photographing is to stop and think about what the picture will look like in the end.
Most of the time, if you aren't using a tripod or trying to create a certain light, a shutter speed of 80+ is good for a non-shaky photo. (Obviously if you have steady/more shaky hands you could use a different speed, but this one works best for me.) Turning your ISO setting as low as possible while still maintaining a shutter speed of at least 80 is good for most situations. If you can't get a high enough speed or aren't able to adjust your settings, make sure to hold your camera with both hands. Tuck your arms into your body. You may even want to lean against something, or hold your breath as you press the shutter.
Make certain your picture is in focus before you press the shutter. If you don't have perfect vision, it's a good idea to use your cameras auto-focus feature to help you out. Remember to refocus if you zoom in or out, or move your camera at all.
Don't only think your subject, but the background also. Distractions in the background of your photo make your picture look cluttered. Most of the time, these are an easy fix with post-editing, but it can improve the quality of your photo if you remove it beforehand. Is their dust, or hair on the surface you're photographing? Is your shirt wrinkled? Can you see your neighbor's house? Is something sticking out of your subject's head?
This is a lot to remember, along with all the other 'rules' of photography. However, as you do these things over and over, they will come more naturally, and you'll definitely see your photography improving.
There is an endless amount of things you can do to a photograph after you've taken it, even if you don't have a fancy editing program. I'm sure by now you've heard of GIMP, (if not, Google it) which is basically the free knock-off version of Photoshop, but it works just as well.
Remember those distractions I mentioned earlier? The clone or heal tool can easily edit out blemishes, bugs on flowers, dust, dirt, hair.. etc. Even bigger things, like a few branches 'growing' out of someone's head, can be edited out with a little practice. Most programs have these tools, including GIMP, and there are whole tutorials written about how to use them.
It's not always easy to get great light with little noise, but luckily most programs have a noise removal tool. Be careful not to take out too much, otherwise your photo will become blurry.
Last and most important
the colors in your photo can drastically effect how it appears to your audience. However, you should ask yourself some questions before you touch your picture at all.
What is the story behind this photo? What feeling do you want it to convey? Most importantly.. Do you want this picture to be 'casual' or 'professional'?
A 'casual' photo may have it's colors changed drastically. It might be cute, humorous, or playful. Most of the time, these kinds of photos are taken by photographers that are just doing it for fun and aren't looking to make money.
A 'professional' photo usually has natural colors. The majority of these photos have a serious tone, even if they have an additional concept. Most landscape shots fall into this category. These are the kind of shots you would see at an art show, or hanging on someone's wall.
Your picture doesn't necessarily have to fall into either one of these 'categories,' but it's a good idea to keep in mind that over-editing can change the feeling of your picture. DeviantART has a whole section dedicated to actions, which are preset 'scripts' that Photoshop, GIMP, or other programs can run. Basically, you just sit back while it does the work. They aren't that hard to install, so I won't go into details, but there are tutorials for that too if you need help.
Keep in mind though, that most of the makers of these actions won't allow you to use them for commercial photography. It's a good idea not to rely too heavily on actions alone, because there might come a day when you'll be selling your own work!
Now that I've pretty much covered the basics, I want to share some of my own personal tricks and things to keep in mind when taking a photo. Since this tutorial is already getting pretty long, I'll present them in a list.
-Stop and think; don't rush through the process of picture-taking.
check the settings on your camera before pressing the shutter!
-Into still life photos? Keep in mind that some surfaces, like glass or ceramic, may be reflective!
-Blank walls and windows are great for easy backgrounds.
-If you don't have a blank wall, use a plain colored curtain, sheet, or shirt. Large paper, like poster-board, comes in many colors, and it's usually cheap!
-Mirrors are a photographer's best friend, especially if you have a portable one. They can be used to redirect your camera flash, change the light situation, self-portraiture
There's endless possibilities.
-Use natural light whenever possible!
Fall in love with your weather man, because odds are you'll be relying on sunny skies for the best photographs.
-Lastly, always remember what you are trying to say
in the picture. Photographers are story tellers, dream weavers
If you do everything you can to make sure your audience understands your message without explanation, you'll create your best work.Did you like this tutorial? Would you like to see another one? Please leave a comment, all feedback is appreciated!