186. Underexpose the ambient
Another technique that works very well with flash is to underexpose the ambient by two or more stops.
Read more: How to always get your exposure right
However, for this to be effective, you must use off-camera flash and sculpt the light attractively.
187. Control flash with aperture
Opening up your aperture, from say f/8 to f/5.6, will increase the output of your flashgun. Opting for a faster shutter speed will decrease the ambient light exposure.
188. Get the focus right
When shooting at wider apertures, pay close attention to the sharpest point of focus, especially with portraits. If the nose is sharp, but the eyes are not, or the far eye is sharp but the near eye is soft, the image will jar.
189. Go to galleries
Your images will benefit if you take inspiration from oil paintings and other artworks, as they offer plenty of lessons regarding light, atmosphere and storytelling.
190. Tell stories
Photographs exist not only as visual art but as a means of telling stories about the world in which we live, in a way that other art forms cannot. Establishing a sense of the story you want to tell will improve your work.
191. Get to know a focal length
Either by working with prime lenses or by being disciplined with a zoom, get to know a particular focal length and familiarise yourself with its potential.
192. Shoot from the hip
If you want to capture spontaneous, documentary-style images, it’s worth learning to shoot, quite literally, from the hip – without even raising the camera to your eye.
193. Practise processing
Like it or not, this is a key part of most modern photography, and if you want to stand out you will need to be proficient when it comes to processing your shots.
194. Try creative optics
For example, a Lensbaby can enable you to create a range of interesting effects entirely in-camera without the need to resort to Photoshop.
All words: Digital Photographer