The Beauty of Twilight Photography

The moon has always been held as a sense of wonderment, it has been the centerpiece for many a romantic or horror scene. It has also played a big part in impacting the many cultures of the world. More so, it influences the gravitational pull of the earth and is responsible for casting the tides of the oceans. The moon as opposed to the sun, can be gazed upon directly. You can stare into the very depths twilight3 The Beauty of Twilight Photographyof its character and be awed by its wondrous beauty. It is in itself a beautiful subject to be photographed as part of a scene or all on its own. When you include the moon while taking a photograph of a scene, whether it is in the countryside or in an urban setting, it adds to the sense of harmony. Whenever a night photo is viewed, there is always a sense of something missing when you do not include the moon and the stars in the frame. The perfect opportunity to photograph the moon in its full glory and make it part of your scenery is when it is almost full. This is usually when the sun is about to rise and the moon is about to set (or vice versa). This makes it idea due to the fact that the moon will be low in the sky, which happens at twilight or at dawn. 

Take composite shots to keep both the moon and the foreground defined and in focus. To do this, the first shot should focus mainly on the foreground scene and the second shot should have the moon in focus. During post-processing, you can combine the two images together and …..

If your idea of an image is to still have the sun providing natural lighting for your scene, you can utilize the same type of exposure for the two types of photographs. However, if you plan to shoot after the sun has set or is about to rise, you may require a longer exposure for the scene and shorter exposure when photographing the moon.

 twilight1 The Beauty of Twilight PhotographyIf you are using the moon as your main subject and you want to capture more of its details, such as its craters, you will need a long lens and the stability of a tripod. For a long lens, at least 300mm would do for the actual details to show in your image. 

For the aperture, it can vary depending on the weather, the density of the clouds, etc. For a clear night, an aperture of at least f/8 would be ideal. First, it will give you great depth of field while allowing for a relatively fast shutter speed. This is mainly so because the moon moves extremely fast for slow shutter speed. That can cause you to have undefined edges.twilight2 The Beauty of Twilight Photography

The light emanating from the moon can change depending on the weather, its height and location in the sky. Therefore, there is no definite shutter speed to use and you will have to base it on the conditions at the night of the shoot. Ideally, you want to achieve bright pixels in your image but make sure you do not overexpose your shot. Always remember that it is not just the full moon that can give you a great photograph. The other phases of the moon can give you an equally beautiful subject by giving you more character with the shadows it creates in the craters which give more depth. 


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Things You Should Know About the Useful Features of Your Camera

The usual things we hear when it comes to camera features are aperture, ISO, white balance and other familiar terms. But there are a lot of other features you will also find useful in your DSLR camera. Here are a few of them:

features1 Things You Should Know About the Useful Features of Your CameraFlash exposure compensation – a common question we ask is why do our images, whenever we use the flash, become under or overexposed? When we hear automatic flash, we always assume that this feature can calculate the precise amount of light needed for the shot. However, the camera’s ability to adjust to certain environmental lighting is not always as accurate as we want it to be. That is where the definition of a great photographer versus an amateur photographer is defined. To get excellent images, you have to help your digital camera to get the exposure perfect. When you compensate your flash exposure by selecting negative numbers, this will reduce the flash power and will allow you to keep highlight details. Positive numbers will allow you to add illumination to your subjects from further away. When using the built-in light meter, it can be fooled by placing something bright within the frame of your shot. 

Depth of field preview button – this feature will show you how an image will look, not just based on what you see in your viewfinder or LCD screen. When you use this button, you can see which parts of an image are in sharp focus and which parts are blurred. You can also determine what aperture settings you have to use to get the effect that you want. To use this, simply adjust the aperture to get the exact balance between the blurry and the sharp portions. 

features2 Things You Should Know About the Useful Features of Your CameraMirror lock-up – using a tripod doesn’t necessarily mean you will not get blurry shots. DSLRs are made with an interior mirror that flips upwards to reveal a digital image sensor whenever you press your shutter button. When you use heavier lenses, this shutter movement or ‘mirror slap’ can cause vibrations. By turning on the mirror lock-up setting, the shutter remains stationary which will give you sharper images. 

