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tammy-price

Photography Tools

Top 9 Photography Tools to Help You Shoot Like a Pro

There are good photos and then there are amazingly good photos. It requires good photography skills to shoot good photos. It requires good skills and the use of good tools to shoot amazingly good photos. If you want to shoot photos like the pros, there are basic photography tools to have at hand. Learn to use them properly and you will soon be in the big leagues.

Studio backgrounds

Studio backgrounds adds versatility to your photography. There are 3 basic colors for studio backgrounds; white, black, grey. White and black studio backgrounds will readily work with all other colors to make a very versatile shoot. Green is ideal if you intend to apply digital effects when editing.

Adobe suite software

The Adobe family of photography software is a must have for professional photo editing. The most useful packages are Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. You can purchase the packages you need according to your budget. There is also Adobe Photoshop Elements which is a lite version of the whole suite.

To make your editing even easier, go for presets, actions and plugins. These are very useful when applying digital affects for example sepia tones, HDR effects, and black and white and so on. You can also create your own presets.

Custom lighting solutions

Lighting accessories are very useful when shooting sets like portrait photography, modeling or even wedding photos.

External Flash

An external flash can be very useful when shooting in less than optimal light.

On camera flash diffuser

A flash diffuser helps spread light evenly such that the skin tone comes out flawless and avoids splotches of brightness which is common in very bright light. Diffusers come in plastic or material. The latter have an advantage for being flexible on different camera flash units.

Color management charts

When working with different devices like the scanner, camera, and computer monitor, color management during workflow can be a bit of a challenge. A color management chart helps achieve a uniform color tone. You can use an 18% grey card to match skin tone and color.

Tripod

A tripod is an absolute necessity when shooting with a heavy rig. A tripod that has a joystick is even more convenient as it can replace the work of 3 different levers and controls.

A website

A professional website is very essential in showcasing your portfolio. You will also have to work on your social media networks to funnel visitors to the site.

There are tens of accessories you can acquire in photography but the above tools will set you on the path to being a true photography pro.

Digital Photography

Top 9 Digital Photography Tricks for Beginners

Everyone is a budding photographer. The smartphone and Instagram filters have enabled good photography by the average phone user. However, a true photographer must learn the art of the camera. The digital camera is the basic tool for today’s photographer.  If you are looking to winning a few awards in your photography path, here are some few tips to muster.

  1. Take steady shots

Blurry photos are the mark of the beginner.  The trick lies in knowing how to handle the camera. You should hold it with both hands, close to the body. One hand should be around the body and the other around the lens. Your shutter speed should match the focal length of the camera. For example, a 100mm lens should be matched by a shutter speed of 1/100th a second. Stabilize the camera with a tripod whenever you can and where you can find a static object like a tree or a wall for support.

  1. Use the 1/3 rule

The 1/3 rule is where you divide your frame into 9 grids by imagining two vertical parallel lines evenly spaced dividing the frame, and another two parallel lines running horizontally and diving the frame. Always try to place the highlight of the photo in one third so that the eye can wander the whole frame evenly.

  1. Sunny 16 rule

When shooting outdoors, using the sunny 16 rule enables you to shoot photos that are neither over-exposed nor underexposed. If you are using ISO 100 set your aperture to f/16 and shutter speed to 1/100th of a second.

  1. Simple backgrounds

You want the eye to be drawn to the focal point of the photo. Use simple backgrounds that are neutral colored and plain where possible. If shooting outdoors, avoid object that draw the eye in the background.

  1. The right ISO

ISO settings determine the fineness of the grain and how sensitive the photo is to light. In darker light use higher ISO for example, 400, and in daylight use ISO 100.

  1. Using the flash

Do not use flash indoors if there is another source of light. Push the ISO up for example to 1600 and open the lens as wide as possible, for example f/1.8, to capture the available light.

  1. Create motion

If you want to capture an object in motion and show it, choose a shutter speed two steps slower. For example for 1/250 you would set 1/60. Follow the object when taking the photo.

  1. Use the polarizing filter

Using a polarizing filter reduces reflection from reflective surfaces like glass or water. You can leave it on to allow the camera to use through the lens auto metering.

  1. Different shuttle speeds

Play around with shuttle speeds to sharpen your skills in capturing moving objects.