10 Tips for Stunning Photographs

Here are some quick tips to help you with your photography success.

Tip 1 – Use All Your Available Space

Don’t be afraid to use all of the space in your photo. If you want to take a picture of something, it’s ok for it to take up the whole shot with very little background showing.

The key is to keep the photo free from distractions. So, if you have half a plant in the corner of your background, that is what people will be looking at rather than the primary subject of your photo. In that case, remove the plant prior to taking the photo.

Tip 2 – Study Forms

This is a vital aspect of photography. Understand the form in your photography. Rather than seeing objects, see the form and the angles of your subject. This is art. Photography is art. It is an opportunity to express yourself in your art.

Tip 3 – Motion In Your Photos

You do not want motion in your photographs. If you do, you end up with blur. This is not ideal. In a perfect world, you want stationary subjects. Also, learn patience. For example, if you are taking a picture of a chihuahua sleeping, you want to have the patience to wait for him and ensure that he is not disturbed from his sleeping position.

With all that said, there are times to use motion. In that case, the motion is sometimes used for an artistic flair but should only be used with an understanding of how to use it for that purpose. Sometimes, this skill can be acquired through a trial and error practice process.

Tip 4 – Understanding How to Maximize the Use (or Non-Use) of Color

The use of extreme color or black and white can be used to grab attention. The key thing is to understand the project. Understand what the goal or objective is with the final outcome of the photograph. For example, if the objective is NOT to grab attention, but to make more of a subtle or gentle artistic impression, then this is not what you would want (extreme color or black and white).

Tip 5 – Get Closer To Your Subject

Do not be afraid to get up close to your subject. It is probably kind if you let them know that this may be the case so that you do not scare him or her by getting within their personal space.

Some of the most stunning photos can be taken by getting candid shots up close.

Remember, as well, that you do have post-production available to make any needed edits to the photo.

Tip 6 – Shutter Lag

Many times, you can get the correct shutter lag by turning off the auto-focus. This issue really only existed in the past. It is a bogus issue, now that we have more professional cameras, even available in the affordable range for the novice photographer. But, if you are curious about historical tips, this would be one of them.

Tip 7 – Shutter (and capturing images from video)

For the action shots, you want the highest shutter speed possible so that you can capture that instead of the blur.

One of the questions that comes up is if video could be used to capture the “action shot” for a photographic output. The reason that this question is asked is that in this age of video, one technique is to capture the action using video and then pull snaps from the video, for the photography output.

This technique is used by quite a few web novice photographers. However, the resolution is only 25% of what could be captured with a quality camera by a professional photographer. This is why Michael doesn’t even care to suggest this technique, even though it is used by many web professionals (but not necessarily photography professionals).

Tip 8 – Continuous Shots (Shutter)

To use a pan method, you would need to be able to capture shots continuously. It helps if you have a digital camera that can do that.

This step is a bit of a continuation of Tip 7. A high shutter speed can be used and this will give you the ability to capture some high quality (high resolution) action shots, but fewer of them than what may be expected (an opportunity to practice the skill of managing expectations).

Tip 9 – Taking Stunning Nighttime Shots

It is important if you are taking nighttime shots, to do it right.
Otherwise, you have not-so-great photos. Or, a black photo with no subject.

Nighttime shots take knowing how to use light or the lack thereof in order to capture the magic. In addition it takes the patience of Job and practice, practice, practice.

Maybe one out of 1000 nighttime shots will be magical while one out of 100 regular daytime shots could be spectacular. One needs to know how to position whatever light is used (referencing artificial light) in order to capture what is needed or desired and even then, there is the element of surprise and capturing the magic when least expected and not capturing the magic after one has expended an exceeding quantity of time and effort. This is where the patience is needed.

Tip 10 – Know Your Stuff (Use the Manual)

While it is great to read the manual that comes with your digital camera, a more up-to-date method is to find an online version of your manual (most vendors keep an online version available and update it). Download that version, print it, and take it with you in the field to practice the techniques (and develop your own and then blog about it to the world!).

We don’t want to waste paper, but there is no loss if your printed out version gets lost in the field. And, you can make notes (save them on the computer, too) that will help you in the field. You can probably make the notations on the digital version on your computer, but you can definitely write in the notes on your printed version, as well. See the benefits?

In Summary

Now, with all of these tips, you are armed to create fabuous and stunning photographs and you have moved a few steps forward in your own skill set, eh?

The Professional Chihuahua

Here are photos of the “Professional Chihuahua.” If you would like to purchase any of them (for as low as $1), visit our profile on 123rf.

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Los Angeles as a Photography Epicenter

Los Angeles is the cultural epicenter of the West Coast. From burrows and enclaves to artistic retreats and writing rooms, the city itself has been inspiring artistic types of people since its inception. The city started with mission walls covered in mosaics, depicting historical timelines and storylines. Every generation since has contributed to the cultural wellspring. Though all types of media have taken root and excelled in Los Angeles, photography has a special place in the artistic mosaic of the city.

Aside from being beautiful, photography serves many functional purposes. Photographs tell stories that even the most beautifully written prose cannot. They document events, both human and natural. They prove that the human race was there, that this moment in history is proven to have happened. They bring parts of the world that may never be seen, otherwise, right to a person’s fingertips. They help the viewer to relate to other cultures and bring critical issues to the world stage. Since it’s beginning, photography has been a proving ground for the shared human experience.

These two forces together have created some of the most poignant and inspiring art of the century. Pictures of the tragic Los Angeles riots helped turn the tide of public opinion during the Civil Rights movement. Journalists used photography to tell the story of the growing poverty gaps. Photographs of the ocean, sprawling cityscape, and unique cultural aspects have brought Los Angeles to the world.

Photography has captured Los Angeles like no other artistic medium has and to truly capture the essence of the city, it helps to find a professional photographer to create the magic. It also helps to understand who the truly creative photographers are, to understand the art itself and what is involved in creating the combination of photography and what Los Angeles has to offer. Yes, a person can capture Los Angeles with a smartphone camera, but there is another layer of beauty that can be reached with photography and capturing that point in time.

Photography has presented the natural splendor of Southern California, the Pacific Ocean, the beaches, and the rolling slopes that lead to the “Valley.” (Note, there are many valleys in the greater Los Angeles area, but thinking in terms of the 1980s and “the valley girl” is the reference here).

Photography has shown Compton, the riots, and gangs that have simultaneously destroyed and created parts of the city, in the positive aspects of cultural camaraderie. Paparazzi have made photography synonymous with big cash and big names in Los Angeles. Nitty gritty, beautiful, flawed, cultured LA. That is what photography has brought to the world when it comes to LA (and other locations).

This wonderful coastal city brings a multitude of cultures together and does it with local color, art, and no small amount Joie de Vivre. Photography brings this wonderful mess to life with proof and documentation that helps even non-residents feel like part of what is going on in this famous and multi-faceted city.

And, before we go, just a reminder to let your creativity flow. Do not limit yourself to still photography only, but be sure to include video, as well. Here is a program that we are helping to promote, that helps with creating quick (or quicker) videos, even for those who are less experienced. And, that is something, considering we should be recommending our own professional high-quality videography services instead! Video Maker FX for all of your quick, effective videos.