Be RELENTLESS...Pro Tips Vol. II

People often ask me questions about photography, but one of the most asked is "How do I take better photos"? So... I decided to put together a short list of basic tips that hopefully will help someone, who is in their photography "infancy", produce better images.

1.  BE RELENTLESS...shoot everyday.  You don't need to have a special occasion in order to pull out your camera and "play".  Believe it or not, your first 10,000 images will be your worst.  Experiment as much as possible with different settings and environments. “We never saw obstacles or problems, we only saw situations in need of solutions” Excerpt From: Tim S Grover. “Relentless.”

2.  Light: Prior to even turning on your camera, see where the light is coming from, and use it to your advantage. Whether it is natural light coming from the sun, or a studio strobe, think of how can you use it to enhance your photo or create a desired effect. The placement of the light source compared to your subject can make a drastic difference.

3.  Shoot in Manual Mode: f/4 is usually the sweet spot for most of my photography, but this can change dramatically depending on the time of day, where you are (inside or outside). For example on sunny afternoon my general starting point would be f/8 or f/9.  In combination with your aperture, you need to keep your ISO as low as possible depending on the scene.  For a sunny day outside, I would have an ISO of anywhere between 100-200; for a poorly lit room I would start at 800 and go up from there if your sensor can handle it. 

4.  Study & Learn: One of the biggest mistakes I see people do when they get started is go out and buy a ton of expensive gear that they don't need.  Study the craft and learn FIRST, then you will know exactly what gear you need to buy or have for any occasion.  Having an expensive camera or gear and not knowing how to use it doesn't just produce stunning images.

5.  The Rule of Thirds:  This is one of the most simple but dramatically effective tips/rules when it comes to improving your images. Basically, cut your frame into thirds by using both horizontal and vertical lines. You then place your point of interest over the cross sections of the grid, using the "thirds" to frame your subject. Reversely, breaking the rule of thirds in your imagery can produce stunning, eye catching photos; just like many other general photography rules.