Photography is not All about the lense it matters upto an extent but in the end what matters is the mind that is at work behind the lense. There are a hundred tips you will find online on how to take good pictures, how to manipulate them, filters and you name it. But if the start product isn’t worth a dime then there is nothing probably, that a photoshop manipulation can do. The secret is to be in the moment and not even for a fleeting moment let the thought of later effects cross your mind. Don’t be afraid to experiment and do not ever forget, “Clicking makes a photographer perfect”. Alright I may have paraphrased that one but still it is true to the very last word and Behold! Because here are some tips right from my career stint as a photographer.
#10 Grain- the vintage
Before the era of memory cards there were days when you had to stay with your film-roll in a dark room and that silver halide gave your photographs some grains which made it look more artistic even though unknowingly. Now with a digital camera at your disposal the only way you can click a photograph like that is either due to the image sensor or a Photoshop effect. Now I know grain and noise gives you almost the same effects but you will see the difference when you blow it out of the normal proportion. Try experimenting with grains especially when it’s a monochrome picture and if it doesn’t work out then you can probably ditch this one.
#9 Street Photography- element of surprise
Street photography is therapeutic, brace yourself with some good music and you wouldn’t even know the amount of therapy you will end up getting for those blues you have been suffering from. Click anything and click everything, if the thing managed to encapture your attention then try to capture it through your lense. Although I have seen quite a few people trying to get the locals or things to strike a pose which they think might suit the frame or whatever crazy notions they have. But that’s an extreme no! Unless you really can’t help it but street photography is all about the element of surprise and capturing things as they are. Remember shutterbugs it’s about the compositionality and not the technicality.
#8 Monochrome- shades of Grey
A picture captures a heartbeat that resonated with yours and monochrome embeds it in its freshness forever. Monochrome pictures have this peculiar charm that may face denial but can never be denied. Try color isolation, which requires some photo shop skills but in a monochrome it works akin to a spell. Portraits and monochrome works perfectly hand in hand, add to it the element of mystery and you probably have yourself a JPEG monalisa. You can even tweak the curves but one thing I can assure you of is that every time you will end up surprising yourself as nothing weaves a better picture than the shades of Grey.
#7 Perspective- the angle story
Ever found yourself wondering why all your photos look the same or ever wondered what the world looks like to your kitten or probably not. Then I ask you to do it spend a week doing your pet’s perspective photography and you will capture things that you had captured earlier in a completely different way. Play with all the angles you can possibly think of. Ariel view might capture a beautiful family picture or a ground level one can get you more mesmerizing of pictures of your church. Find fresh angles for your everyday photographs, get a spider tripod or you can even try some most common ways lying or crouching in front of it, climbing above it or putting the camera on the ground and chancing it.
#6 RAW – High resolution and originality
Always and I underscore always shoot your images in RAW format. I know they are ridiculously huge but there is a reason that you will fathom once you have come back from your session and sit down to photo editing. Take for instance you surprised yourself and took a beautiful shot and now you are thinking of submitting in one of the ‘n’ number of photography competitions but the first things they will ask you (* if it’s a sincere one) is for a RAW copy along with your Jpeg. It is a token of your originality, provides you an exemplary editing flexibility and the detailed EXIF information which lets you remember the settings you clicked that shot on.
#5 Get Close – emotional warmth is best filter
I can never forget the holler that kids transcend into when left alone in a studio. I mean for you it might be an adventure but for them a photo-shoot is just at par to a visit to the doctor unless they are the reincarnation of the likes of Gia carangi. Stay close to them or in the background. Do not let them think that they are alone for infants it’s better to lay them atop you and get the camera at a comforting close range. Not just for kids even for grown-ups it’s better to interact with them throughout the session. Talk to them about general things pack your gear with a few good one-liners if you want to capture their candid smile. Get to know your subject because and let it fill your frame and mind for the moment.
#4 Brand name- censor it
Yes you read that right, cover that name with a tape and don’t flaunt it like a pseudo photographer, also don’t treat your camera like you are holding onto it for your dear life. Abuse it, use it, take it anywhere you go (please don’t take it to parties) or how else you think you will find those exceptional shots. People you click might kick themselves into a judgmental mode as soon as they see the Mark III, even though a slight difference but it always manages to creep in and guess what? Your camera will capture it manifold than your eyes will so cover the name up and make is as less overwhelming you can. Ditch the neck strap (arrghh) and get a hand strap instead. Or you could use some interesting lens covers .
#3 Lights- element of mystery
CFCs are dreary, they are white and they are …nevermind. The trick is to play with lights, try different kinds of halogen, LED. You could even try long exposure but personally I love lights for portraits. The pupils dilate and the LED or the Rice light makes those eyes looks deeper than the pacific and extremely magnificent. Ever seen someone over the dinner table and fell in love with them midst the flicker of candle lights? Yes use them then, cheap input and priceless results at the same time. Yet again don’t burn the whole house down (that’s just experience speaking). You could use hand sanitizers or camphor for your own fire themed shoot sans the photo effect and no they don’t really catch fire unless you have real bad luck. Although nothing ever can beat natural light so the key is to keep it simple.
#2 Collocation- the element of togetherness
I thought I might as well add it but to press it more, after seeing some really good photographs lacking this particular element, I decided to push it on number two. Ever seen some family pictures especially the joint family ones, they have a particular structure as to who will be seated and who will stand and who will sit on whose lap, and so people just adhere this stereotypical structure and do not take to experimenting with a more friendly photograph which is why most of the family pictures look like a post- man-eating tiger hunt photographs. The secret my friend is to let the love flow and practice juxtaposition and that is what makes all the difference. Albeit by juxtaposition I don’t just means people (* guess I was a little overwhelmed) but it applies to even things as well. Keep them together!
Do I hear the drum roll? There is no heading for this one because that’s what I intended to do; to stop you from reading. Yes photography forums have much to offer and so does such lists but I want you to restrain from draining all your energy in research and make one of your own. Do not derive your style of photography and deem it as inspiration find your own style and stick with it. The more time you spend looking at other work the worst your sense of individuality gets. Don’t be disheartened, Don’t ever give up, join photography forums display your work and always display your best, let the criticism flow, learn and move on don’t cling onto them like corpses and never limit yourself learn things that might help you with your photography could be graphic designing and yes do not outweigh the importance of photo editing because it’s an art in itself.
If this list helped you then write back to me because nothing will please me more also feel free to share your work and leave a link. Have an amazing photography experience ahead.