BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Maureen Whitmore
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/6/2002
 

Favorite Photography Tips


As you may have read on our Ten Year Anniversary page this morning, BetterPhoto.com had it's inception with Jim Miotke's Top 10 Photography Tips. During the month of March, the BetterPhoto staff would love to have you, our esteemed members, share a favorite photography tip of your own. Thanks and have fun!


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3/1/2006 8:16:29 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  I think the tip I enjoy sharing the most ( under heading most shared, hardest to heed,lol)
Is in every aspect of Photography it is best to master them one by one.
Decide on a point you would like to master,if it's photographing things of extream speed:park your self at a BMX track, then a motorcross track then a car race mastering each before moving on to another intrest, say Studio Photography or wildlife.
If there is time spent in trail and error on each subject it tends to mean you have really concentrated on this area, instilling it into your Brain files for those split seconds you need that info. again.


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3/1/2006 8:42:58 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member
 
 
 
If you mess up a shot, study it. learn from it. In studying a messed up shot, you may even find a better shot than the one you originally planned.


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3/1/2006 6:52:56 PM

 
Melissa  L. Zavadil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/26/2005
  You can learn a ton from people above you on any learning curve and you can learn a ton from people below you on any learning curve. You need to keep your mind open for any and all information.


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3/1/2006 7:15:52 PM

 
Corinne M. Thompson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/31/2005
  ALWAYS take your camera, no matter where you go!


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3/1/2006 7:22:05 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
  Rule of thirds! I had never even heard of ROT before becoming involved with BP, and frankly I thought it was ROT LOL. Thankfully I was open minded enough to give it a chance and now I find it IS an essential component of composition.


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3/1/2006 7:41:50 PM

 
Pete H
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/9/2005
  1)Shoot-Practice-Shoot-Practice

2)Why don't (I) like the shot?

3)How do (I) fix it?

4)With digital, it is now easier to suffer burn-out, boredom, creativity lapses etc...Get away from it for a while. There is no need to shoot 1,000 shots every weekend. Make each one count! You are a photographer, not a snap shooter. LOL

5) Realize the equip we own will NOT make us better shooters.


Pete


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3/1/2006 8:28:24 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Amen Pete, AMEN.


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3/1/2006 8:51:06 PM

 
Kerby Pfrangle
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/19/2005
Contact Kerby
Kerby's Gallery
  When taking images of people scout out your locations carefully.

On outdoor locations look for floral area's, parks, beautiful back yards. Location is at least half of your picture.

Also be very careful on props and what is in your picture prop wise. Move anything out of the way you do not want in your images. Take note of what you do want in them.

I guess that my tip for today.

Kerby


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3/1/2006 9:19:01 PM

 
Kara L. Hendricks
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/18/2004
  Always try to find a unique perspective when shooting, no matter what your subject.. A fresh POV will always yield a shot that WOW's!!


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3/2/2006 2:59:58 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery
 
 
 
Kerby's excellent suggestions seemed geared towards portrait photography, but led me to another thought for shooting in nature.

Try as much as possible to observe all the elements of the scene you are photographing as you are composing your shot. Make every effort to eliminate those distracting elements from your final image.

Get it right while shooting rather than cropping your image in PS after the fact to make the photo fit the rules of composition.

Check to make sure there are no large areas of light or dark to distract the viewer from the subject.

Here's an example of a distracting element. It looks like the dandelion stem is going right up the nose of this cute little squirrel.

Happy Shooting!


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3/2/2006 5:27:54 AM

 
Christopher Budny
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/3/2005
chrisbudny.com
  A broad tip under "file editing"... be sure you:

1. Never save over the original file; archive those originals!
2. Once you've got the desired effect, save the file at full-size, full-resolution. Then downsize (if uploading it here) and save that shrunken version as another, new file.
3. If you keep the camera's file name as part of your edited file name (such as "DSC005_Tulip") you can easily identify what the original file was in your archives, later on down the road.

I can't tell you how many shots I've edited specifically to upload to BP, and didn't save a full-res copy before downsizing, and further, saved my final image as just a text name ("Tulip") so I have to hunt through all my originals in thumbnail view, if I want to try and find that file for a rework!


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3/2/2006 6:04:39 AM

 
Kay Beausoleil
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/31/2004
KayBeausoleilPhotography.com
  Working a subject outdoors, before putting your camera away, turn around and look. Sometimes the better subject was behind you!


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3/2/2006 8:18:16 AM

 
John P. Sandstedt
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/8/2001
Contact John
John's Gallery
  Give your own work the harshest criticism and throw away even those "almost" images.

Bracket . . . Bracket . . . Bracket!

Use the view finder. Look past the "immediate subject." And, for all the digicam users, save the LCD screen to assess the shot after it's taken but not before!


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3/2/2006 9:41:25 AM

 
Samuel Smith
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/21/2004
  don't buy a new toy thinking it will make you a better photographer.


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3/2/2006 12:09:17 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Photography is not in the camera. Photography is not in the knowledge on how to use the camera.
Photography is in the eye that frames the subject so the mind can use the camera to let the camera take what the eye frames.