Rear curtain sync – this feature is a phase in your shutter speed. A conventional flash is always the first curtain. The second or rear curtain is usually used for a more dramatic effect to create a trail of subject movement. You can create patterns in the motions that cannot be seen by the naked eye and the effects can be magical. To get this effect, set your camera to manual exposure, usually at one second at f/5.6 and set it to the second curtain. Make sure the subject is moving before you take a photograph of your image.

features3 Things You Should Know About the Useful Features of Your CameraLong exposure noise reduction – for exposures longer than ten seconds, this feature can eliminate some of the digital noise and effects caused by long exposure. If you plan to take consecutive shots of the same subject, this can hinder the speed because the image sensor has to reset and take a blank exposure after each and every shot. This is the same length of time as the actual shot so it is double the time. But the shots that you produce can be worth the wait. 

AI Servo AF – with the newer types of DSLR cameras out in the market today, you can set the perfect combination of exposure, aperture and lighting. Your main hurdle would now be your subject. Especially with sports photography, dance photography or other genres that involve movement, this smart feature allows the camera to detect the speed and direction of movement of the subject so that your lens can focus on the position to eliminate the chances of getting blurry shots. To attain the AI Servo AF, press the shutter release half-way and your viewfinder will show that you are tracking your subject with an in-focus indicator. 


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More Tips on How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots

When photographing scenes that include trees, one should keep in mind how to present trees in an interesting manner since they can make or break the shot. It is not easy to ignore trees in photos due to their huge size. We had previously given you several tips on how to photograph trees, and these are some more to help you when composing trees in your images:

tree6 More Tips on How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots1. Check the weather – the weather directly affects the outcome of outdoor photos and it is best to know beforehand what to expect. Mist, rain, snowfall, wind, heat and such would give your image a certain atmosphere and you can take advantage of it or wait until the skies clear up.  Extreme weather can damage the camera gear so always make sure these are always protected. Of course, your own personal safety is more important than the shot so dress appropriately.

2. Use it as foreground or background interest – in landscape photography, trees are often used to add interest to a certain area in the image frame. They can be in the foreground with a majestic mountain or a house in the distance, and they can also appear in the background of the main subject. When using it as a secondary subject, keep in mind that it should not steal attention away from the main point of interest.tree4 More Tips on How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots

3. Shoot its color – with the change of seasons come the change of leaves and trees that look vivid green and brown in the summer may have fiery red leaves in the fall. Also, the bark of trees also differ in color compared to other varieties. Why not focus on the color of trees to further enhance your shot.

4. Try different lenses – wide-angle lenses take in more of the scene and make the distance between objects seem longer. Telephoto lenses, however, magnify the subject and decrease or compress the distance between objects. These also offer a shallower depth of field compared to the wide-angle. You can stand in the same spot and take photos of the same trees but the results would look different if you used different kinds of lenses. 

tree5 More Tips on How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots5. Shoot variations – trees not only come in all sizes and shapes but they can also grow all alone without any other tree nearby or clumped together into a dense forest. Shoot as much as you can of the trees while trying as various compositions. Step away or go closer, angle your camera upwards or climb up the tree and shoot downwards, shoot the trees as a group or single one out.

6. Experiment with both vertical and horizontal framing – the horizontal or landscape format is ideal for subjects that are wider than they are taller. For instance, this would be ideal if the subject were a row of trees. On the other hand, the vertical or portrait format would be great for the lone tree where you might want to include it all in the frame. Of course, these are simply guidelines and you can try switching formats to see which works best for the scene.

7. Have the model interact with the tree – when doing a fashion shoot or portraiture, try to have the model acknowledge the tree instead of simply standing beside it. By having the model lean on it, look at it or touch it, there is an apparent connection between these two subjects which can give greater visual impact, as well as send the message across more clearly. 


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The Art of Photographing Dance

One of the basic forms of human expression that have continued to be a part of our culture is dance. This form is one way that communicates beyond speech, much like the art of photography. Both do not have a specific dialect or language. Dance conveys raw emotion through movement that extends over all kinds of boundaries.

Here are effective tips on how to shoot fabulous dance images:

 dance6 The Art of Photographing Dance Shoot with manual settings at the widest aperture possible – more often than not, most of the dance performances involve a lot of dramatic lighting. This can be a reason to lose a lot of detail pertaining to highlights and shadows in an image. Always remember, though, that it is better to lose details from shadow than details from highlights. To get the best possible outcome, manually set your camera to the widest aperture. Also remember to adapt the exposure to the performer’s skin tone.

