Tips for even better photos
Photography not only puts you in a good mood but also gives photography lovers a wonderful time out from daily business. Sometimes, however, one can come to a point where it does not go any further – getting more and more dissatisfied with the photos taken. I think that every ambitious photographer has ever thought about just stop photography. Maybe because it didn’t get any further or because the photos have simply never been the way you wanted them to be. In such situations, I recommend to take a short, creative break and to get some inspiration from various specialised magazines and books.
Sooner or later it becomes exciting again and then one starts taking pictures again. In order to motivate you a little and to contribute to making your photos even better, I have summarized in my today’s post a few simple but still (for me) indispensable photography tips. According to my articles better portrait shots, LOW BUDGET Photo Tipps, Photography tips – the aperture, Photography tips – exposure time, Photo Tipps – the light, Colours in Photography, Tutorial Cinemagraphs and my Free colour Lookups, I have some simple tips for you that will certainly help. Here we go! 😉
Use a reflector!
A (self-built) reflector works true wonders! With this photography accessory you will not only give your photos a certain glow, but also lighten up unsightly shadows for example on faces or products. Additionally a reflector is perfect to create an irresistible reflex in the eyes. For this purpose you don’t have to spend a lot of money, since you know my article Photo effects with household items, as you might have a piece of aluminium foil at home anyway. You can easily wrap it around a piece of carton or another solid base and fix it with adhesive strips. Below you can see some of my recent photographic works, where I used a reflector.
Learn to master the flash!
The use of an (external) flash can be really deceptive, if it is not yet mastered perfectly.Sometimes a photo is getting too bright by its use, sometimes the entire photo becomes super disharmonic with different colours and sometimes the flash light causes disturbing red eyes or ruins the moodful look of a photography completely, as the hard flashlights change the environment in color and lighting entirely.Probably, everybody has already worked with the flash – whether it was a professional camera or on the mobile phone – realizing that the picture taken turned out completely different than expected.Especially when you set the flash to the automatic mode, faces seem often pale as a corpse, eyes are as red as red poppies and a whole scenery can turn out as unpleasant as a bunch of garbage. Often you destroy a picture with a flash just because you don’t use it properly. Stop it! If you want to work with the flash you should deal intensively with this topic! Under or over-exposed photos due to an incorrect flash setting are finally a problem of the past.
A flash is such a wonderful photo equipment and can help you in backlight situations just as well as in any questionable season. If you want to adjust the color temperature to the ambient light or simply change it creatively, you can use colour foils. These can be attached to your flash with some adhesive strips or special attachments and add that certain something.For example I love coloured light and can’t imagine not using it any more. Again I’m telling you: you don’t have to spend extra money on such colour foils because you can use for example a piece of yellow rubbish bag, a white paper for butter breads or even some coloured silk paper will do a great job. The tip with the colour foils I have already told you in the LOW BUDGET photo tips article. By the way, with the help of the flash you can also create cool light trace effects like the photo below on the right side. Additionally I have some photos for you where I worked with (external) flash.
Do not press the button until you are 100% satisfied with the picture!
“Click, click, click, click!” – When I hear this noise I always experience an immediate feeling of sickness! Especially when it comes to a professional photo shooting. I personally only press the button when I am satisfied with a photo at 100%. By this I mean for example that I am satisfied with the available light, the pose and the facial expression of the model, the position of the (arranged) hair, the state of the clothes and even more. I think it’s terribly awful if a photographer triggers a lot in a very short time. Like a lottery player who often plays in hope that there will be at least one gain.
Sure, there are situations when you have to trigger more often, but in a portrait or fashion photo shooting, so to speak in a still life – to drive it to the top – to press the button a thousand times is just crazy and wasteful. I’m sure, such a behavior didn’t exist in analogue times! Therefore my request and at the same time tip for you is: Press the button only when you are really satisfied with the scenery to be photographed at 100%. Try your best and choose the perfect image composition and image section directly while taking pictures. For the light, make-up, hairstyling and more I always advise you to get as much as possible out of your photos when you shoot them, so you don’t have to rework too much in Photoshop. It can’t be in your interest to have 200 photos after a photo shooting and only two of them turn out to be really good. You did not just waste your time but you also unnecessarily burdened your camera.
Train your visual power of imagination!
When I’m telling you that you can take good pictures at every imaginable, even dirty and unsightly corner – I am completely serious. Often it is the totally inconspicuous photo location, that provides wow-effects. In order to make your photos even better, you must not let yourself be dulled by inconspicuous places. Conversely, start looking at the scenery like your camera does. This means that depending on the focal distance and the distance that your object to be photographed has – may it be in the form of a human or product – the location is totally different. There are many empty bottles lying on the floor? Excellent! They will become a wonderful bokeh! ? Train your visual imagination and you will be rewarded with super cool results. I often photograph my models on tiny green areas, on dirty streets or even in a building site. Here are some examples.
If you want to know how you can create this cool effect, have a look at the post Tutorial for Cinemagraphs
Always be hungry for new knowledge!
