Photographs are a significant section of the travel experience and, with so many budding photographers in this community, I needed to produce a semi-ongoing series about travel photography. Since I’m not photographer, I’ve invited professional photographer Laurence Norah of Locating the Universe to talk about his wisdom. He wrote an extended series last year and you will be returning again this season with more guidelines! In this article, Laurence can help you maximize out of any new camera.
If you ask me, folks are often disappointed with their first efforts with a fresh camera. Somehow, the shots don’t look quite as effective as these were hoping. That’s because while your brand-new camera might be with the capacity of taking better photos, it will require a little bit of time and effort to understand making the the majority of it. I’ve spent time teaching folks the way to get the very best out of their equipment, both online and offline, and understand that it takes some learning from your errors to get where your photos look how you want them. Practice makes perfect (I promise)!
In today’s post, I would like to share with you a few of my tips so you can get the most out of your brand-new camera, predicated on my years of experience as a specialist travel photographer, dealing with a number of different camera manufacturers and shooting all over the world. I’m going to educate you on my top tips that one could begin to apply today to take your photography to the particular level you want to obtain it to.
1. Browse the manual
Modern cameras are complex devices with myriad functions and capabilities. How you access and manage these functions varies between camera models. Don’t worry, I don’t want you to sit back together with your camera manual and learn the whole lot by rote. Nonetheless it is the best spot to find out at least the fundamentals of how your brand-new camera works.
Despite my years of experience, when I’m met with a fresh camera, it still will need me time to get accustomed to finding all of the features I wish to access – even simple things such as changing the focus mode or ISO setting could be buried deep in a concealed menu. Even today I still struggle if someone hands me a camera from a new manufacturer. I’m not going to get the very best from it because I haven’t learned how exactly to utilize it properly.
Grab a your hands on the manual to at least get a concept as to what those buttons do. That way you don’t miss a go because you couldn’t remember how exactly to flick between focus modes!
2. Learn the fundamentals of composition
The main element part of photography is you the photographer – not the camera.
Thankfully, taking better photos together with your new camera isn’t rocket science and anyone can learn the fundamentals (heck, even Matt achieved it). ( Matt says: It’s true. My photos were terrible but even my unphotogenic mind found a few tricks!) In the event that you teach yourself some basic rules for how exactly to compose photos, you can shortcut the right path to taking awesome shots.
These rules aren’t hard to understand. They just need you to apply some simple principles to all or any your shots. For instance, a road leading right into a shot will naturally lead the viewer’s eye along it, while a splash of color may be used to accentuate a topic.
As time passes, as you utilize these rules more, you’ll begin to apply them naturally and you’ll develop your photographer’s “eye” (i.e. the opportunity to compose a shot and never have to consider it too much_.
Have a look here for an in-depth post covering some of these key rules: the rule of thirds, leading lines, usage of color, and more.
3. Find out about the exposure triangle
The essential concepts of what sort of camera works to fully capture light are important to understand but unfortunately could be confusing to wrap one’s head around. Many people just quit and leave their camera in auto mode, never fully realizing the potential of their device.
This isn’t helped by camera manufacturers adding a lot more bells and whistles with their products in order to stick out in a crowded marketplace, meaning you will possibly not be certain which controls are essential and which are superfluous.
Here’s a tip: the most crucial controls are the ones that affect what we photographers call “the exposure triangle,” namely the shutter speed, ISO rating, and aperture – the three important elements of a camera that people have control over and invite us to vary the quantity of light that people capture.
Understand those ideas and the photography world will be your oyster. Changing each you have a different effect on the way a go looks, but overall they control a similar thing: how dark or bright the image is. Begin to test out your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, and don’t hesitate to fail – digital “film” is free!
4. Find out about light
At its most elementary, a camera is a device for capturing the light. That hasn’t changed given that they were first invented in the 1800s.
Light is, therefore, an essential component of photography. Differing times of day offer different qualities of light, with the light around sunset and sunrise supplying a warmer, softer quality to your images, while midday light is less flattering, with harsh contrast and flatter colors. Ideally, you wish to shoot nearer to sunrise and sunset and less around midday when you can.
Where in fact the light is coming from can be important. In the event that you shoot directly into sunlight, you’ll find your subject is going to be a black silhouette. Instead, you should position sunlight behind you when shooting, to properly illuminate your subject and present you the very best results.
5. Challenge yourself
As a travel photographer, I’m lucky because I’m often out traveling the world and finding fun what to take pictures of. However, I’m pleased to admit that I could battle to find inspiration through the downtime between trips. And if you’re not traveling regularly, you too might battle to find reasons to get out and take photos.