Do not even bother using spot metering. Another way to tackle exposure is to adjust shutter speed setting until you are able to see details in the performer’s face. However, whenever the lighting changes you will still have to adjust the settings each time.

Shoot in RAW – as much as possible, shoot in RAW format. Although it can slow you down in post processing as you make adjustments to your images, you will be able to capture more detail. But always remember to use a memory card with adequate memory since RAW files are rather huge.dance7 The Art of Photographing Dance

Familiarize yourself with the camera – stages have lighting that is usually centered on the performances and it varies depending on the tempo of the music or the type of mood that the performance wishes to convey. In most cases, you will probably have to be working in the dark. So it is best to familiarize yourself with all the buttons of your camera to make sure you are pressing the right one. Also make sure you know the proper settings to adjust your camera.

Have the right timing – the more performances you attend, and the more times you persevere to capture great dance stills, the more chances you will have of ddance5 The Art of Photographing Danceeveloping your skill. It takes more than just constantly being on the look-out for a great move because once you see a great movement in your viewfinder, chances are it is too late to capture it. You must always anticipate what will happen next to get the perfect opportunity. There are plenty of opportunities for you to be able to gauge when a highlight moment is about to take place, such as a change in music, lighting or movement of the dancers. You can sense that that something big is about to happen. It helps to love your niche because there are different types of dance performances that do not always follow the norm in lighting and music.

Capture the perfect pose – the visual impact of a perfect pose immortalized in a photograph is a rarity because you only get one chance when the whole body of a performer is in the right position allowing it to speak to the viewer when looking at the image. It will be pointless to set your camera to continuous mode and take random shots because the only way for you to get the precise moment is through patience.


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Is Stock Photography Suited For Me?

Weigh your options in the business of photography and try to decide if stock photography is one of them. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help reach a decision:

suited1 Is Stock Photography Suited For Me? Do my images have good composition? Are they nicely lit and free from visual clutter? 

Whether you are a seasoned or an amateur photographer, a blurry image is still a blurry image. Getting your images in any microstock site does not require you to be a professional. All you need are good images.  Stock sites have reviewers who peruse each and every uploaded shot before they are accepted in the system. If you plan to have each of your photos pass this rigorous test, learn to do quality checks yourself and be objective when analyzing your images. 

Is photography fun for me?

Photography is not all about money. If you are doing it for the money, then you are in for disappointment. It takes hours of patience and hard work to get the perfect images that would sell, not to mention post processing and getting them approved for uploading in stock sites. If this does not appeal to you, then it will definitely show in your work.

suited2 Is Stock Photography Suited For Me? Do I have adequate photography equipment?

The most important thing to have is a digital camera. For stock sites, your camera should be capable of at least taking 4megapixels. Having a digital camera is a great way for you to practice and develop your skills without having to worry about cost of film, developing negatives, and the like. Just remember not to be too trigger happy and always spare the time to go through your images and find out the areas for improvement. You will also have to learn how to use photo editing software since this will greatly aid you in the post processing stage so you can correct all the minor errors appearing in your photographs.

Can I spare some time to focus on creating stock images?

Whether you decide to upload in microstock or macrostock sites, make sure you upload only the best images you have. Check on the current trends, what are the images that sell the most, and always upload fresh images so that the clients always have new options. All these require effort and a certain amount of time devoted to building your stock portfolio, especially in the beginning when you are still making a name for yourself. 

suited3 Is Stock Photography Suited For Me? Do I want to earn from my photos?

Many good photographers take pictures because they love it and do not really think of the monetary aspect of it. If you are doing stock photography as a hobby and not as a main source of income, you might be satisfied with earning a few dollars now and then from your images. If you want to earn more than what would amount to spare change, you will have to be more serious as well and try to learn the tricks of the trade to get the most out of it. 

Am I willing to accept image payment of only a few cents each shot?

For some people, there is still that mindset that a photograph is certainly worth more than a few cents and microstock sites are harming the value of a high quality image.  For others, the low rates being offered in microstock sites is not considered an issue since there are thousands of potential buyers who can acquire the same image and these few cents will accumulate into hundreds of dollars over time. Your personal perception of how the stock system works will affect your decision whether or not to join stock sites.

Am I known professionally in the photography world?

