Tuesday, November 9, 2010
25 Pro Tips
Try these tips from some of OP’s top professionals to get your best shots ever!
We now have image stabilization and vibration reduction to allow handholding of the camera at fairly slow shutter speeds. No matter how good you think you are at handholding, your quality and percentage of keepers will improve when you use a good tripod and head. I learned this from John Shaw years ago, and it still holds true in today’s digital capture. Not only will the tripod steady the camera, but it makes the photographer more deliberate in the framing of the scene. We need to slow down in this rapid-fire, pixels-are-cheap digital era. —George Lepp
Editor’s Note: You might be interested to know that although it only appears in this collection of advice once, almost every one of the pros we asked to contribute to this article suggested using a tripod. No kidding. Almost all of them. So you might want to think twice the next time you decide to leave yours in the car.
Although HDR is becoming a mainstay for nature photography, I still prefer to use my polarizer and graduated neutral-density filters at sunrise and sunset whenever I can. This allows me to spend less time indoors at the computer and more time out in the field enjoying the environment. —Jay Goodrich
To give your images more depth and structure, try to incorporate natural contours and lines into the foreground of your compositions so they draw your eye into the image and lead it toward the main subject. Without these lines leading into the body of your image, it may appear flat and uninteresting because the eye won’t know where to focus its attention. —James Kay
I love the new virtual horizon display that appears on the LCD of my Nikon D300S and D700 cameras. The display looks just like an aircraft-style horizontal indicator. I find that using a level helps me keep a level horizon in my composition. If your camera doesn’t have this technology, a good old reliable double bubble level attached to the camera’s hot-shoe works fine as well. —Jim Clark
When you get a camera down low and point it up at a close-up subject, you often get dramatic views of the world and your subject in it. You can use the sky not just as sky, but as background. You can include clouds, trees and even the sun in the composition. This image was shot with the camera literally on the ground, pointing up. I used what’s known as a full-frame fisheye (it fills the full frame or image with the scene) a few inches from these six-inch-high paintbrush plants. I used an Olympus E-3 because it allowed me to put the camera on the ground and still easily see what the lens saw by using the camera’s live-view, tilting LCD. All major camera manufacturers now make cameras with this feature. —Rob Sheppard
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