1. Utilize the photography “golden hour”|
Lighting is paramount since it dictates the shape, texture, contrast, and shadows in your images. The golden hour is about a one-hour window briefly after sunrise or before sunset.
The longer shadows and especially the more diffused light during these periods provide much more flattering light. Since the light is diffused, you’re much less likely to ‘blow out’ highlights or lose detail in the shadows that are difficult to avoid during the strong light available during most of the day.
This golden hour tool calculates the golden hour for you based on your location.
2. Get a low cost reflector to drastically increase your options
Having a reflector will let you better control light on your subject. You can even use foam core board at a craft store that’s black on one side and white on the other for less than five dollars.
Foldable fabric ones are also available at photography stores. The black side lets you block or reduce lights, while the white side can be used to fill in shadows. These two options give you much greater control with positioning and angles instead of being limited by the main light source. If there is too much contrast in your scene, use a reflector to fill the shadows on your subject. Adjust the reflector’s distance to your subject to control the intensity of the fill light.
3. How to photograph fireworks
Fireworks are an amazing sight—it’s definitely one that captures well on camera too. Be prepared and set up ahead of time to increase your chances for great results. Follow this step-by-step:
Predict where the fireworks will be so you can set up in a good spot. Most firework shows don’t last too long so if you have to move during the show you might miss it!Keep the camera as still as possible. Use a tripod and a cable release so you can trigger the shutter without touching the camera.Set your camera to ISO 100 for a clean looking shot. Fireworks are bright so you can also use a relatively small aperture around f/8 or smaller.Press the shutter release right before the fireworks go off and release the shutter once the fireworks fade. Review your photograph, and adjust your framing and aperture if necessary for the next shot.18. Portrait photography tips
If you’re just starting out, chances are you don’t have a studio or fancy lighting equipment.
Your best bet is to use window light. Turn off all the lights in the room and move near a window with some curtains so you can play around with diffusing the light.
Turning off all the lights includes the pop-up flash on your camera too. Make sure you focus on the eyes, make your subjects feel comfortable, and give it a shot!
4. Pet photography tips
Pets are full of personality, and capturing that on camera can require different techniques depending on the individual pet. Dogs especially tend to reflect your emotions, so act accordingly depending on the photo you want.
Some pets can be very active too, so a short telephoto lens can help if you’re backed up against a wall. Shoot in shutter priority mode and hover around 1/125 sec to 1/500 sec depending on the pet. Lastly, similar to human subjects keep focus on the eyes sharp.
5. Landscape photography tips
Landscape photos usually capture vast spaces. The most common you’ll see is landscape photos in nature, but this applies to cityscapes too.
These images can trigger powerful responses with the stories they tell or the scenes they portray. But first you want to make sure you’re ready with proper gear and technique.
Visualize the image you’re trying to achieve. This will determine where and when you need to be for those results.Choose a proper lens. For cropped sensor cameras a telephoto lens around 10-200mm will cover a lot of what you need for landscapes. One with image stabilization helps too.Set your aperture. Most folks like having everything in the scene sharp since it’s more appealing for this type of photography. Use an aperture around f/16 or f/22 to achieve this. You may need to adjust depending on your distance from the scene.21. Party photography tips
You can have fun at parties and get great images without futzing with your camera all night. Most parties will be indoors or in darker settings. Choose a wide zoom lens, with the widest range being about 24mm for photos in rooms with limited space and for group pictures too.
Avoid using the built-in flash since it creates unflattering images. Opt for an external flashor a mounted one you can direct to bounce off ceilings or walls.
6. How to paint with light
Drawing or painting with light in photography is really fun and interactive, so it’s easy to get other people to join in on this too.
People are usually receptive to it because it’s very relatable to drawing. You can get pretty creative with this too, depending on how many people are drawing, and your source of light. Additionally, follow these steps:
Find a dark room or wait until after the sun sets and turn off any nearby lights. You’ll need a light source such as a flashlight to draw with too.Set your camera to the lowest ISO, usually 100 or 200. Then set your aperture around 2.8 or 3.5. You can put a timer on the shutter between 5-15 seconds, or use the “bulb” function and have someone else hold the shutter release button for as long as you want to draw.Press the shutter release, then turn on your flashlight and start drawing! You can quickly move it around, or take it slow and draw with detail, just like you would on paper. Review your image and you can adjust the aperture or shutter speed as needed. After a few adjustments you should have it down, and ready to draw anything with the flashlight.