In the latest guest post from our friends at the photo management blog Photoventure, we explain some of the best photography tips that have stood the test of time – and why they’re still relevant for what you want to shoot.
As technology has advanced so has photography equipment, and today cameras are almost unrecognisable when compared to their predecessors.
However there remain photography tips and techniques that have stood the test of time and we’d be foolish to forget them.
Here we take a look at nine photography tips that might be considered tired by some, but are nevertheless used by some of the world’s greatest photographers.
1. Get it right in-camera
Although these days Photoshop affords us the opportunity to make mistakes in-camera, we’d be wise not to rely on photo editing software to fix our shots. After all, the best place to improve your photography is in-camera, and not on your screen.
2. Expose for highlights
Failing to correctly expose for highlights will result in burning out the brighter parts of your image, destroying detail in these areas. Most digital cameras have a histogram that will enable you to check your exposure; make sure you expose to the right to avoid burnt-out highlights.
3. Focus on your subject
It might seem like an obvious tip, but in actual fact many photographers make the mistake of paying too much attention to the light or the framing of their images and might overlook what it is they are trying to capture in their picture. Use a camera that you feel the most comfortable with, and don’t lose sight of your vision!
4. Engage with your subjects
When taking portraits, you need to be able to work with the subjects you photograph in order to achieve good shots. If you’re unable to direct your subjects or help them to feel relaxed, your chances of achieving a fantastic shot will be dramatically reduced.
The rule of thirds is a popular guideline for image-making and requires the subject to be positioned off-centre. It is claimed that following this technique will create more tension, energy and interest in photo composition. But be careful not to over-think your composition. Although Henri Cartier-Bresson created images that were perfectly composed and balanced, he actually often shot spontaneously and frequently spoke about working on instinct.
6. Take your time
Although in our digital age it’s all too easy to snap away hundreds of pictures without even thinking too much about them, it’s important to take the time to stop and consider the shot in detail. What is the best composition? How do the light and shadow work together? And if you choose to edit your photographs, take time to analyse your shot and carefully consider what improvements you can make by editing your image.
7. The Decisive Moment
Coined by Henri Cartier-Bresson, this expression refers to a moment in photography when all the elements to create that perfect shot come together simultaneously. Capturing ‘the decisive moment’ is obviously no easy feat, but your chances of achieving the result you’ve been dreaming of can be improved by waiting patiently for your subject to come into frame, and shooting at just the right moment.
8. Break the rules
Ansel Adams is famous for saying: “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.”
Many, if not all, of the world’s greatest photographers made a name for themselves because they were not afraid to experiment. Although you can’t expect to reinvent the wheel every time you try something different, experimenting with your photography can be a great learning process, and most importantly, it should be fun.