Thursday, 8 July 2010

You did it before - you'll do it better Again

so, last time i mentionned a certain wedding where despite feeling that i should have done better, i came through OK.

today, i was reading a guest piece on Scott Kelby's blog by a photographer called John Wright.
click the link to read the whole piece - it's quite entertaining and inspiring.

at one point, John whas talking about over-thinking things in stead of just getting on with the line which spoke to me was:

Okay you could have improved something by doing this or changing that, but that’s called ‘experience,’ and you’ve learned from it, and it’ll be better the next time BECAUSE you put yourself in the situation in the FIRST place
i now realise that making my mistake of rushing because i felt pressured is a mistake i was always going to make. now i've made it, BECAUSE i got on and shot a wedding without angsting over whether i was good enough. that mistake is in my past now. i've got EXPERIENCE.

go and get some experience for yourself.
don't worry about it.
put yourself in front of a subject.
take the shot.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Slow Down

i shot a wedding recently (my first) (as a the main photographer).

it was a great wedding.
there was a lovely atmosphere. the bride and groom are lovely, laid-back people, who just wanted their friends and family to join in a really special day. i think that, for the most part, they got what they wanted.

they even liked the photos.

however: i came away feeling disappointed that i had failed to do my best. there were plenty of shots i had missed, and plenty where i felt that i could have done much better.

what did i do wrong?

i caved to the perceived pressure of the moment.

i felt very powerfully that i only had the bride and groom for a few minutes. i really didn't want to keep them away from their guests for any longer than i had to. what i forgot was that my job was an important part of the day too, and that nobody was going to complain if i took 5 more minutes, or wanted to re-take a shot.

so next time i am shooting - be it a wedding, portrait session, or anything else - i am going to slow down, not worry about what i perceive as pressure, and take as long as i need to take the shot.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Keep the camera Steady

few things are more annoying than a great shot which is just a little bit blurry. this can happen for a number of reasons, most often because the camera was moving. it's hard to keep a camera still, and the bigger the lens you've got on the front, the harder it is.
this, combined with the fact that the faster the shutter speed, the less it matters that the camera may be moving, leads to the familiar rule of thumb for when you are hand-holding a shot:
  • shutter speed should be at least as great as focal length
i.e. if you have a 200mm lens, you should use a shutter speed of 1 200th of a second or faster.
if you have a zoom lens which goes up to 200mm, you should still set the shutter to 1/200 or faster.

some lenses and some cameras have stabilisation mechanisms which claim to allow you to shoot at lower speeds. in general, these seem to work, but it's still good to bear the rule in mind.

following this rule will give you a good safety margin.

check your shutter speed just before you take the shot.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Bigger is Better

when you see a photograph, it's generally true that the larger it is, the better it appears. This gives rise to a printing tip:
  • when printing a photo, print it at the biggest size that is practical
but that's not all. the same principle works inside the photo, too, so:
  • when taking a photo, try making the subject fill the frame as much as possible
this catches the attention of the viewer, removes clutter and emphasises the subject.
so try this next time you take the shot.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Use a small Bag

i find that the larger a bag is, the less likely i am to pick it up and take it with me everywhere i go.
for this reason, i get the smallest camera bag that can hold the equipment i don't want to be without, and keep my camera, lenses and assorted "go anywhere" junk in that one bag.

the bag i use is the lowpro slingshot 100

i can't help but notice how much it's gone down in price since i bought mine, so i'm guessing that it's popular.

i could use a larger bag which would hold all my lenses, all my gadgets, and has room to strap my tripod on the outside, but i would never use it. then i would never have my camera with me, and i would never be able to take the shot.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Read a Book

here is a book which has really helped me.

scott kelby's digital photography book

it is simple, straightforward and contains stuff you can immediately put into practice.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Use manual Focus

although your camera can focus very well, there are times when manual focus is best.
principally, this will be for:
  • macro photography
  • a subject moving too quickly for autofocus