My thought for today.


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3/2/2006 4:20:17 PM

 
Slim Brady 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/1/2006
  Express yourself! Experiment, have fun and enjoy yourself


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3/2/2006 4:35:40 PM

 
Justin G.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2004
  My favorite tip/quote is:

Having a 5D only makes you a Canon owner. Having a D2x only makes you a Nikon owner. Not a better photographer.


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3/2/2006 4:36:59 PM

 
Slim Brady 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/1/2006
  One advantage of digital wedding photography is the ability to manipulate the raw images and save in a variety of safe places. With film, the negatives are vulnerable to dust and scratches and other physical factors. They can also be lost in the mail being sent out for developing or reprints, or the photo lab can accidentally slip them into another customerís order (I once received someone's else's negatives). While digital images run the risk of being erased off a hard drive, duplicating the images to DVD or another computer first will ensure your important images are safe and never lost.It is obvious that digital images never fade. While the prints made from digital images may slowly fade, the original digital files wonít. So prints made from those files twenty years from now will look just as sharp and just as vibrant as the day the photos were taken. Color negatives will fade will time, as will black and white negatives if not properly treated and stored.



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3/2/2006 4:48:02 PM

 
Jessica Hughes
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/23/2003
  Find your own personal style and don't be afraid to experiment a bit. :)


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3/2/2006 7:29:43 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Enjoy your talent. Anyone can take a picture. Not everyone can take a photograph.


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3/2/2006 10:56:14 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Here's a few useful and versatile...(and inexpensive) pieces of equipment to add to your gadget bag when shooting outdoors:

*A small flashlight...when used with an outdoor film or setting, can add a warm highlight to portions of a scene.

*A piece of beaded plastic diffusion material (the kind used for flourescent light fixtures) can be used to soften harsh sunlight when shooting macros.
These sheets are sold at any home-repair store and are easily cut to size.

*A few plastic drinking straws and a small chunk of styrofoam can be used for positioning flowers for close-ups.


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3/3/2006 4:10:14 AM

 
Rebecca A. Steed
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
  Get on your belly! Look up, look down, look all around.
I know it sounds like a Dr. Seuss book, but "oh the thinks you can think up if only you try!"
Seriously, amazing worlds await if you just change your perspective.


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3/3/2006 4:54:44 AM

 
Sherry S. Boles
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/28/2005
  Look at winning photos, study what makes them so good...This will develop you photographic "eye."


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3/3/2006 1:59:46 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  To capture the eyes of a child is to capture the heart of a child.

My thought for today'


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3/4/2006 1:07:54 AM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  hire some pro to go shoot for you...
lol

seriously though, dont go around thinking youre the best.. dont use photography as a means to be cool or hip, dont go out and think, thats all there is... I can do that! And dont be to full of your own ego to come here and ask, ask, ask...if you have a problem. Right now, on another site, im going over the finer points of metering.. I never really worried about it but now I wanna "do it right" so, its back to the drawing board for me... I even went an scored an EOS Elan7 off ebay so's I can practice on that.. no chimping with a film cam so Its gonna be hit or miss till I get it right! Im thinking it will make me have to think before I shoot.. not like a digi where you can make a mistake and adjust and go instantly.. which is great but not to great for learning IMHO.
craig-


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3/4/2006 4:53:25 AM

 
Justin S.   My fav. Tip is -find some way to insure your camera and equipment against damage and theft. There are people out in the world who still take things that do not belong to them, even though there are laws telling them not too. Plus, Cameras are very expensive to fix and same goes for lenses. No matter how much you baby your equipment, accidents still happen.


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3/4/2006 1:41:50 PM

 
Justin S.   My fav. Tip is -find some way to insure your camera and equipment against damage and theft. There are people out in the world who still take things that do not belong to them, even though there are laws telling them not too. Plus, Cameras are very expensive to fix and same goes for lenses. No matter how much you baby your equipment, accidents still happen.


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3/4/2006 1:41:51 PM

 
Justin S.   My fav. Tip is -find some way to insure your camera and equipment against damage and theft. There are people out in the world who still take things that do not belong to them, even though there are laws telling them not too. Plus, Cameras are very expensive to fix and same goes for lenses. No matter how much you baby your equipment, accidents still happen.


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3/4/2006 1:41:51 PM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  Hey Justin, I missed your last post, whats your favorite tip again?
lol Just kiddin!

Another good tip is, buy a tripod.. your gonna need it sooner or later! and clean your lenses regulary and never put your lens cap in your pocket..it will get dirt on it and youll put it back on the lens and then need rule #1 (above) again!
lol
(I do it all the time but I also clean my lenses all the time too and I also carry a blower with me when im out..)
Craig-


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3/4/2006 4:29:55 PM

 
Justin S.   LOL, Yeah sorry my computer froze in the middle of the post and that was the result.
New tip, If your into digital, buy a computer that can handle the ability of digital imaging and the internet at the same time other wise you might post 3 times not trying to while freezing up the whole system.


