I have had many requests for photography tips and I'm super hesitant as I am no pro. Everything I know is just what I've learned on my own and what I see in my own mind. I wouldn't mind taking classes or rather workshops with fabulously talented photographers but I didn't want to start out that way as I wanted to learn a bit on my own and develop my own style on my own time. With that being said, I am flattered that I even get asked so I've put together a little post in the hopes that it will help some of you but please keep in mind that I'm relatively new at this, I have no special tips or techniques. This is just how I take pictures.
I've said it before and I'm gonna say it again. Buying a fancy pants expensive camera will not give you instant awesome photos. The majority of questions I get when I post my photos are "what camera do you use?" I understand why I get asked that question as it's easy to assume that the camera is the reason why I have nice photos but that there is a lot more to my photography (to anyone's photography) than just the camera. It indeed helps, but, I hope that this post will show that there are many more factors than just what camera is used.
I woke up one morning to a beautiful sunrise that I wanted to capture and thought this would be a good way to show you all how I think through my pictures. For the purpose of this post, I put my setting on Auto and snapped a picture. I think that I will say that this is probably how a majority of pictures will turn out when shot on Auto, a nice clear picture but really not much depth to it. Plus, I was trying to capture the sunrise and you could barely even see it in the picture.
For the record, I shoot all my pictures on manual, all my pictures that are on my blog are taken on the manual setting, I don't use any of the other settings on my camera. I don't think that there's anything wrong with using those settings. I just like to be in control of everything in all my shots. (funny enough, I like to be in control of everything in my life as well. Control freak much? ha!)
I flipped my setting to Manual and I knew in my head that what I wanted to capture was the pretty sun and the clouds and make the building less noticeable. Because I know my camera and it's settings well, I knew how to change them to essentially capture what I wanted to capture. I fixed both my aperture and my shutter speed to a setting that I thought would work and snapped this picture. (I have to apologize that I have no idea what my settings were, I only know it as I shoot it.)
It's getting there...
Now that I had my settings correct and knew exactly what I wanted to capture, this is the shot I got.
The first step that you should take is to read your manual for your camera to understand how things work. Everyone thinks that reading the manual and understanding the settings is the hardest part. Quite honestly, it is the easiest part of photography. The hardest part is setting up your shot which is something your camera can not do for you at all. But at least once you have the knowledge of your camera down, you can use it to the best of your abilities in setting up or styling your shots.
For those of you that made the request, I hope this helped a little. I know that there's nothing technical that I can teach but my point is, every person envisions things a little differently. If I had J stand next to me and take a picture of the exact same scenery, it would have come out different (and it always does, when we take pictures of the same things, the perspectives are always different, which is good!). The best thing to do is to find pictures you love and pull inspiration from them. The only way to capture images you love is to capture them how you imagine them to be. Nobody can teach you that, you just have to see it for yourself.
Captivate Me, recently had an interview with Fashion Photographer, Mikael Wardhana and I just loved this question and answer as it pretty much embodies how I feel about this topic.