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Photography Tips for Shooting in the Field

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“Cold is not a problem for photography equipment. You just need to follow two simple rules: first, keep a spare battery in a warm pocket, and second, before bringing your camera into a warm environment, pack it away to prevent condensation. Rain is much more difficult to deal with, not just because the equipment can break – modern cameras have rather good water protection – but because raindrops can get on the front of the lens. Telephoto lenses are usually protected by their hoods, but only an umbrella can help when using a wide-angle lens.” –  Vladimir Medvedev (via Photography Week)

Shooting people

“I often shoot from a tripod, which is different from a lot of reportage photographers. I shoot in low light, so I’m using longer exposures: that’s one reason I like to have a frame, and for things to come into the frame, rather than searching fro pictures. I don’t like to have a camera in my face getting in the way of me and the subject either. I like to directly engage with the sitter when shooting portraits.” – Sam Barker

“Preconceive your picture. This is almost the most important part of portrait photography. I nearly always know what feel I want from the sitter before they arrive. Always give yourself at least half an hour to set up before the sitter arrives – try to insist on this. Then it’s just a matter of sussing out what mood the sitter’s in; whether to have a bit of a laugh or to be very business-like and get the job done quickly.” – Sam Barker

“When shooting portraits, if you can choose a face, go for one with symmetry, and good eyes and bone structure. Learn to look properly at faces, as it’s not always immediately obvious who’s photogenic.” – Robert Wilson

“Develop a relationship with your subject – concentrate on them, not the camera. Make sure you set things up so you can do this.” – Annabel Williams

“Immerse yourself in a story or theme; get to know your subjects. If it’s a holiday you want, do something else.” – Dominic Nahr

“You can’t get on with everyone, and everyone’s different, but for me, taking a good portrait shouldn’t be a battle. You don’t want to come across as a threat; you want your subjects to let go of their worries and defences, so as to reveal their true selves.“ – Lorenzo Agius

“Get to know your subject. Talk to them, as you really can’t work without them.” – Lorenzo Agius

“There’s no real secret technique for taking photographs of people close up. Spending time with them is the essential thing to do. Do that, and people will warm to you. It’s also very important to learn any social customs and traditions. Working in intimate situations, you need to factor in a lot of time for discovering each other. I like to explain my intentions from the outset – and if you need an interpreter, try to chose someone who lives in the same place and knows the culture. Failing that, I will often sketch out what I intend to shoot to help convey my intentions.” – Alessandra Meniconzi (via Photography Week)

“The key is not to think of them as strangers, but rather as fellow human beings you have not yet met. Smile and try to communicate and engage with them. Of course, the other option is to stay hidden and ‘steal their soul’ from a distance with a long lens…” – Basil Pao

“For me, approaching potential subjects in a relaxed, friendly and authoritative way usually works. If you’re confident about what you’d like to achieve and explain the project openly, 99 percent of people agree.” –  Jonathan Daniel Pryce

“I’m always careful to work with guides who can communicate warmly and openly with my subjects, and the sitting is always a collaboration. I don’t photograph anyone who is not comfortable with the proposal, and I always agree a fee in advance with them for pictures.” – John Kenny

Shooting events

Sports Photography Tips: how to shoot low light events

“…there are some secrets that anyone can use, particularly at smaller gigs. Try to get there early and see where the mic stands are – think where the band members are likely to stand, and position yourself accordingly. For example, a lot of photographers muscle in right in front of the centre stage, but often magazines will want pictures of the guitarist, particularly with heavier types of music.” – John McMurtrie

“Know your camera inside out. There’s no time to fumble with settings during a crazy live performance.” – John McMurtrie

“The safety aspect of things is a big consideration. A particular peak or mountain slope might look like the perfect spot for a photo, but you have to understand what the snowpack is like on any given day. Is it stable? Will the whole face of the mountain slide in a huge avalanche as soon as the skier makes the first run? Sometimes I can be a long way away from the skier, too, so it’s not just the snow the skier is on that has to be evaluated, but also where I’m standing.” – Dan Carr on shooting skiers

Shooting wildlife

Ben Hall

“To record unique behaviour you have to be really patient. It’s also about being able to change the way you observe the natural world. You need to be able to develop a sense of what an animal’s about to do, from its body posture, for instance. You need a new awareness of the world, in other words.” – Suzi Eszterhas

“Whenever possible. I like to show the subject in the context of its environment, and the flexible focal-length range of the 100-400mm is ideal for this type of image.” – Ben Hall

“It’s essential to have a good knowledge of your subject, its habits, habitat, and typical behaviour. Aside from this, you need oodles of patience and the determination and persistence to get ‘the shot’. Be highly self-critical and always strive for improvement – there is always a better shot to be had.” – Ross Hoddinott (via Photography Week)

“The camera would be camouflaged with vegetation, mud, and even elephant dung. I would place the camera where I thought there was a good chance of an animal passing by or lingering. Then it was a question of waiting. More often than not, the animals did not turn up.” –  Anup Shah (via Photography Week)

“Being able to use higher ISOs is a huge benefit. Most wildlife photographers prefer to shoot during the golden hours, when the light is soft and warm. That means slower shutter speeds, which isn’t what you want with moving subjects. Being able to freeze the action, even in dimly lit situations, with no compromise on the quality is priceless.” – Marsel Van Oosten

Shooting food

“Some things I have done include adding large marbles to the bottom of soup to push the big chunks up to the top, using inverted bowls to add bulk to food inside bowls (such as oatmeal or pasta), placing cardboard in between sandwiches, or even using small pieces of cardboard pushed up underneath and behind food to boost it up a bit for the camera. I also have a hand-steamer I’ve used to add steam to some images, and a charcoal starter for adding grill marks.” – Nicole Young (via Photography Week)

“My advice to new food photographers would basically be to understand how to light your food properly before you move on to anything else. You don’t need much, just a window with soft light and a way to bounce it back in (I use cheap white foam boards that you can get at any craft store). Also, if you have a macro lens, be sure not to get so close to the food that you can’t tell what it is. I only use a macro lens because it allows me to photograph smaller items of food and fill the frame properly.” – Nicole Young

PAGE 1: Camera gear – and how to use it
PAGE 2: Photo composition tips
PAGE 3: Exposure tips
PAGE 4: Lighting tips
PAGE 5: Tips for managing your photography workflow
PAGE 6: Tips for selling your photos
PAGE 7: Photography tips for shooting in the field
PAGE 8: Final photography tips to remember


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  • Johan Bauwens

    I wish I had known in advance how much it would have cost !

  • £¥Øҧ

    HAHAHAHA perfect!