DSLR Photography - Simple Techniques to Create Great Pictures with your DSLR Camera

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Lighting is the most important thing to making a photo look professional. Now what makes lighting look interesting? First of all, it's different from what we normally see. Second, it highlights the subject and presents it in a good way. There are many ways to make a portrait photo have more interesting lighting. You could simply place the person in the shade in order to put even lighting on their face, or you could turn their back to the sun so that hard shadows don't rake across the face.

With landscape photography, time of day is absolutely imperative. Beginning photographers often overlook this important tip and try to make a photo in the middle of the day. That's rarely a recipe for success. An aberration in photography is something that is left in the picture that doesn't belong in the picture.

First Steps with a DSLR with Kristin Dokoza

It makes the photo feel cluttered with distractions that keep the viewer from enjoying the subject. I most commonly see aberrations around the edges of the frame. It can be easy for the photographer to pay close attention to the person they are photographing, and forget about a piece of trash in the background, an ugly telephone pole in the distance, etc.

If you're having a difficult time getting a composition to make sense, the problem is most likely that you've chosen too many subjects at once. Decide on what one subject will be the center of attention, and you'll have a much more interesting picture. It's incredibly rare that I see a photo that is photographed TOO tight. Zooming in on one part of the scene is almost always the right answer for new photographers. It takes most of my students a year of learning photography before they finally dare to zoom in tight.

How long will it take you? You'll get some of my favorite portrait presets along with the Lightroom and photography video trainings. Digital styling is applied in Photoshop and Lightroom and allows the photographer to creatively change the colors, contrast, and exposure. While I personally am not much of a fan of the filters on Instagram, we have all seen a photo that looks much more trendy and creative when a filter is applied to it. If you feel like you're ready to learn this part of photography, I highly recommend getting Lightroom and taking my Lightroom class to help you get started with the software.

If you just learning photo retouching basics, you can address professional photo retouching services online like WeEdit. I wanted to take a photo showing how much the girl loves her horse, so I focused in on the fine detail of just part of the horse to capture this shot. Capturing an interesting subject is usually the simplest part of photography. Even non-photographers know that some things are more interesting in a photo than others. My advice here is actually the opposite of what you may think I'm going to say.

It's not that you should find something interesting to shoot though you certainly should. Thank you! Josh, Great Blog. I just sent a link to my neice who is taking a photography course in High School this year. Hi Tracy, people often ask me how I get the photos I capture and my suggestion is to use that camera every day, even if just taking snap shots. Getting used to the basic option of selecting portrait head icon , macro flower icon , or landscape mountain icon is an easy way to get out of the AUTO habit. Keep on shooting.

This is a good guide for a beginner, but is not technically accurate for digital cameras. Increasing ISO does not make a digital sensor more sensitive to light the way higher ISO film is more sensitive to light. A digital sensor only has one sensitivity. ISO in the digital world is the amount that the light signal is amplified by the camera after it hits the sensor. A small but important difference. Some newer cameras — so called ISOless cameras — like the Nikon D have been tested to actually have better image quality when the signal is amplified with software afterwards instead of by using higher ISO.

Using Your DSLR Camera

How do I charge the camera when traveling in countrys with power. What should I buy and bring with me, or do most hotels have power sources that match the US. Might want to check into it, probably pick it up a any camera store. Hope it helps and happy shooting!!! Great, I enjoy pictures and capturing something different but have only ever used your average joes, run of the mill point and shoot. Nice one Josh! Great th post!! I studied this and read all the tutorials a couple of times over and it helped soooo much!!

I recommend your blog to any photographer I know. Many thanks!! I started posting some of my original photography to my blog in hopes to get some constructive feedback. Thanks, I fixed it! Thank you so much for this incredible post. Now I have the confidence to achieve my dream of being a better photographer. Yeah Nice Tutorial, learn more , know more, see the practical approach of photography technique of Delhi wedding photographer works. Great to find such an informative and content.

This content will help to much to the beginners to get better and perfect idea. Thank you so much for sharing. Hi Josh, quality, price, and location are considered to be the primary concerns in photo retouching work. A very interesting article. I shall work my way through it over the next month.


