Give your camera’s flash a rest. All those indoor family gatherings forced you to contend with bad lighting, low shutter speeds and furniture obstacles.
The springtime weather creates new possibilities for action, perspective and color, and we have tips for the shutterbug in you from photography experts.
Understand there’s nothing about f-stops, ISOs and color theory here. That would require tuition, books, studio equipment, expensive cameras and a teacher shadowing you on your family vacation.
Oh, and you won’t become a professional photographer overnight.
But you can gain simple tips and techniques on what makes a good picture for your next family barbecue, festival adventure or trip to the Zoo.
Tips for photographing animals:
- Focus on the eyes.
- Try to get on the same level as the animal.
- Shoot early or late in the day when the sun is low, or on overcast days for even light, free of shadows.
- Pay attention to the background and move to eliminate visual distractions.
- Be patient.
Tips for more artistic shooting:
- Break the rules. How about a portrait with his/her back turned.
- Have the picture reflect on a greater experience or idea.
- It’s all about why.
- Learn the equipment until it becomes second nature to you.
- Work the edges of the picture to define what is cut out and left in.
- Practice illusion through lighting.
Tips for outdoor photography:
- Take lots of pictures, then edit tight later.
- Think about how you can shoot an event differently from the past.
- Instead of walking a lot, looking for images, pick a spot and watch it because the day changes and creates various opportunities for images.
- Be attentive to the time of day and varied lighting opportunities.
- Dress for the weather and travel light.
Tips for outdoor portraits:
- Let your eye travel around the entire frame of the photo before taking the shot.
- Don’t be afraid to get in close to your subject, or step back and frame your subject with an interesting background.
- Frame your subject off-center when you’re taking the photo.
- Put the sun at your back.
- The “magic hours” of the day are when the sun is low in the sky, which presents the most brilliant conditions.
- Look for directional elements that bring movement to the picture, including the direction a person is looking, or a sidewalk in the background.