Tuesday, November 9, 2010
25 Pro Tips
Try these tips from some of OP’s top professionals to get your best shots ever!
You can’t always bring every lighting accessory into the field. Because of this, I try to think of multiple uses for everything in my camera bag. The model release cards I carry often work as a portable bounce reflector when I’m using a flash (you could use almost any other light-colored item). If one 3x5 card isn’t big enough, I’ll tape several together with gaffers tape that I also always carry (four cards will suffice for portrait photography). One 3x5 card delivered the perfect fill for this photo of a blue mushroom on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island. The flash, triggered by a Nikon SU-800, is located just out of view in the upper left of the frame, with my 3x5 model release card acting as a flash reflector to the right of the frame. —Bill Hatcher
Have you ever tried to get a macro photo of a flower while the wind is blowing, or stopped photographing because it begins to rain or snow? These elements can provide unique and powerful images if you use them to your advantage. Don’t fight the wind or retreat from the rain. —Jay Goodrich
When photographing landscapes in my home state of West Virginia, I often discover that using a wide-angle lens to capture the image just doesn’t do it. There’s too much information. But by using a mid-range telephoto zoom, I can isolate a portion of the scene, resulting in a composition that’s much more powerful. You also can better define and simplify the composition, and also highlight texture and patterns. —Jim Clark
When setting up your camera, don’t get locked into one position. It’s easy to get lazy when using zoom lenses. Instead, try moving your camera left or right, forward and back, up or down to create good spacing between important objects in your composition. To truly explore any location thoroughly, I often make dozens of images as I try various camera positions. In this winter forest scene, I worked hard to find a position that created interesting spacing between trunks and shadows. —William Neill
With digital capture, I don’t use many filters, but one that’s always with me is the Vari-ND from Singh-Ray. The Vari-ND allows 2 to 8 stops of variable neutral density. This comes in handy to blur water by controlling both the shutter speed and ƒ-stop. I want to be able to choose a shutter speed for effect, the ƒ-stop needed for depth of field and the ISO for maximum quality. The Vari-ND allows this. If you have a simple ND filter, you can still get the blurred water effect by lengthening your exposure, but your additional options are limited to ISO adjustments, which can affect quality. —George Lepp
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