If you are new to photography, these tips should help you capture better photographs and get the best out of your equipment.
Abstract photography is all about noticing the details, the shadows and the patterns that others miss. Go somewhere inspirational, then look through your camera lens as you peruse the scene, letting its narrow focus identify features of interest. Sometimes the simplest things in life are the most rewarding, and this is no different with photography. Use a small aperture, such as f/5.6 or f/8.0, to bring only your selected detail into focus, leaving its surroundings blurred, then you can capture the scene, bit by bit.
If you want to distribute or use your photographs professionally, you will need to adjust the colour settings of each image in Photoshop. The settings will vary depending on your intended use for each photograph. This is what we recommend:
Camera > Before taking any pictures, your camera should be set to Adobe RGB. This is because Adobe RGB has around 35% more colours in its spectrum than sRGB. You can always convert your files into sRGB afterwards, but not the other way around.
Screen > If you want to display your photographs on the web, convert them from Adobe RGB to sRGB for a vibrant result and save them as separate files.
Lab > Most pro labs these days process via Adobe RGB, giving your images a superior finish. That said, make sure you check with your lab first incase they are still processing via sRGB, as the result will not be as good.
Press > If your photographs are going into a brochure or flyer, convert them from Adobe RGB to CMYK, remembering to save them as separate files. Since CMYK inks combine to create black, while RGB combine to make white, you may notice some colour shifts, especially with bright tones. Any CMYK files you do save will also need to be converted into 300 dpi (pixels per inch).
Landscape photography is not just about pointing your camera at a view and snapping.
1. Avoid distracting elements like telephone poles and powerlines by changing your position. Getting slightly lower, or a little higher, will allow you to eliminate unwanted objects and achieve a much better image.
2. Shoot in the morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky, resulting in longer shadows will give your photograph greater depth.
3. Be unique and avoid placing the horizon in the middle of the frame. Try playing with the composition by shooting it either low or high.
4. Use a wide-angle lens (less than 50mm) to get all of your desired view in one shot.
5. Remember, you are not taking close-ups, so ensure your whole image is in focus by using a large aperture, like f/11 or f/16 for greater depth of field.
Capturing close up photographs of smaller subjects is called macro photography and it is ideal for enhancing detail.
1. The focal length of a macro lens can range from 50mm to 200mm and should begin with a 1:1 magnification ratio.
2. Using a small aperture like f/16 or f/22 for a greater depth of field will create distance between the subject and the background.
3. Fine tune your composition at the time of shooting and fill the frame with detail so there are no gaps around the edge.
4. Considering different focus points can change the appearance of the subject and produce a variety of effects.
5. Try different coloured backgrounds to enhance the presence of the subject.
First, you will need a good sturdy tripod. Next, to eliminate any blurring, you will need to learn how to use the self-timer on your camera, so that when you take your photo the camera remains completely still. Using your finger will only jog the camera and blur the result. Self-timers are great to start off with, as they come standard with your camera. But if you want to capture moving objects, you will miss them due to the 10 second shutter release delay. So, if you start getting into night photography, you might want to invest in a shutter release cable. This way, you can release the shutter and take a photo at the exact moment of your choice, while still not shaking your camera.
Here are some exposure tips for different scenes:
> for automotive light trails, use exposures of 8 to 10 seconds
> street and cityscapes require around 30 seconds
> landscapes with star trails call for at least 3 to 4 minutes
To take the best photographs of your day trips or holidays, try to tell a story with your images. You do not have to capture the entire scene before you, just focus on what stands out the most, to you. It could be the weather, local people or cuisine, whatever might spark a conversation when you show it to family or friends. Add some variety too, with vertical images that add scale to your shot.