Monday, January 3, 2011
Ten New Year’s Resolutions for Photographers—01/03/11
Break bad habits and take better pictures in 2011
1. Start carrying your camera more. All the time, if possible. You’ll find yourself shooting more, which always leads to improvement. More than that, though, you’ll learn to shoot from the hip and you’ll wind up with a portfolio of moments the rest of us missed—all because you carry your camera more.
2. Try shooting RAW. Whether you’ve never ventured into RAW territory, or maybe you’ve dabbled with the setting but it never stuck, if you don’t shoot RAW you’re missing out on lots of photo processing power. Even if you don’t make the switch permanently, try shooting RAW captures and processing them in Photoshop, Aperture or Lightroom. You’ll start to see what all the buzz is about once you turn underexposures into perfect exposures, and once color, contrast and sharpness are ideal every time.
3. Stop shooting in Program mode—even just temporarily. Maybe you just aren’t sure how manual exposures work at all, or maybe you’re most of the way there but you just don’t quite get it. Either way, your growth as a photographer is dependent on understanding your tools. So take some pictures in manual mode and see what you learn. Utilize the in-camera meter to set your exposure, then go beyond the basics to adjust for depth of field and sharpness issues. Once you get it, there’s no turning back.
4. Use a tripod. You know those situations in the past where you thought you probably should use a tripod but you still didn’t? Change that this year. Take the time to put your camera on a tripod. More often than not it will translate into clearer, sharper photographs no matter what you’re shooting. And if nothing else, it will help you break a lazy habit that will definitely cost you a good picture someday.
5. Stop settling for okay. Push yourself to make great shots. Always shoot from eye level? Get up high or down low and find a new perspective. Always avoiding wide angles? Give them a shot this year. Don’t know how to control fill flash? Make yourself test it out. Fear keeps us from doing a lot when we’re learning photography, but with feedback from the camera’s LCD leading to immediate corrections, what have you got to lose by trying?
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