Once you have already gotten the hang of the skills and expertise of being a good photographer and are earning a living out of it or are well-known in the craft, you might prefer having your images sold at macrostock sites rather than microstock.  Macrostock sites are much stricter with image quality and not just anybody can become a member. However, once you are in, you can sell your images at a much higher rate. Some people even choose to use the services of both microstock and macrostock sites. Just be wary about the sites that you decide to join because some have exclusivity quotes so read the terms and conditions carefully. 


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How to Shoot Family Portraiture

With the new year just starting, you can look forward to the many birthdays, dinner parties, trips, anniversaries and yearly holiday gatherings and plan ahead for the perfect family portraits. These photographs will serve as a celebration of your life and will be a memorabilia of priceless moments spent with your family and friends. Family portraits are probably the most treasured keepsakes handed down to you to remind you of your lineage. Nowadays, with the convenience of digital photography, you can record images of the happy gatherings you have experienced to keep the tradition going. 

Shooting the whole family within a single frame is probably the most challenging thing you may encounter in family portraiture. Especially with a growing brood of children running around all over the place, you cannot just ask them to sit still for a few minutes for a photograph.

Here are a few tips to help you capture the bond between the family in the form of an image:

family4 How to Shoot Family Portraiture1. Familiarize yourself with your subjects – since your main subjects are friends and family members, you may already be familiar with what they are conscious of and what they do not want to be glaringly obvious about themselves in a photograph. Reassure them that you know what they want and that you will try your best to get the outcome they expect and you are sure to have genuine smiles.

2. Be stealthy, move swiftly and have fun – candid shots make for great shots. Make sure your subjects are comfortable and are in their element. Allow them to move spontaneously and be ready to capture those rare moments. Have your camera ready at all times and check battery life and camera settings so that you are always prepared.

cjsun How to Shoot Family Portraiture3. Pay attention to the background  -neutral and solid colors are ideal for backgrounds. If you are shooting outdoors, make sure that you use a variety of angles for your shot. A low or high angled shot can remove unnecessary clutter in the background that can be distracting. 

4. Get color coordinated – it would be ideal to have family members wear color coordinated outfits. It can be quite tricky, though, but pastels and vibrant colors can enhance the final outcome of your photographs. If celebrating a birthday party, you can have the birthday celebrant wear a bright colored garment while the guests can wear muted tones to make the celebrant the main focus of attention. Keep in mind that a lot of clashing colors and busy patterns can be an eyesore.

family1 How to Shoot Family Portraiture5. Have adequate lighting – lighting is always important in any type of photograph. Even lighting is ideal but may not be available all the time. The best times for even lighting are at 8am and 5:30pm. These times are known as the golden hours, when natural lighting is warm and soft and can flatter any subject. Remind yourself to notice that the faces of your subjects are equally lit. When shooting indoors, utilize a flash or any type of natural soft lighting emanating from the windows. Try to arrange the subjects close to the light source and position them slightly to one side of the direction of the light. This will create the illusion of depth through shadows as well as highlights. Another tip: frontal lighting is the most common way to shoot family portraits. However, the image could come out flat and dull. The best way to avoid this is to use sidelighting with a reflector such as a white sheet or cloth to bounce back the light to the group. This will lessen hard shadows and further enhance your subjects. When shooting outdoors, try to position yourself and your subjects under a tree or a shady area to get even lighting.




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How to Photograph Dance Performances

Dance is timeless. Since the dawn of men, it has been a way of communicating to the gods and a way of showing ideas and savage emotions. To this day, moving with grace and passion can take us to a higher plane of existence and capturing these movements is a true art form in itself. The following is a list of tips guaranteed to help you capture those elusive dance moments:

dance8 How to Photograph Dance Performances Communicate with your subjects – dancers are people who are in tune with their bodies and can visualize what they would look like when you take their picture. It would be helpful for you to speak to the performers to tell them what your intentions and goals are and what you want to capture from your images of them. The dancers can even share ideas with you and help you attain those goals. They can also adjust their poses to fit your needs. Much like portrait photography, dance photography can have better results when the subject and the photographer communicate with each other.

Incorporate the backdrop to your image – the set, lighting and props are as much a part of the performance as the dancers themselves. Experiment with a variety of angles such as shoot from the side or straight forward. Take into consideration the details of the backdrop in unison with the performers and how they relate to each other. Don’t forget to take images of the overall setting or the stage.