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Since my camera was capable of shooting 20mp or 4k, I just shot all stills in 20mp. None of the cameras I use gives that information. But I could store many more photos on a 64gb card if I set the resolution at the lower end of satisfactory. Even 20mp stills. A very interesting and educative article.

Lucky that i found your article or blog post randomly. Thank you so much and keep it up.


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  5. Photography is well explained when there are enough info-graphic references. Your email address will not be published. Leaving your camera on its default settings will produce blurry results. Beginner Photography Related course: Photography for Beginners. Share with friends Share. I was tired of sending lots of different links to people. Thanks, bro! Cool and Dandy!!! Very informative content.

    Beginner Photography MISTAKES - What to avoid to take better photos

    Once I get a grip of the method, I can make it my own using my recipe. Have a backup battery full charged for each shoot. One of the worst things that can happen during a shoot is having to delay it for hours because of your battery dying. Use a tripod to shoot your photos. Nobody is attracted to a blurred dull photo. To get those razor sharp crystal clear photos you need a tripod which is controlled by a remote. So a tripod is a must, not just while you are shooting in low light conditions, but even otherwise. TIP Most times though, the client tells me at the shoot how they want it to look, without much preparation done beforehand.

    I use Lightroom and for almost every photo I cool it waaaay down, this always helps the whites seem brighter and cleaner. Also, I typically increase exposure, always sharpen as much as possible, increase contrast a bit, make my shadows and black more dramatic. From there I continue minor adjustments as needed.

    A good prime lens will make a world of difference to your food photos. I started with a 50mm f1. However, I noticed a huge improvement in my food photos when I started using a 90mm f2. The longer focal length compresses the background and creates a really beautiful look. Make sure you make the photo your own in some way.

    Give it a look and style that is reflective of oneself, your philosophies and attitude towards everyday life. A tip given by a known food photographer here in France I met at a workshop is to draw your setups. He said that most professional food photographers have generally their preferred setup and they only adjust it to their subject. Investing in a good tripod is worth it, especially if you want to do beautiful overhead shots! The integrated arm has totally changed my food photography. I usually take photos from top, front, at 75 degree and 25 degree to determine the hero angle.

    You are your brand. You market your business everywhere, all the time. Be kind, open and friendly. All day long.

    Tips & Techniques

    Whenever you talk to people. When you talk you can tell them about what you do, what makes you do it. A white sheet in the window where I photograph was one of the best purchases I ever made. The light is always amazing! Look at your shadows. Shadows tell you what the light is doing. As with all types of photography, light plays a very important role in food photography. Just by tweaking a little with the source of light, you can make a good photo to an awesome photo.

    Get high-quality pictures every time

    My personal preference is always natural light, and so I try to take photos as much as possible during the daytime. Always back, side or top light. I absolutely do not agree. Using artificial light can make beautiful food photography possible at any time of day and in any conditions. It is consistent, predictable and always there for you even if it is pitch black outside. Putting together a quality light and softbox can change everything. Using natural light by a large window, understanding the light and using the manual settings on the camera to capture a certain look. Then being able to touch things up in Lightroom have all truly taken my food photography to the next level.

    Where is it usually when you shoot? How big is it? Is it high up shining down or does it come lower spreading light fully from the side? Put your light source exactly where you window light normally is. Light, no matter what you choose, seems to look best when you have it coming in from the side or even from the back. The light used this way adds interest and shadow giving the food more depth.

    What is the Best Camera for Night Photography?

    I shoot with my Canon 5D and my lovely 50mm lens. Food photography is a natural subject, so usually, the aim is to try and keep things looking natural. This light sets the atmosphere for your shot. If it is low, it might feel like early morning or late afternoon — higher up is brighter and less atmospheric. Once you have set the main light you can build up the shot with fill-in light. I like to experiment with bouncing light off polystyrene boards, tinfoil, gold foil, copper foil and even little mirrors to reflect light into the shadows of the shot — this helps to keep things simple and subtle.

    In food photography, I consider that one of the most important element to take in consideration is the Light. I personally like to take my shots with natural light, especially in the morning. Follow the light around your house throughout the day to find the windows of gold. Every house will have at least one sweet spot where the light comes through beautifully.

