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Hi!

The Big Move is tomorrow and the house is full of boxes, I’m doing everything I can to finish up everything that needs doing on the internet before I get disconnected, there are a million and one things to do and I have worked a 40 hour week in the last two days but at the same time it feels good to get some jobs ticked off my list.

Also just quickly to let you know I’m setting up an Amazon store in the UK/Europe for the sales of my photos, as always you can buy them through my site www.exploretravelphotography.com but they will soon also be available through Amazon as well! and off course are available on Ebay starting from just 99p!

9 Ways to Take Better Pictures Today – without spending a fortune

1)      Carry your camera around with you everywhere!  How many times have you seen something spectacular in everyday life and wished you had a camera to capture it. Create space for it in your bag and make packing it a part of  your daily routine.  Not only will this ensure you never miss a shot, but it will also help you to get to become more familiar with your camera, practice and re-practice certain settings and experiment more with your photography.

2)      Join an online photography forum and/or create an account with Flickr. The benefits to this are limitless. You will be able to; meet other like minded people; learn from them; be inspired by them and also ask for feedback on your photos. Comments will be constructive and help you to become a better photographer.

3)      Learn the Rule of Thirds. One of the main composition rules in photography is the rule of thirds. To use this effectively, you need to imagine a grid of 9 even squares in across the image (your camera may be able to do this for you within its settings). You should then place things of interest at one or more of the four points the lines of the grid intercept. This will help frame your picture properly.

For landscape photos you can use this rule to work out where the horizon should be in your picture.  If the photo has an interesting sky then place your horizon along the bottom line, but if the foreground is much more interesting place your horizon along the top line.

4)      Take your camera off Manual Mode! You will use your camera to its full potential by taking it off this and taking control – the camera doesn’t always know/default to the right settings! Try using Aperture Priority to control how much of your photo is in focus and try using Shutter Priority to control how long your cameras shutter is open, which can then control movement.

5)      Try a new technique! Every time I go on holiday I try a new technique, it could be something as simple as Macro Photography or Panoramas. Alternatively you could try something more complicated like Light Painting or HDR.  There are so many techniques out there and you wont know which one you like best (or comes more naturally to you) until you try.

Add some fun to your portfolio and search these techniques on the internet, or buy either one of my eBooks (available from Amazon or my own website) How To.. Night photography or Beginners guide to your DSLR – getting off Auto, as both of these will show you how to achieve HDR, Light Painting, Panoramas, Zoom Burst and lots of other fun techniques for you to try.

6)      Use a Tripod! To eliminate camera shake a tripod is essential. Unless your camera is steady your pictures will blur and you will be frustrated with experiments in light trails, long exposure or HDR. This is also keenly felt in low lighting situations where the shutter stays open for longer to let in more light. If you move during this time (even just the smallest amount) you will end up with blurry pictures. The sturdier the tripod the better, but you needn’t spend a fortune and there are some decent mini tripods to be found. Walls and other flat surfaces can be used, but are trickier to keep the camera steady.

7)      Use Leading Lines! Leading Lines draw the viewers eyes into your photo. These can be anything from roads to paths, fences, hedges… essentially anything that is a line going through your image, normally (but not essentially) into the middle of your rule of thirds grid. Whilst this can be effective with a lead into the horizon, having an object of interest at the end of your line creates an even more spectacular image.

8)      Use a Frame. Another good composition tip is using a frame to encase your subject. This helps lead the viewers eye into your photo, focusing on the subject and giving the picture more dimension. Typical frames include; doorways; archways; windows and trees. This will tend to work best when your frame is darker than your subject. If your frame is in the foreground (which it should be) make sure you focus on the subject in the distance for best results.

9)      Walk everywhere where possible (especially when travelling)! Not only will you get to see more and get fit at the same time, but if you have remembered Rule 1 and are carrying your camera you will find an abundance of treasured images to unearth. For example the photo below of Istanbul was taken whilst I was walking to find my accommodation after just arriving in the country. If we had taken the bus we would have missed this opportunity and it has proved to be one of my most popular photos.

www.exploretravelphotography.com

How to… Night Photography eBook

Beginners Guide to your DSLR – getting off Auto eBook

www.ebay.co.uk Tuckergg

www.amazon.co.uk Giovanna Tucker

Istanbul, turkery

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