The Everyday Photographer

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Everyday Photographers

Today everyone is, can, or wants to be a photographer, but there is still a fine line between being a Professional and being an amateur, or, as I like to say everyday photographer.

I hope this not only helps you choose the right gear but be on your way to shooting more professional photos, no matter what gear you have.

Cell phone cameras, iPads, Tablets, most with built in flash, computers, point and shoots, DSLRs we are surrounded by cameras, most now so sophisticated they do a lot of the work for us, and most devices now upload directly to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr FOR CONVENIENT SHARING AND NETWORKING to name a few, not such big news we all do it everyday, hence the everyday photographer.

Why not though take it to the next level; fancy equipment can only take you so far.  The real work is still put in by the photographer (YOU).  I will get to some tips and tricks to help you shoot like a pro, but lets get a few things straight real quick.

Do you need the newest best full frame camera with the most Megapixels to take amazing images?  NO

It’s a myth, to be honest its marketing hype, that makes you think you need the latest most expensive equipment or X amount of megapixels to have quality images that are stunning show piece’s and could be hung on your wall, or your friends wall, given as gifts, or hey why not go for the gold and sell them.

The truth is… Megapixels = How large I can print my final photograph, that’s it!  Has nothing to do with quality, equipment or whether you photographs will be professional like most people think, sorry you still have to do that part.

Suggested maximum Print Size Chart

The higher the mega pixel, the better the resolution.  The higher the resolution larger and higher quality of prints can be produced.

3 megapixels = 5X7 to 8X10 4 megapixels = 8X10 to 11X14

5 megapixels = 11X14 to 13X19 6 megapixels = 13X19 to 16X20

8 megapixels = 16X20 to 24X36 10-12 megapixels = 24X36 & on

Technology is changing so fast that almost any new camera today and a lot of old ones have more than enough Megapixels to get you by.

Hey don’t get mad at me I’m just trying to save you money, put it into a tripod or some decent lenses.  Unless your routinely printing poster sized images, you may want to think about saving money on that camera with all those megapixels and get a good Canon or Nikon point and shot or older DSLR, spend your money on lenses.

Canon 20D on Craigslist with a decent lens sometimes two roughly $250.00 CAD, just looked that up now, and ill tell you it’s a lot less than I paid for mine new.  Canon Powershot newer than my Friends under $200.00 CAD That gets you started on some professional photography equipment, you can now afford lenses, tripods, or a sweet point and shot camera you can take anywhere.

Now your saying hey, I don’t have a DSLR, I don’t want a DSLR, to bulky, whatever the reason that’s fine you can still take great images with any camera.

Quick Fact:  Know where the term Point & Shot came from?  Way back in war times photographers would lift there cameras up over there heads and shoot without looking so as to not get there head shot off.

This Image of a frog for example was taken by my good friend, who by the way could afford a DSLR but chooses to use point and shoots, because that’s what works for his lifestyle, I don’t blame him, he doesn’t regular print large or poster images, he travels, he needs convince.  But he shots like a Pro.  He also uses Canon, my personal preference.  Any picture like this taken in the right setting with almost any camera today could print nice wall size images so don’t worry.

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Costa Rican Frog shot with a Canon Powershot SD500 7.1-megapixels.

Plan and simple My point here is that, its more meaningful to take your own custom shots to decorate your wall, with a few frames and mattes from your local Michael’s or garage sale you will have conversation pieces illustrating your latest prints in no time.

Microstock websites; such as Gettyimages.com, istockphoto.com, Fotolia.com will sell your images for you, providing you are a member.  Membership is usually free as long as you meet the requirements, passing a test and submitting a few images for approval.

No matter what you interest or intent with a few simple tips and tricks you can take your everyday photography to the next level possible even pro.  At the very least you can blow your friends Facebook pictures out of the water with your new profile pic.  That is if you can keep the duck faces, and backgrounds clean, you will be miles ahead of most.

Some Really Easy Tips and Tricks

– Each time you shot a subject, snap a shot or two and then move closer for a better shot. Having your subject almost fill the frame often produces the best images. Also, details are often more interesting than an overall view.

– Keep moving in closer until you are sure you have gotten the image your after.

– If it is at all possible that your subject may move, bolt, fly away, stop smiling, or just get tired of waiting for you to take the pic, shoot once right away.

– Do not worry about taking too many pictures and do not wait until you’re absolutely certain all the settings are correct.

– Shoot in RAW

– As the motto states, “Shoot First, Ask Questions Later.”

Even if you don’t plan on selling your photos for big $, make every effort to keep it balanced and beautiful. On one level or another, everyone responds better to a picture that has all elements in place.

Strive to lead the eye along an interesting path, use strong lines or patterns.

– Keep the horizon level.

– Crop out extra elements that are not interesting.

– Place your subject where you think it most belongs rather than just wherever it happens to land in the photo.

– Work with the Rule Of Thirds

Centre your efforts on getting the best photo of the subject, whether its a still life, your cat, your doggy, a friend, a family member, or place.

– Focus in on a close-up that tells the whole story.

– Move around until you find a new angle or view of your subject.

– Practice shooting with different apertures and view the results afterwards to learn how depth-of-field works with your images.

Play with shutter speed!

You will find that a smaller depth-of-field (and smaller f-stop #) focuses all the attention upon your subject. This is great for taking portraits of your child, dog, or any subject.

Likewise, you will find that a greater depth-of-field (bigger f-stop number) will make everything from here to eternity appear in focus.  This will help make those landscapes fascinating and pop right out at you.

One of the most basic, and overlooked, aspects of photography is that you have the power to either slow time down or catch a split second.

Use a slow shutter speed and a tripod to make a picture of any creek or stream have that smoke look to it.  On the other hand, you can use a fast shutter speed to capture an object in motion.

Program

– while this mode may be perfect in its simplicity, it may be frustrating in its control.

Instead of relying on a fully automatic program, pick a simple, semi-automatic program such as aperture-priority and master shooting in that mode. Then, you’ll be able to control certain basics without letting the other basics control you.  This will help you work your way up to using full Manual setting.

Tip: if you want to bring accessories, bring a tripod, and polarizer these items can solve a lot of I’mage issues, camera shake and help you get beautiful evening shots, water shots or photograph amazing blue sky or really reflective surfaces such as cars.

Don’t be afraid of using the wrong settings, or getting in the position you need to get your shot, but always be respectful to others.  We are all connected on this earth.

If you are afraid of upsetting someone by taking their picture, just go and ask if it’s okay.  Ask them to sign a release and offer a print.

With wildlife, use a low-impact method, and for Pets Sake… DONT FEED THE ANIMALS!

For these photos, I had my camera, tripod and telephoto in hip waist water to shot this couples engagement photos in a Cranberry field.

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Or this shot of a Dragonfly which took hours to get in black bear country.  Or should I say Blueberry fields but still Bears were everywhere.

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This can be dangerous!  For you and your equipment!  It can also be Fun, Be careful, Be wise, Be bold.

 

More Tips and Story’s Next Time, Thanks For Reading.

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