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Getting those expert shots just got easier

Apr 9, 2008
During photography's entire history, the amateur and the professional have represented distinct and often contrary approaches to photography, each battling for supremacy. Has the digital revolution tilted the field of battle irrevocably in the amateur's favour? Or has it swept this traditional rivalry into the dustbin? Can anyone say? For the 19th-century practitioner, photography was fraught with personal and technical adversity. The darkroom environment was equally challenging: space was constrained, and in smaller field tents the photographer had to kneel or lie down to work. Ventilation was poor or non-existent, and lightproofing faulty. Digital photography is starting to become accessible to the average consumer. Camera prices are falling and image quality is improving. Compared to conventional 35-mm photography, there is no film or processing costs, and results are immediately viewable so a re-shoot can be made quickly if needed. Plus there are more and more applications where digital images are more convenient and cost effective.

Good photos result from the following elements: always having your camera with you; being in the frame of mind that you THINK about taking pictures when a good opportunity presents itself; experience in knowing what the camera can do and can't do, such as how to adjust your camera to compensate for poor lighting conditions or anything else that doesn't happen to be just right; have patience; taking lots and lots and lots of photos- the average professional photographer takes around 120 shots for every ONE that he/she actually uses and gets paid for; and finally, luck.

To take a successful landscape picture, you want the whole thing to be in focus. You'll want the focal length to be as short as possible, to create a greater depth of field. You can use the rule of thirds to create a balance between land and sky. Also, having a subject, such as an object in the foreground, might give a better sense of dimensionality. When photographing water, you will want to use a slow shutter speed, giving the impression of water flowing, and when photographing the sea, add a polarizing filter and give the water a transparency effect. A tripod is a good investment in photography, especially if you want to take panoramic pictures. You'll have to set your tripod in a place where you can swivel the camera smoothly from left to right, and not up and down. You will have to figure out where you want your pictures to overlap, so that you don't have huge gaps in your resulting picture. Once you figure that out, you can swivel your camera in one direction, clockwise or counterclockwise, to take the pictures you want. Once you're done, all you have to do is put them together with a simple graphics program or photo-editing software.

If you want to skip the middleman and print out your own digital photographs, you can! It may seem a bit overwhelming, but just about anyone can get the hang of it pretty easily. With the proper equipment and knowledge, you can print out your own pictures and save yourself a little money in the process! If you don't already know, here is a very good piece of advice: take good pictures to begin with! With a digital camera, it is very easy to see the progress of your photos as you take them. If an image is not attractive to you, just erase it and then start over! You won't have to develop any picture that you don't like, either. With a digital camera, you can pick and choose which images you want to reproduce, so you have the freedom to make the editing process as painless as possible. If something doesn't look right to you, just erase it and do it all over again.

While many consider themselves amateurs when it comes to taking artistic photographs, with a little study and an independent experimentation, most anyone with persistence could quickly become an expert in photographing works of art. What is the market for such a skill? With the Internet and e-mail the market for photographing works of art is growing by leaps and bounds. Those artists that have made it to the level of giving exhibits around the nation need excellent pictorial representations of their art work to market to various galleries. The greater exposure they enjoy the more art they will sell. One company sends sales people from one farm to another with an aerial photograph of their home in hand. There are few homeowners that will turn down a readily available heirloom photograph of their land unless they already have one. One other important market is to take photographs of buildings for insurance companies or architects who have just created an award-winning design of a life-time.

Focus on the eyes: This is an absolute. As in most portraiture, the eyes are the key to understanding the child. They reveal character, and most often have a lot of expression in them. If you don't focus on the eyes you will always feel as if there is something missing from the photograph. There are of course artistic exceptions to this rule. For instance, the hand of the child at a particular moment might hold tremendous amounts of character and expression. Shoot as if you were three feet tall: When shooting from the child's point of view of the world, you get the world as viewed by children. Also the child will feel safer and equal in the session. Let the children invite you into their space. Just find your inner child. Come on it's fun! Shoot in couples or groups: Some of the best baby pictures I have ever taken are of children interacting with each other. There is something special and honest about the way they treat their peers. Be aware that some of your more active children may want to interact more violently then others. Props (especially soft ones) can be a great aid in both getting their attention and aiding in constructive interaction.

News photography is one of the most exciting fields of photography. It brings photos that are used to complete and bring life to news and current events. News photos should be captured perfectly to make the story catch every reader's eyes. As a news photographer, you should have the skills and years of experience in producing quality material. It takes great amount of failure and errors to master the art of news photography. Many of those who have succeeded in this field admit that they have learned a lot from their errors. You must always be attentive for natural sounds. Interesting natural sounds can be essential the same way images and pictures are. Good sound normally complements with interesting images. You have to master white balancing. You have to be good at placing the right angles on the right surface. Lighting is very essential to the right balance in capturing the photograph.
About the Author
Learning Photography has gotten way better in the time it has been here. Having inquiries about photography? Look over a free article on water in motion
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