You already know quite well various photography topics? Great! But there is still a topic in which you could learn some more! If you stop dealing with photography topics then you will get stuck and you won’t get better. No longer wanting to absorb everything like a vacuum cleaner is a deadly sin! As you are here, you can check out our photography and blog tips. ? Or would you prefer to be inspired? Well then discover various photo stories or my portfolio!
Search for idols!
Just as you should be hungry for new knowledge, in order to develop yourself further – you also need role models! Let yourself be inspired by the big players like the one and only Peter Lindbergh, Kristian Schuller or Lina Tesch. Such an idol – I absolutely adore Lindbergh (♥) – can wonderfully enchant you through his photographic work and motivate you incredibly. It can even convince you of something that you did not like at all before. For example, I have never really liked black-and-white photographies until one day I came across this incredible photographer. I just wanted to take black and white photographs and I was simply carried away by his great work and his visual language.
Get involved with various photography topics!
So far you only shoot portraits and you do not want to look into another field like street or product photography? Wrong! Before you refuse a new type of photography, you should immerse yourself in the corresponding theme at first, even if only for a few hours. Who knows, maybe product photography is something for you and you like it more because the “models” don’t make trouble and they just stand still the way you want them to?
Things you learn in a different photographic category, you can use from time to time in another field. For example, I have learned that some oil and water drops on a body look just as beautiful and fresh as on an apple or tomato. In the following, I have inserted a few pictures that show which photographic topics we have already treated on the blog. Just click on the picture below to go directly to the article.
Don’t worry about how you look while shooting!
The pose you make as a photographer in a photo shooting does not matter at all. What is important, is that the photos taken are great, so do not worry about how good or bad you look during a shooting! You want to photograph the loving couple from an angle where you have to lie on the ground? Just do it! Just take – as I always do – a garbage bag with you on which you can lie on the floor and not get dirty. It might look strange, but it is also super-effective and the funny action will make the atmosphere between your models and you much more relaxed, which in turn leads to even better photos!
Test different lenses or focal lengths!
I think that you can only understand the differences of various focal lengths and lenses in general if you have tried them. You can only notice what a high-quality lense delivers if you have worked with an inferior before. This is exactly the same with different focal lengths: The difference between the angle of a view and a cut-out, as well as the perspective distortion can be compared first and understand properly well, if one worked with different focal lengths. The fact that the same scene with a 24 mm looks quite different from a 120 mm lens is very easy to understand, if you just test it and not only dry on a pictorial comparison, which one finds somewhere on the Internet. Sure, not everyone can afford to get a number of different lenses, that is already clear to me. Fortunately, there is also the possibility to borrow a lens. Below there are a few photographs, that are all taken with a different focal length. Well, can you guess which photo was made with what kind of focal length?
Always watch out for something special!
Simple portraits are beautiful. But if they do not have something special, they are just simple portraits. Do you want people to look at your photos for a bit longer? Then look for something special! You can give your model a special make-up or hairstyling, or you can dress them up in a particularly eye-catching and extraordinary piece of clothing and thus you can create very special photos. Again, you don’t have to dig deep in your pockets, because often you can easily take some aluminium foil, old fabrics or other self-made pieces. Below you can find some photos where the model is wearing something that you cannot find in classic retail stores. Additionally the photo is captivated by a special light and thus it becomes something special.
Walk through the world with your eyes open!
Often it happens that I stop in the most inconspicuous places and think to myself: “-Wow, that’s awesome, that’s where I shoot next!” Whoever goes through the world with open eyes is rewarded not only with the most brilliant shooting locations but also discovers hidden places other people just would pass by. Such places often are true pieces of gold, because no one has ever been shooting here before. If you like a location very much and you don’t want to forget about it at all, then I recommend to take a picture with your mobile phone of this place and to make a note where exactly the location is. At best you add the date and the exact time to your note, because then you know immediately, when the light is usually so magical. Places have a different effect depending on the incidence of light, year and time.
Get yourself regularly photo books and special magazines!
If you get yourself from time to time a special magazine or a book, you do not only get more excited in photography but you also become smarter after every issue. A magazine with new content is always worth it! In most magazines and books there is at least one thing that you already know, but that is not bad at all, because if you have already gained a little bit after reading, this has a positive effect on your work and creativity. Even a single sentence can give you a new impulse to create something great! Do you remember my most read article on this blog? Yes, it’s the low budget photography tips article! I came up with the idea when I read in a book that Vaseline should be spread directly on the lens to get a cool blurry effect. I was really mad, because I thought this tip was just incredibly stupid. But this idea inspired me to look for better ways to get even more from my photos.
Well, thus I created my better photos with simple household items tips article. At this point I would like to give you another tip: Do not throw away your old magazines and books! Even if you think that you have sucked everything up from the magazine and learned all the tricks! If you read this book again after a couple of years, you will see that you have overlooked the last few times some tips or not understood correctly. You evolve with time and become more mature. A text in your current maturity will appear totally different in a couple of years, believe me! ? Below there are a few books I can highly recommend to you.
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How did you like my photography tips today?
Is there another topic that interests you? ? Please write me in the comments!