Take advantage of lighting for more visual impact – when shooting in a studio, you can have more control of lighting and can make use of large even lighting so that the dancer can move around and still be adequately illuminated. You can control the direction of the light and have it come from the side or even the top for more dramatic effects. Sunlight usually takes care of outdoor dances.

dance9 How to Photograph Dance Performances Consider shooting during full dress rehearsals or behind the scenes – it would be good to shoot during full dress rehearsals rather than the actual performance itself. Here, you will have a lot more space to maneuver yourself and your equipment. These can get you better photographs. When trying to capture backstage images, look for spots where performers are lost in their thoughts or busy practicing their movements or simply stretching before their act. If you have taken your performance shots during rehearsals, come the big day when the actual performance happens, you can take backstage shots of performers instead and catch the excitement of them readying themselves.

Use the dancers’ costumes to add to the visual impact – dance performances are often events of beauty, energy and mdance31 How to Photograph Dance Performancesovement and one huge element that provides visual effects is the costume. The dainty and ethereal tutus of ballet dancers add to the aura of grace and softness, while the giant headdresses of Las Vegas lady dancers provide drama and spectacle.

Envision the story you want to depict- base the images you capture on the type of setting or location where the dance will take place. There are several opportunities where you can capture the performers. One is while they are onstage during the actual performance, another is during rehearsals in the studio or on stage and still another is a location where they might be doing a publicity shoot. The location of the dance affects the outcome of the image.


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How to Shoot Great Indoor Pictures

Because of the cold weather and the rain, it would be ideal to take more indoor shots to avoid harsh elements for our precious camera and equipment as well as trying to avoid catching a cold. Shooting inside may not be as challenging as we think. In fact, it can be a lot easier and more manageable than shooting outdoors on a hot summer day. Here are great tips and tricks that you can use to get great indoor photographs:

indoor3 How to Shoot Great Indoor Pictures Avoid using pop-up flash – the first thing you have to know about indoor photography is that pop-up flashes cause harsh shadows. This can have an effect on your subjects as making their eyes widen, or getting blinded or even blinking.

Use external flash – this is attached to your camera’s hot shoe. Just remember that if you aim it straight at your subject that you will have the same results as the pop-up flash. Try to bounce the light from the ceiling or nearby wall. Some external flashes even allow you to turn it around so it can aim directly at the wall behind you. For great portrait shots, you can invest in multiple flash units to give you better lighting options. A flash unit is usually mounted on your camera and replaces your fill-in flash. A second unit will act as the main light, which is usually positioned to the side of the model and the third unit can be used for back lighting.

indoor2 How to Shoot Great Indoor Pictures Familiarize yourself to use the triangle – as much as possible, try to use whatever available light you have for better opportunities for a great photograph. By understanding the exposure triangle, which are the shutter speed, ISO and aperture, you can use this to pinpoint what is the best available light source to produce your image. For example, if you are using a fast lens of 50mm, open the aperture wide such as f/1.4, your shutter speed should be two stops and the ISO is a stop higher. Then adjust one f/stop setting at a time until you obtain the exposure, depth of field and sharpness that you seek.

indoor1 How to Shoot Great Indoor Pictures Use a light scoop – if you are just starting out and are working on a budget, a light scoop can be quite an essential tool. You attach this to the top of the camera on the hot shoe. This enables the pop-up flash to work better. The light scoop uses a mirror to bounce the flash from the ceiling. The limitation of a light scoop is that you can just use it for small areas since it needs a surface to bounce back the light.

Choose a great spot – look around your indoor area for the perfect spot which gives you the best possible lighting such as by the window or the doorway. Make sure the light is bright enough yet soft, and the walls are warm and of a neutral color that will not reflect or bounce the light. Take a few experimental shots to make the necessary adjustments before calling your subjects.


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Shedding Light on the Common Misconceptions About Photography

There are a lot of misconceptions about the art and craft of photography which hinder a person from being a better photographer. We have excuses we tell ourselves when a photograph does not come out quite like how we pictured it and these mistaken beliefs could be major obstacles to getting great shots. 