But photography is an art and the ultimate way to improve an art is to apply it. You can read articles such as this all day, nevertheless, you, you must get out in to the world, apply that knowledge, and begin training your brain to become photographer.
One way to get this done is to start out setting yourself challenges, giving yourself a focus and reason to get out there. Maybe it’s something simple, just like a photo of a fresh subject every day. Perhaps you set a weekly theme and stay with it. Whatever it really is (and there are many places online to find photo challenges too!), just ensure that you give yourself as much opportunities as possible to understand. That way, when you are on a journey or adventure that you truly want to fully capture, you’ll prepare yourself!
Matt says: Come join the Nomadic Matt Community Photo Challenge and you will get your photo featured on my Instagram account.
6. Get accustomed to taking it with you
That is related to the prior tip, for the reason that practice makes perfect. The very best camera is always the main one we’ve on us. So if you’ve just gotten a fresh camera, enter the habit of taking it with you wherever you’re headed, and get some good practice using it. If it’s always with you, you’ll do not have an excuse never to take it out and utilize it (remember practice makes perfect).
Leave your camera by your keys, near your jacket, or next to your shoes. Make certain it’s always with whatever it really is you leave your home with so you be sure you take it with you. Just having it with you increase the frequency where you utilize it! Even going from zero to 1 photo a day is preferable to nothing!
7. Get yourself a cheap prime lens
Assuming you have a camera that enables you to change lenses, like the majority of mirrorless or DSLR cameras, i quickly highly recommend spending a small amount of money on a prime lens. A prime lens is one with a set focal length, therefore you can’t zoom in or out.
This will force you to go around and think more carefully about your composition before you hit the shutter button. Prime lenses likewise have very wide apertures, which includes two advantages: they let a whole lot of light in, in order to utilize them when it’s darker; plus they enable you to achieve a shallow depth of field, permitting you blur the backdrop and really let your subject shine.
The great thing in regards to a prime lens is that the essential models can be found very cheaply – for under $100 USD actually. For Canon, my recommendation may be the 50mm f/1.8, generally known as “the nifty fifty,” a lens that each Canon photographer should own. Other manufacturers offer similarly priced equivalent lenses.
8. Start shooting in RAW format
When I teach photography workshops, among my goals is to get my students to change to shooting in RAW instead of JPG.
If these letters don’t mean anything for you, don’t panic. All they are is formats for just how your camera saves the image data it captures.
The difference is a RAW file contains everything your camera has captured, while a JPG is more of a finished product, which includes been edited by the camera and low in size for your convenience.
While a JPG is definitely far more convenient (you can directly share it to social media), in addition, it gives you less control in the editing process.
You can think about a RAW file as a roll of film and a JPG as the finished print. With the RAW file, you have full control over the development process, and for that reason you have full control over the ultimate look of your image. This is a bit more just work at your end, but it’s ultimately worthwhile.
9. Start editing and curating your photos
Something I learned in early stages in my own photography career was the need for editing my photos. Even minor corrections, like straightening a horizon or adjusting sharpness and contrast, could make the difference between an OK photo and an excellent one.
Don’t be placed off by the idea of having to spend lots of time editing your photos. Even a credit card applicatoin as fully featured as Adobe Lightroom could be found relatively easily and you will use an even-simpler editor like Snapseed on your own mobile phone to create your shots pop.
I really like the creative possibilities that photo editing opens up for me personally. I also want to talk about another photography tip that I’ve learned, which may be the art of curation. It is advisable to become among your biggest critics. I’m often asked why I don’t take bad pictures. The truth is that of course I take bad pictures! I simply do my best never to share them anywhere. Curating our very own photos is actually important: always make an effort to only share your better work, therefore the world will believe you too only take great photos!
The reason why that folks succeed at tasks isn’t because they’re necessarily better at it than other folks. It’s because they keep persevering, regardless of the setbacks, frustrations, and mental barriers to success that they find on the way.
Photography may be the same. The very best photographers on earth all started out without idea at all what these were doing. What got them to where they are today was a drive to achieve success and a willingness to place your time and effort in.
I was 13 when I acquired my first camera and I’ve been shooting since. So don’t quit! Make photography your passion and it’ll reward you!
Understand that photography is a long-term game, and just having a fresh camera won’t automatically mean your photos are likely to improve. You have to invest a little bit of time and effort involved with it – however the rewards will be worthwhile.
Laurence started his journey in June 2009 after quitting the organization life and buying change of scenery. His blog, Locating the Universe, catalogs his experiences and is an excellent resource for photography advice! There are also hi