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3/4/2006 8:48:28 PM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  I have my own list of tips...but here are two of the most important:

Make your best capture: Don't just assume you'll Photoshop it later and make a great image. The source you shoot is the bulk of what you'll have to work with.

Learn your equipment and use it to its full potential: Read manuals, test functions, explore. This applies to equipment and software. for example, I have heard many people say that Photoshop Elements "can't do [this or that]" and really it is a matter of technique. I find new things Elements can do every day...and I look for new ways to see the world every time I pick up the camera.

You follow that second one, and you'll never get bored with what you have.

More tips in my new course on the Elements workflow...Photoshop users welcome!


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3/5/2006 7:23:58 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/28/2003
  to go along with what richard said...also, learn to edit. for those of you who do family protraits, weddings, or any event or client photography, you have to learn to edit. edit tightly, and only show your best work. this idea of only getting rid of poorly exposed images, or closed eyes, or whatever is rubbish.

tip: edit in, not out. so when you go through your images, tag the images that have impact and say something to you, and don't dwell on them, first impression only, it should only take less than 1 second per image. it either speaks to you or it doesn't. when you're done, you'll have your best. then, go through them more carefully, and only select the best of the best.

i would rather delevier 5 images to a family from a portrait shoot that I am proud of, than 50 mediocre shots. the 45 that are mediocre, water down those 5 that are stunning.

it really takes a long time to learn how to do this, and to be confident enough to do it. but, it is a very nice skill to develop.

knowing what to show is as important as knowing what to shoot and how to shoot it.


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3/5/2006 8:26:16 AM

 
Maverick Creatives
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/1/2004
  I think the best tip I can offer is not so much about the instrument or the technique as it is about the photographer. The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. When you can do this consistently, you will be more than a photographer, you will become a true artist.

Regards
Gary


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3/5/2006 9:13:40 AM

 
Donna R. Moratelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/23/2000
  Never consider yourself to good to keep learning!


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3/5/2006 10:03:16 AM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  ever sinc I started this whole photography trip, ive noticed that I care more about animals and nature and while I used to care, I never really thought about it much, now when im out and see something like litter on the road, it kinda makes me sad.I need to find something to do to help out this summer, maybe join one of them "clean the park" days or do something at the animal shelter.
craig-


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3/5/2006 12:25:23 PM

 
Rebecca A. Steed
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/6/2005
  This is addressed to Craig (and anyone else really). There is a great photo on littering:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/dynoGallDetail.asp?photoID=1824184

I thought it really got the message out. FYI.


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3/5/2006 12:45:16 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Happiness is a camera with a fresh roll of film, new batteries, and a dynamite sunset.

My thought for today.


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3/5/2006 4:26:39 PM

 
Patricia H. Daley
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/4/2000
  Shoot at least one photo everyday of anything just to keep a diary. Remember to shoot the best photo you can and not just a snapshot.


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3/7/2006 5:24:33 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  Remember, most cameras can't swim.

My thought for today.


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3/9/2006 12:34:40 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  My most useful piece of advice from this site and books is that while photoshop is a wonderful tool a true photographer correctly sets the camera prior to the shot rather than after in photoshop.


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3/9/2006 6:49:04 AM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  thank you becky, I will go check it out right now!
craig-


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3/9/2006 9:46:01 AM

 
Dan C.
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2005
  Shoot RAW!


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3/9/2006 7:30:56 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
 
 
 
Even the worst situations can look beautiful on film


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3/9/2006 8:29:01 PM

 

BetterPhoto Member
 
 
 
Like this


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3/9/2006 8:31:32 PM

 
Usman M. Bajwa
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/11/2006
Contact Usman
Usman's Gallery
  I am a novice in photography and I may be doing it wrong, however,and I try to stick to the following points:

1. The yearning for learning will take you higher.

2. SEEING instead of looking around (up, down, in front, behind, on the sides, below, etc) and knowing the equipment may help one take great shots.

3. Figuring out a right vantage point (considering the pov, light, shadows, placement of subject in the frame, etc) is paramount for grabbing viewer's attention.

4. Finally putting all this to action by continual practice will make one a better photographer.


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2/2/2010 9:40:39 PM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
Contact Carlton
Carlton's Gallery
carltonwardphoto.com
  Background:
One tip I always try to keep at the front of my brain when composing is the Background.
The background can make or break a photo IMO. If you have a nice colored & contrasting background you can use that to add emphasis/pop & bring focus to your subject. Beware of a sidewalk or tree-branch in the background going through your subjects head and other distractions like blown out light areas, etc.. that can pull you eye away from the subject. Learn your lens characteristics for using DOF for the background. If I shoot a person with a background 12 feet behind the person and use f/7.1 - with my 24-70mm lens, the background will be more in focus than my 100-400mm lens which will have a nice blurred (bokeh) background. Same distances & f/stop but the lenses produce very different results.
I spend way too much time editing a background on a photo to remove distracting objects which is why I try to get the composition & background right when I take the shot...
my .02
Carlton


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2/2/2010 11:27:15 PM

 
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