194 best professional photography tips from working photographers

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

Image: Tina Eisen

Image: Tina Eisen

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.

Read more: 32 tips and tricks to make a basic camera more powerful

All words: Digital Photographer

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Digital Photographer

Digital Photographer is the ultimate monthly photography magazine for enthusiasts and pros in today’s digital marketplace.

Every issue readers are treated to interviews with leading expert photographers, cutting-edge imagery, practical shooting advice and the very latest high-end digital news and equipment reviews. The team includes seasoned journalists and passionate photographers such as the Editor Peter Fenech, who are well positioned to bring you authoritative reviews and tutorials on cameras, lenses, lighting, gimbals and more.

Whether you’re a part-time amateur or a full-time pro, Digital Photographer aims to challenge, motivate and inspire you to take your best shot and get the most out of your kit, whether you’re a hobbyist or a seasoned shooter.