Tuesday, July 12

my 3 keys to good photography.

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Iris at 3 months old.
It feels so good to be shooting with my Canon Rebel again. I have no classroom experience with photography, nor have I taken any online courses. I've browsed some tutorials here and there, but naturally failed to retain any of the information. All of my pictures are taken with the auto and preset modes without a flash. I really should take the time to learn about everything that can be tweaked but to be honest, it's low on my priority list right now. You know, somewhere below reading the book I've been trying to finish for 2 weeks and taking a nap. All of my experimentation has lead me to three keys which unlock the door to improving my photography.
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Taken with Marius' old camera at the aquarium in Atlanta.
Most importantly, you need to take a lot of pictures. You've heard the phrase "if at first you don't succeed - try, try again." You shouldn't expect to take a perfect picture the first time you point and shoot. When taking pictures of Iris, I will take about 50 photos per session and of those, maybe 10 of them are worthy of posting here. It's especially important to do this when shooting a an object in motion, or while trying to capture an expression. The more pictures you take, the greater the chance is that you caught something beautiful.
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One of the two good photos, out of the 18 actually taken.
Move around. Change your angle - take pictures from above, below, behind and to the side of your subject. Take pictures from far away and from close up. Take pictures of the little details you'll want to remember 20 years from now, like the lines in your husband's hands or your baby's sleepy eyelashes resting against her plump cheeks. Only use the zoom if you have a high quality lens.
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Iris' toes when she was a month old.
My most important key to taking great pictures is to always use natural light. I hate the way a flash washes out people's faces and makes the entire atmosphere of the picture look flat. I think the flash destroys the personality and character of a photo, unless you're using it to create a sterile feel on purpose. Remember that your lighting (or lack thereof) creates the mood of your photo. You can capture the subject's emotion, you can evoke emotion in your audience - or both.
This was taken with my iPhone when Iris was only a few days old.
It's proof that you don't need a fancy camera to
be successful with these keys!
I'm certainly no professional, but I do get better every day. I somewhat recently discovered that bringing the camera up to my face to shoot instead of using the display screen to guide my eye changed the quality of my pictures immediately. I try to think constantly about perspective and composition. While I can be very successful, I am not always!

I'm very grateful that I've taught myself to take some truly lovely pictures that I will treasure always! If you're interested in bettering your skills with a camera just let yourself experiment, be creative and remember to move around, play with lighting and take lots of photos!

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