Thank you so much Mandi for sharing your knowledge with my readers and being my inspiration to improve my photography skills.
5 Things About Photography I Learned The Hard Way (and now you can know the easy way).
1. "A good lens is key." When I purchased my first DSLR camera, a good photographer friend gave me that piece of advice. Being cheap, I subconciously disregarded that very key piece of information. The lens is the bread to your butter. The chocolate in your cookies. Take Tracy's advice on a great prime lens, specifically the ones she suggested for portraits, and you'll never regret it. In lots of ways, your lens is more important than your camera..
2. Lighting Lighting Lighting, part one Take a look at these three photos:
Which did you find your eye naturally drawn to? Did it happen to be the middle one? True, the oldest picture was taken with a point and shoot. But, BUT, the other two were taken with a DSLR. One with flash, one without. Flash is not our friends. Flash, is NOT our friends..* Natural light is pleasing to the eye. Portraits, photos of food, etsy items, anything, are better and will draw the eye when they are taken with natural light. (*Unless you have an external flash that you properly use by diffusing the light, which I happen to know next to nothing about)
3.Lighting, lighting lighting part two I don't have favorite children, I swear.
I like this picture just fine, but. . . that's a pretty harsh shadow, n'est pas? Sunrise & Sunset: those are bee-autiful times for a great shot. Don't have that option? Consider shade. Under the porch. Anything that will get the sun coming in at an angle, instead of straight down on the face for the raccoon eyes look. I've got pa-lenty of those kinds of shots, believe you me. My favorite? Window light. You need a good shot of the cake you just made? Or the etsy item you want to list? Open the blinds on a sunny day. Bathe it in natural light. It'll help somewhat with keeping colors correct and not looking "off". Food will look tasty instead of spooky.
And window light for portraits can be kind of dramatic, too.
4. Photoshop is fun. It's soo fun. Trying out different stuff on your photos? New apps? Picnik? A total blast. But always re-evaluate. Sometimes, more is less.
'Cause whoa. No one needs snot green/neon grass, knowwhatI'msayin'? (I still make this mistake. Don't you judge me!)
5. Let It Be. A great camera rocks. Studying photography is so fun. When ya go to invest in equipment, let yourself go into it knowing it might just be a hobby. Forever. Let it be okay that the dough you just plunked down for your new lens is for you. For your hobby. Lotsa people get a DSLR and become a "photographer", and I think photographers totally rock, but we're not all meant to be one.
I own a pretty decent piano, but I feel no guilt about not becoming a concert pianist to make my investment "worth it". My camera's the same way, man.
(Mandi Tremayne is a hobbyist photog, will never be a pro photog, makes gigantic mistakes all the time, has a lot to learn about photography, and has a huge collection of craptacular pictures, but still loves to study photography, and thank you for reading this disclaimer, and thank you to Tracy.)
Isn’t she great? Can you see why I love her and I look forward to her posts. She always makes me smile and laugh. Here’s a link to her blog if you want to go smile too.