The difference between a good photograph and a fantastic one lies in the amount of preparation and work that goes into the photograph. If you see a photographer fidgeting and waiting before he takes his picture, it is because he is adjusting the parameters so he achieves the preferred setting for his picture. One can use cool photographic tricks to create diffuser effects and creative effects in the photograph.
Tips for taking landscape photographs
When you go to a historic site, you always find tourists and it is impossible to get rid of them. Put your camera on a tripod and take a couple of pictures. Then, use Photoshop to remove the tourists from the photographs. Go to Menu à Scripts à Statistics. Then, you can remove anything you do not want from your photograph.
Create slider effects
If you do not want to or cannot afford a slider for taking photographs, use the tripod. Rock the tripod forward and backward. You can lift it and place it forward to get the same effect as the slider.
Create a flare
To get a flare in your photograph, stick a transparent colored plastic paper across the lens of the camera. If you shoot into a bright source of light, the flare will come in the picture.
Get close-ups without the zoom lens: If you cannot afford or forgot to bring your zoom lens, you can remove the detachable lens and turn it backward. This will bring the subject close to you but you will not have any manual control. Instead, you will have to move your camera back and forth until you have the right focus.
Find the vantage point
The best equipment will not compensate for the composition. You can get the best angle by climbing on the roof of the building or if you lay down on the floor. Finding this angle makes the photograph great. So, put in some effort and you can add the special effects later.
Tips for the smartphone user
- You can use cutouts in front of your camera lens or in the background to create dramatic effects.
- Jump around while photographing and use the timer on the smartphone to get spectacular pictures.
- Use a picture in the background to create a lively picture when you do not have any interesting background on your subject.
- Use a plastic cover over your camera lens and color it with different colors to create a new effect in the photograph.
- When you are shooting inside a room, use a paper cup as a smartphone stand. Cut a slit on the top such that the cut slants to the edge of the glass. Now, your phone can rest on the paper cup while you take the photograph.
Taking photographs with the phone increases your control due to the many inbuilt functions the phone has.These hacks prove that one can use creative efforts even when one is under-budget. By practice, you will adapt well to them and become the best photographer ever. But, you must begin by writing the tips down and practicing them.
The Single Reflex Lens (SLR) camera uses a mirror to reflect light from the object onto the sensor. The digital SLR differs from the SLR camera in that it uses electronics to do what the SLR camera does manually. Thus, the quality of the images is much better in the DSLR cameras. Here is a list of the things you must consider if you want to buy a DSLR camera.
Check the feel of the camera
The first thing to do is to, in a mild way; bounce the camera in your hand. It must feel easy and well balanced. That is important because you will want to align the camera in a specific manner to get a photograph and if you do not have a good feel, then you will not get good photographs.
Work the controls
Keep the camera lightly balanced and work the controls. These are the Shutter Speed and White Balance for starters. They must have an alien feel when you change them around. Instead, they must feel natural. Check the drive mode and the self-timer to see if they work in a smooth way. Fiddle around with the exposure settings, change the metering and try to work the focus. If they work well, then you have the right model. If not, try another model.
Check the video recording
Even if you are not planning on shooting any videos, you will in time use the video recording function. Most DSLR cameras have full HD 1080p video recording feature. But, there are a few that have only 720p or non-HD recording. Every brand has a different frame rate for recording. The higher frame rates give smoother output.
Confirm the modes available
The DSLR camera will have all standard features such as Action, Portrait, Landscape, and Night modes. A few of the cameras will also have features such as Auto, Guide, and Panorama. The Guide function is especially helpful if one is a beginner. It will walk you through the working of the camera which helps you become an expert in no time at all. But, working your DSLR camera is easy if you use the Auto mode during the initial phases when you are learning about the controls.
Know about sensor size
The quality of the photograph depends on the size of the sensor in the camera. The biggest sensor is the full-frame sensor present that is equivalent to the 35 mm film. The size of the sensor is 36×24 mm. Entry level cameras have a smaller size sensor and crop sensors. The APS-C sensor for all brands except the Canon is 23.6×15.6 mm. The Canon has a smaller sensor at 22.2×14.8 mm. Another common sensor is the Four Thirds that measure 17.3×13 mm. The larger sensors cost more and deliver better pictures.
See the megapixel resolution
The megapixel resolution does matter but not as much as the sensor size. To print clear pictures of standard size, you need at most a resolution of 7 megapixels. Most of the entry level cameras have 12 megapixels or more so you need not worry about this aspect at all.
Now, you know what to look for in your camera. You only need to see that the camera has all the basic features.
To become an expert, one must learn the basics thoroughly. Other than the controls, one has to learn how to make the photograph attractive. While you can put your camera into the Auto mode and get some decent pictures, the real art lies in getting control over the camera and setting the background for the perfect picture.
Basics of photography ISO
The ISO of your camera tells you how sensitive the sensor is to light. The low sensitivity range is ISO 100 and the high sensitivity range is ISO 6400 or higher. When you shoot at low sensitivity, you need more light or you have to leave the shutter open for a long while. It might be necessary to shoot in low light at times.
Set the shooting mode
You will find the shooting modes indicated by auto, Av, Tv, P, and M. The camera takes over and does the shooting when you set the camera to one setting. Say, you select Auto, then the camera does everything. Aperture priority (Av) is semi-automatic mode. If you choose a larger aperture, more light passes through the lens of the camera. Next, we will see which camera you must choose.
Best entry level DSLRs
- Nikon D3400 ($397): This is the best camera as far as we look at the design. This has a 24.2-megapixel sensor and a great battery life. You can use the SnapBridge to transfer images from the camera to the smartphone. It takes 1080p videos at 60 fps. Beginners will benefit much from the “Guide Mode” that helps one compose a picture. It gives a comfortable frame and performance ratio making it one of the best cameras for starting out on your journey through the photography world.
- Canon EOS 750 D ($799): This is not a high-end camera but it is affordable. It helps you deal with some advanced principles in photography. It has 19 points Autofocus with an ISO range of 100-12800 ISO and the mode dial is easy to reach. This camera is easy to use because it has fewer controls.
- Nikon D5600 ($747): This is feature rich with a 24.2-megapixel sensor. You can take full HD 1080p video and it has 3x optical zoom. The 3.2-inch multi-angle touch LCD screen helps you pinch, zoom, and set focus with only your fingers. The screen turns back and looks right back like the lens so you can get great selfies.
- Pentax K-70-h ($847): This has an ISO setting of 100-102400 and shutter speed of 1/6000 – 30 seconds. It can zoom 7.5x and a fast autofocus. The LCD screen has articulation making it easy to focus. It has complete weather-sealing and good burst rate. The only drawback is the Wi-Fi that is slow to respond. Also, the weight is too much for an entry-level DSLR.
You can borrow a camera or rent it from reputed camera rental company like Qwikgear for the first few days before you buy your own camera. It will help you understand what you need to do in photography.Every photograph begins with an idea but ends with the composition. Different scenarios need different compositions and lens settings.