    I can really fall short of adjectives. Professional photographers do use an external flash to bounce light but they never do it on the subject. Soft shadows created by effectively diffused natural light can give your image depth and create a lot of visual interest. There is some gorgeous light to be had inside a deep box. Utilise these deep shadows by moving your set up into the box. This will give you a nice moody feel. My tips are for managing reflections when shooting beverages. Cut out the circle with box cutters. Put your lens through the cardboard when you shoot.

    This will help manage harsh reflections on the glass that appear when you are shooting liquids. You can print background graphics out onto vinyl. Most signmakers will have a machine that will output onto matt digital canvas material. Shop around, the price differences can be huge. Spray your cutlery with anti-glare spray for instant matte. Use a good circular polarising filter to control the glare, it also helps make the colours pop.

    My most valuable tip is to use corn syrup to make things stick that might not otherwise. For example, I brushed corn syrup on the exterior of these cake pops before dipping them into the sprinkles to ensure they would stay in place. For better more uniform illumination remove labels from the back of the bottles, WD40 is great for getting rid of hard to remove glue. Nail varnish remover can be used to remove lot numbers and expiry dates that are printed directly on to the glass.

    Consider even your own floor as long as it is nice and clean, you can use your wood floor or any other surface floor as a background or backdrop to some really great pictures. In order to get crumbs and pieces to look natural on set, gently blow air from your Rocket Blower onto the pieces for a natural scattered look.

    Invest in just ONE quality background board. A beautiful background will transform your food, but make sure your food is the STAR. Nothing replaces the look of real wood, so search for recycled wood planks, and sand them and stain them a non-glossy colour. Start with something you can use for everything. This will actually help you create a signature look as well. Not sure what kind of background to use? Look for inspiration in food magazines and cookbooks. Stay away from vinyl backgrounds as they often reflect light in an unappealing way, and when you shoot up close, you can tell they are fake.

    As in everything — less is more. Use the most beautiful ingredients you can get. Beautiful food guarantees a beautiful picture. Props should only compliment the food. Use crumpled brown craft paper as a surface to place items on to photograph to add texture interest. I recently received some items shipped to me that had pieces of very nicely crinkled brown paper used for padding inside the package. I liked the look of the crinkled brown and used in to photograph vintage pewter spoons full of spices with spices and bay leaves scattered over the textured paper surface.

    Talking about food photography I would say that colour is the most important to me. The food is all about colour and even when the dish itself does not have a powerful one, I like to add it with props and surfaces. For fresh looking ingredients such as salad, lettuce, veggies with green ends. I always store it in a wet napkin in a fridge and I take them out right before I am ready to shoot them. Sometimes I also wash them in cold water as well, so there is some small water drops left on the surface.

    Handmade ceramics work wonders for adding details to your shot. When prop shopping steer towards smaller props ie. This one would have saved me heaps of time and money! Very new to food photography and for me the most enlightening moment for me was realising that the local bric-a-brac stores full of old style china, plates and linen worked wonders with the prop issue. I have recently found lovely old spoons, boards and baking trays and will be utilising these I hope to good effect.

    Somehow the worn textures, historic connotations make the food more everyday real, reminders of well-loved recipes our grandmothers and mothers made — the tastes we take through our history. Use the ones you find in your house or ask your family, friends, neighbours to lend you some pieces you might be interested in!

    Using ingredients as props is also a simple and cheap way to get interesting photos. I have spent way too much money on food props that I have used once some of them not even once since I bought them! They looked cool in the shop but not on my pictures! So think before buying them! Over-styling and over-fussing are a thing of the past in my styling — my photos become so much more relatable if they have a bit of messiness or realness to them.

    For me as a props stylist, are some of the greatest creative, collaborative opportunities ever. The alchemy and magic that happens when creative talents come together is the energy that inspires me to strive to produce amazing food images. So my tip is aimed to produce an image that stimulates as many of the senses as possible. Also not to overdo with the props.

    Less is more. Put a yellow piece of cake on a dark plate.

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