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Thread: Favorite Photography Tips

  1. #1
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Favorite Photography Tips

    A question inspired by cucciasv, our resident photography teacher: what's the #1 most useful photography tip or trick you've learned?

    Some of my favorites are in the "Getting Out Of Auto Photo eBook" by the folks at Beers & Beans. It's geared towards those with DSLRs but there's also a lot of useful information for point-and-shoot camera users as well.

    P.S. I'm always appreciative of the quality of the photos you guys post. It's the #1 thing I look forward to seeing when I check my email: a notification of new photos posted in the forums. And it's why, earlier this year, we created photo sets for each bag on Flickr and linked to them on our product pages: we wanted to make it a lot easier for everyone to see your great photos. So, thanks, and we hope to see many more in 2013!
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  2. #2
    Registered User nukediver's Avatar
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    While not a technical tip, one of the best bits of advice I ever got was shoot. Shoot shoot shoot - you have a virtually endless "roll" in your camera, so fire away! Ambient lighting can change quickly, and if you take a few more shots, you may end up with something fantastic. Being of a certain age, I remember being frustrated with photography because you really had to set up each shot when you were working with a limit of 36, especially for underwater work. No changing rolls of film until you were back on the boat :-(

    This advice has served me well over the years, especially when I'm feeling lazy and shooting in Auto (or Program) on my Canon G-12, and has given me some sweet photos.

  3. #3
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    Two quick tips:

    1. Always look at what is behind the subject your are photographing. Busy, ugly backgrounds can ruin many a shot.
    2. Get closer

    sue

  4. #4
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    With the greatest respect, I'd like to contradict nukediver's advice above. Back in the day when I took photography seriously, I switched from carrying 4 Nikon 35mm bodies with a pair of motordrives and Metz fast recycling flashes, to carrying one Mamiya RB67 roll film camera and my output improved in both the quality of my work and the volume of decent images. Being restricted to about 12 shots per film, the inevitable need for a tripod and off camera flash meant that you had to stop and think about every frame before you press the shutter release. Everything from measuring the light level, it's colour/temperature, the framing and composition, frame orientation, etc., etc., has to be considered. As a result, almost every shot is a keeper. You can't undertake that kind of detail for every 'snap' but you can stop and think before you go in to machine gun mode. The G12 helps in that respect as you have lots of ways to manipulate your shot, but you also have the biggest advantage of all... a real viewfinder! This works even when the sun is bright, but, most of all, it allows you to see what you're taking and block out everything else.

    I learnt a lot from reading Ansel Adams trilogy on the camera, the negative and the print. Of course he was looking at plate cameras, but when you only had one or two plates at your disposal and a camera that pretty much needed an assistant, you have to make it count, and, if anyone did that, he did!

  5. #5
    Registered User nukediver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Crip View Post
    With the greatest respect, I'd like to contradict nukediver's advice above.
    No problem. I do agree with what you say, but I believe the difference lies in your intent as you head out the door, as well as with what you're carrying. Admittedly, when I wrote the above, I had just finished a conversation with a friend who had just received a point and shoot camera from her husband for Christmas. My advice to her was to use the camera, not just take one or two shots at an event. I talked to her about framing shots, and getting to know even a few settings on her new camera. Part of my advice was to take lots of pictures. For someone like my friend, I stand by my advice, but for a serious amateur, I would agree with you.

  6. #6
    Registered User Fat Crip's Avatar
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    Now that I agree with wholeheartedly! If you don't take your camera out of your pocket, you'll never take a decent picture... and that is my biggest failing these days I'm afraid

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    I'm enjoying this thread, and appreciate your responses. I've been working hard to learn and understand photography for a couple of years, and love the idea of sharing tips and ideas.

    When I was first getting started, I spent hours researching <obsessing> over equipment instead of taking time to learn and practice techniques of shooting. I was so caught up in how small my camera budget was, and couldn't see how I could properly learn photography without owning the "best of the best."

    Good equipment helps, but is certainly not required for taking great pictures. I finally worked past my equipment worries, and just started taking lots of pictures. The best camera is the one that you actually use.
    --Amanda

    Packing and gadget geek, collecting bags to disperse to my family.

  8. #8
    Registered User terayon's Avatar
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    The one photography tip I always remember is, take photos in natural light. And I agree with the idea that the best camera is the one you actually use. (For me that's my phone, since it's always with me. Ah well.)

    My mother-in-law is a real photography buff, and will take the time to pose everyone, check her light meter, adjust the camera settings, etc. Unfortunately this means she ends up with some technically fabulous photos of people with wooden smiles, since this is not a quick process. As a result, I have a huge appreciation for candid shots.


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