Tuesday, June 9, 2009

You Can Learn From My Mistakes Photography Tips #1

I've been complimented on my photos many times, and I'd like to be able to say that it is all skill and talent and a lot of hard work and learning about photography that has earned me these fruits of my labor, but that wouldn't be the whole truth.

I have taken photography classes. If I'm to be completely honest, I didn't do as well as I'd have liked in those classes. I was green, and rushed through things instead of really looking through the lens and developing the photographer's eye. I could have done better but I was young and in a hurry to get on to the next part of life. Ah, youth.

So I thought I'd try to pass on some of the things I have learned about photography to help my friends in Internetland take better photos. I'll post my tips occasionally, as the mood strikes me, since I am just that kind of girl.

First of all, I'd like to address the issue of the camera itself. Do you really need an expensive digital SLR to get great photos? In all honesty? No. Does it help? Sure. My husband gave me our Canon Rebel Xsi and a portrait lens for Christmas last year (but he gave it to me early) and I'll admit that that camera does a lot that I was not able to achieve with our old camera. The beautiful background blur? Effortless with this camera and lens. I'm not so sure that it is even accomplish-able with even a high-end point-and-shoot.

If you have the money and the interest, yes, I recommend getting the better camera. However, some of my favorite photos I captured with our Kodak Easyshare camera, and they look great as well. I really think that you can take great photos with any kind of camera and in the future I'll give some tips that I have discovered or learned that have helped me and I hope will help you too.

My first real tip? Take A LOT of photos. Just when you think you've taken enough, take some more. For a standard birthday photo shoot with my kids I will take about 200 photos. Many of these photos will be junk. Some I will delete immediately. Most I will just know I will delete later. It takes many outtakes to catch a great shot.

The same holds true when you are on vacation, or visiting a zoo, whatever. Take A LOT of photos. Don't feel badly that most of the photos are terrible. It's not about taking 200+ great photos. It's about taking enough photos that you will have 20 great ones...if you're lucky.

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for a different kind of girl said...

I definitely agree with the idea of taking as many photos as possible. I've deleted a ton of photos to get to the one I want. Also, I adore close ups, so I'm always right in the faces and places of the things I want to preserve on film. My kids just know to expect it when I grab the camera!

chelle said...

Yup I take a ton and delete what I do not like.

I took a mini course and learned about ISO White Balance and all that jazz. I like being able to set it myself now.

Madeline said...

Very true. My camera is definitely not a high end camera, and I'm definitely not a photographer. But, I've found that the more photos I take the more good ones I end up with.

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Great tips! I seem to be surrounded by photographers in my personal life and even employed some at one point, but don't consider myself a photographer. Like you, I do believe in taking lots of photos, though!

Jeff said...

You do a great job of capturing and publishing beautiful pictures.

I struggle with the concept of taking tons of pictures at events because I get tired of looking at the event through a 1/2" viewfinder. Sometimes I just want to sit back on my elbows and soak it in without the distraction of a camera. Because of that, and the fact I have an inexpensive point'n'shoot, I rarely get anything spectacular.

Someday I'll buy a nice SLR like yours. I used to be quite the photographer in the old film days. Remember those?

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com said...

I could not agree more about the SLR. We had a crappy point and shoot for YEARS and got by fine. I still take it everywhere, especially places I don't feel comfortable bringing around a larger camera, and despite periodic malfunctions and a complete inability to take indoor photos, it seems to do the job =)

We bought an SLR because of the baby. Literally, that was our reason. We'd been saving for three years to buy a nice SLR and the time just seemed right. But even so, I'm sure that we'll take plenty of pictures with the point and shoot as well!

louann said...

The idea of getting an SLR has been playing in my mind since forever. And until today, I haven't gotten one. It's a want not a need. I have a point and shoot which takes perfectly fine pictures.

I do love your photos.

Wendy said...

I have an SLR and love it SO MUCH, but I am not happy with my lens. I'd love to know what lens you have. I'm saving up for a 50mm 1.8 or was it a 2.4? I'll have to go look it up. Anyway, I want something good for portraits and the one I have right now just doesn't cut it.

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