No matter how long you’ve been using a camera for, it’s the drive to capture and preserve life’s profound moments that keep us picking it up again and again. It’s always a challenge to fully enter a moment.
Photography Tip #1: Keep a list: Get that shot
When you see an image you like or one that inspires you, save it! When an idea for an image comes to you, write it down. When you find extra time to take photos or you’re feeling creatively spent, go back to your list for an inspired start.
Photography Tip #2: Compose carefully
When you find a scene, pause for a moment to compose. Remember the Rule of Thirds, look for leading lines, find the light, remove distractions. Beyond the Rule of Thirds, remember to consider giving your subject negative space to breathe. There are a lot of things that can be fixed in post-processing, but creating meaningful compositions is best done in-camera.
Photography Tip #3: Learn and refresh the basics, then experiment
Learn the Exposure Triangle (Balancing the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to get the correct exposure). The goal is to get comfortable with your camera in Manual mode. Some creative possibilities only exist when you can override defaults and play with the exposure. Also, try manual focus for more creative possibilities for blur.
Photography Tip #4: Hunt for good lighting
Light is just as much your subject as anything else that compels you to take a photo. It offers a thousand different ways to shoot the same scene or setup. Remember, if you look for it, there is almost always enough light to take a photo. Manipulating light and shadow are what creates feeling and mood. To do this, you’ll almost certainly need to be in manual mode or spot-metering depending on your composition. Watch for the way light moves, look for light coming from surprising sources to illuminate your subject. Some of the best photographs have significant parts that were underexposed, which only highlights the subject more. Just watch to be sure you don’t blow out highlights or clip your blacks. That’s data you can’t recover in post-processing.
Photography Tip #5: Explore different viewpoints
Go beyond your first impression of a shot. Take photos of the same subject from multiple vantage points, multiple exposures, multiple apertures for varying depths of field. In a digital era, where you’re not paying to process each exposure, this is very easy to do. Sometimes the first shot you take may be the one you wanted all along, but often, really working a subject reveals better ways to capture it. Also, if you’re shooting with a narrow depth of field, don’t forget to open up and take more in focus in case you miss something, or too much is out of focus.