Photography Tips From The Pros: Use a flashgun
In daylight a burst of light, preferably from an off-camera flashgun, can really bring your subject to life.
However, the level of automation provided by modern units makes life much easier.
So buy a flashgun and learn how to use it – what have you got to lose?
Flash photography tips: external flash techniques anyone can understand
How camera flash works: free photography cheat sheet
Flash compensation: how to get perfectly balanced exposures
Flash portraits: creative off-camera lighting techniques you have to try
Photography Tips From The Pros: Focus stacking
Focus stacking is a neat trick that allows you to create images with very wide depth of field so the whole image is sharp, and it’s especially useful when shooting macro subjects.
The subject needs to be motionless and the camera mounted on a tripod because the first step in the technique is to take a sequence of shots with the focus at different distances.
Take the first shot with the nearest part of the scene in focus and then, without moving the camera, refocus just a little further in and take the second shot.
Repeat this process of refocusing further into the scene before each shot until the furthest part of the subject has been photographed in focus.
The next stage is to combine all the images. While this could be done manually using any image editing software that supports layers it would be very time consuming.
Fortunately, Photoshop’s Photo Merge function is capable of doing the work for you, or you can download Combine ZP for free.
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Photography Tips From The Pros: Keep things simple
Remember the basics such as the rule of thirds and make use of leading lines to draw the viewer into the shot.
Don’t be tempted to include lots of elements as it can result in an untidy, cluttered image.
Less is very often more in photography (unless your talking camera specs and price because then more is always more).
The same guide applies to lighting arrangements. Great images can be created using just one or two lights and there’s very rarely need for more than three.
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How to compose a photograph: start seeing images where you never saw them before
Composing pictures with foreground interest: simple ways to draw in the eye
Camera angles: 5 ways to add impact with unusual perspectives
Photography Tips From The Pros: Mirror lock-up
If you want super-sharp images when your SLR is on a tripod, use a remote release and engage the mirror lock-up function.
This lifts the mirror with the first press of the remote shutter release, then when any vibration caused by the mirror movement has died down you press the shutter release for a second press to take the shot.
Mirror lock-up is especially important if you want to get the full benefit of high-pixel count cameras like the Canon 5D Mark III as even very slight movements are recorded.
If you’ve got a compact system camera like the Canon M, however, there’s no need to worry as it doesn’t have a mirror.
10 common exposure problems every photographer faces (and how to fix them)
First camera crash course: simple solutions for mastering your new DSLR
15 common photography questions from beginners (and how to solve them)
What is ISO: when to increase sensitivity, types of noise and more
Photography Tips From The Pros: Edit, edit, edit
A professional photographer is judged by the images that he or she shows the world, and in order to impress, it’s essential to only show your best work.
Don’t show the alternatives, don’t show the also-rans, be ruthless in your editing and only show your best images.
Establishing a strong digital workflow and a photo management system that works for your schedule and your style of photography is also essential.
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