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Friday, May 30, 2008

Tips for better photography (Valentine style)

Everyone has tips and tricks so why not me? I have done these because of my tip #3

Tip #1: Find people that have the same interests as you.

This accomplishes many things. You have a support base that can give you advice. It is so tough to get started in photography. Anyone can have a camera now and take pictures. It is what sets you apart from everyone else that a like minded group will bring. The group can tell you new ways to look at things, lend you equipment, help you decide where is the most important place to spend your money and so much more. Maybe more importantly is the fact that they will inspire and modivate you to get out and take pictures.

I joined the Colorado Springs Photography Meetup and it has been a great decision.

Tip #2: Know your equipment

Knowing how all of your equipment works is critical. It will enable you to think on your feet and to be able to make effective changes.

I borrowed a set of studio lights and just started messing around with them. That is a good way to get started but I didn't take the time to read anything about them later. I couldn't figure out why some of my pictures looked good and some were quite dark. Out of pure luck I figured that
the light do not "dump" when the settings are changed. This becomes a problem when you think the lights are adjusted and you look at your "test" shot and it looks ok. It turns out that first shot was your dump shot and the next one will reflect your actual lighting setup. I thought everything was good and the lights were getting dimmer with the next shot.

Tip #3: Write about your journey

Writing will make you think about what you are trying to accomplish. It will give you direction. blogger offers a free medium to share your thoughts but you could just write in a notebook if you like.

Tip #4: With digital still be selective

Digital photography has given so many options to so many people. You can shoot for hours on one memory card and still not run out of room. That creates a lot of pictures to go through once you get home. That is good and bad. The good is that you have lots of pictures to choose from so you know that you got at least one of them right. The bad is that you have to go through and pick the 10 you want out of 200 and if you want more then you have to edit more. There is a fine line.

I try to be selective when I get home and review my pictures. If it is out of focus I delete it. If I don't like it then it is gone. Maybe not the best but it keeps me from feeling bad about having lots of unedited pictures just sitting around.

Tip #5: Read Read Read!

The more you know the better you can think on your feet. Even if you are not reading about photography read something. It will increase vocabulary, stretch your imagination and make you think.

To go along with that there are so many blogs and free places to find information on the web. I have a couple links to them. I am excited about a DVD series that was just released as well that can be found at Strobist.com. I am hoping to get this set sometime soon. FYI I think that it is selling out FAST.

Tip #6: Get out and take pictures

With all of these tips and suggestions you will never become better at capturing pictures if you don't go out and practice. The more you take pictures the more you will find what you like and will refine skils that you have learned from reading.

Tip #7: Print your work

I am not very good at this step although I am working to get better. This is important because it will let you see what you photos really look like. The computer screen can be very different than print. Print some pictures and see what they look like.

Those are my first few tips. There will be more to come but I think that is a good start.

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