DOUG’S TECH TIPS
1) When ready for more creative control, get out of ‘Auto’ or ‘Program’ mode and into ‘Aperture Priority’.
2) Learn to control and use depth of field. Don’t let the camera choose for you. Make aperture choices based on how much depth of field is needed for your vision in the photo.
3) ‘Shutter Priority’ (Time Value) is good if and when you want to introduce or control movement.
4) To prevent blur, use a shutter speed as fast as your lens is long (in mm’s)
5) In any automatic mode, changing your aperture or shutter speed does not change your exposure!!! The camera automatically compensates for any changes to one with an opposite change in the other.
6) Using “Manual” mode is not better than automatic if you are merely doing what it tells you. Learn to interpret the information based on what you want or for creative effect.
7) When you buy a lens buy the best one you can afford. Better to have one good lens than several mediocre ones.
8) Always use a lens hood. It’s the cheapest equipment upgrade you can make. It prevents flare, improves contrast, color saturation, detail and also protects your lens.
9) When you change lenses point your camera downwards to avoid dust on the sensor.
10) If shooting digital, don’t overexpose the highlights (opposite of film), it is easier to brighten the shadows later.
11) Watch the contrast ratio. On digital cameras, look at the histogram and make sure it doesn’t go off the right side.
12) Bracketing is for sissys! Find the best exposure and use it. You’ll save a lot of time in editing later.
13) Long telephoto lenses are for cowards! Get in close to create connection and intimacy.
14) If it is a portrait, focus on the subject’s eyes. If the eyes are sharp the photo will be perceived as sharp.
15) Unless absolutely necessary (and it’s usually not), turn your fill flash off. Or dial it way down.
16) If you need flash, learn to control or diffuse it. It’s usually better off camera or bounced off a wall or ceiling.
17) Learn the difference between quantity of light (amount/how much light) and quality of light (type of light).
18) Learn from your mistakes. Explore why it is that your photos didn’t work as well as you had thought they would. The ones that aren’t good have much to teach you…
19) Without vision and creativity, all the camera equipment in the world won’t make you a better photographer. You will be the same photographer with more equipment.
©Douglas Beasley 2013