Here are some common preconceived notions and why we should throw them out the window:

myth1 Shedding Light on the Common Misconceptions About Photography1. I am too young to learn how to use a digital camera – believe it or not, but children as young as 5 or 6 can take good photos. With guidance and patience from a parent or relative, children can learn quickly and you would be surprised how much creativity and imagination can appear in their shots. They are at that age when the whole world is still new and wondrous and photographs taken by children are a great way to see how their minds work. Your old cheap point-and-shoot will be ideal for children to practice on and under your supervision, they can grow up with not just fantastic photography skills but they will also have a deep appreciation of the world around them. 

myth2 Shedding Light on the Common Misconceptions About Photography2. I am too old to learn how to use a digital camera – is your vision still decent enough? Do you have enough strength to lift the camera and press the shutter button? Is your mind still sharp enough to retain information? Can you still appreciate the beauty in what you see around you? If you say yes to the above questions, most likely you are not too old to learn how to use a digital camera. First of all, the average point and shoot is so simple that all you have to do is know how to turn it on, point the camera towards what you want to shoot, press the shutter button and the camera will do the rest of the hard work for you. This might be too simple an example, but really, a compact camera is very simple to use. Now the extra effort comes from the desire to take more than just a dull snapshot. If you still have the desire to create good pictures, no matter if you are old and it takes longer for you to learn new things, then do not let this excuse stop you. 

3. There are too many buttons to press and settings to figure out – compact cameras these days are designed to be extremely easy to use and convenient to bring around. Features are still advanced but are usually automatic so one does not need to worry about them. Face recognition, autofocus, anti-shake, red-eye rmyth3 Shedding Light on the Common Misconceptions About Photographyeduction, all these are readily available in most point and shoots. Not only that, the quality of these cameras remain high and one can take sharp and clear shots without even trying. If you feel that the buttons and settings are overwhelming, steadily learn how to use each button or setting by testing it with practice shots. There is no better way to learn how to your camera works than to fiddle with it and to take lots of shots. Ask a photographer friend to help you or find out through photo books or online how the basic features work. 

4. My camera is to blame for my terrible shots – A high-end DSLR camera can produce ugly shots while a primitive phone camera can present award-winning shots. The bottom line is it is not the camera that dictates how good or bad the image will turn out but rather the photographer using the gadget. Certain cameras have limitations but it is your job to know how to work with it, adapt to it and push it to create good images. If you want to stop having terrible shots, stop using your camera as an excuse and instead practice honing your technical skills and artistic expression. 


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Learn from Your Photography Mistakes

There are thousands of little mistakes that can wreck a potential great shot and the following is a list of the most common beginner photographer’s areas of improvement and how they can be avoided or resolved:

Placing a horizon line in the middle of your frame – this will cut your image in half and can appear jarring to look at. Unless it was your intent for creative reasons that will surely enhance the shot, place the horizon line on a third of the frame instead for a more pleasing composition. This goes the same for both horizontal and vertical lines. 

Cutting off the top part of a person’s head or parts of the feet – have you ever seen those snapshots where the person is standing and smiling and everything seems just right until you suddenly realize the person’s feet seem to have been cut off at the ankles in the photo? Before pressing that shutter button, first check and make sure everything that should be in the shot is included in the frame. 

Here is an example:

cutfeetcomp Learn from Your Photography Mistakes

Forgetting to half-press the shutter release to lock in focus – when using autofocus, aim your lens at the subject and then half-press the shutter release button before taking the shot to lock in your point of focus so that it stays sharp. This is essential especially if your depth of field is shallow and you want a certain part of the subject to be in defined while the rest of the frame is blurry.

Placing a subject in front of a mirror or pane of glass then shoot using a flash – reflective surfaces will bounce back the light from your flash and cause flare and blown out highlights. This could ruin the shot beyond repair in post processing. To avoid this issue, you can position the subject against a different background or change your shooting angle so as not to include the reflective surface in your shot. You can also do without flash entirely and choose another light source instead such as window light or a lamp light. 

Shooting from too far away – another common error that budding photographers make is to shoot the subject from such a distance that it can no longer be noticed and appreciated. If your subject begins to blend in with the background, it is time to move closer if you can or use the zoom function if you cannot get any closer to your subject. Moving close to the subject not only gives it more importance, but this action also allows you to remove background distractions from the image frame area. 

Here is an example:

cropcomp Learn from Your Photography Mistakes

Placing the camera on an unstable surface – if you are in a situation where you have to let go of your camera (such as a self-portrait) and do not have a tripod on hand to keep it steady, you can be inventive and place your camera on a steady surface such as a table or the floor. BUT do not let your guard down for a second and place your camera on something that does not offer much support such as on an uneven ledge or high up on a stack of pillow, with the thought that it will only be for a few seconds. It does not take a second for your camera’s weight to shift, topple over and crack in several places. 


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