2 years ago
I’m gearing up to write a post on basics of photography (unless one of you folks is a ‘real’ photographer and would like to jump in, in which case please do!) and I’m wondering what kind of challenges people have with their current setups. Do you have poor lighting? Cluttered backgrounds? Shaky hands? Does anybody have some photos they wish were better they’d like to share so I can see if I can think of any suggestions? If somebody has an unsatisfactory place/camera and can link to a photo of the space along with the make/model of the camera, it would be much appreciated.
On the other side, do you have any tips or ideas that have worked really well for you? I’ve done a post about this elsewhere following on from a discussion with folks who wanted their photos to better reflect the quality of their work, but didn’t want to get bogged down in a lot of technical details. The idea here is to have a few easy suggestions that folks can employ without ever changing any settings or taking their camera (or cell phone!) out of auto mode.
If there is interest in Photo 102 and learning to use a few manual settings I’d be happy to do that, too, and I promise to make it incredibly unthreatening. It does still involve learning a new thing and I know everybody’s very busy and probably already has a long list of new tools and hobbies to try out before getting around to camera nerdery.2 years agoBrittney @georgeandizzy
I would love tips for shooting indoors, especially with winter coming up. I am much more comfortable shooting outside, but soon it will be too cold for that. The few times I have shot inside I have to move tables and toys, haha.2 years agobeachmom @beachmom
This is probably more Photo 102 but I’d like to improve the sharpness and clarity of my photos.2 years agodubhels2003 @dubhels2003
I would love this. My photos are generally pretty rubbish and I REALLY wish they were better, but I don’t have time to spend taking pictures generally. I particularly have trouble getting decent lighting. I also find it hard to balance picking out details with capturing the whole garment, especially without making the garment look ‘flat’. I can’t do pictures on my model as she just wont sit still, and I can’t capture her in movement and it work!2 years agoLightning McStitch @LightningMcStitch
If you did stray into camera nerdery then my husband might discover one more lens to buy.
Given the limitations of my space and my kids I think I’m doing ok, but I’ll read with interest, and undoubtedly learn something.2 years agoroundtheworldgirl @roundtheworldgirl
Shooting indoors in winter is definitely something I’m interested in. I shoot in manual on my DSLR but all I have is my on-board flash and one of those reflector thingies that you snap on so that it throws the flash at the ceiling instead of at your subject. Even with my best-laid efforts, my winter indoor photos are either washed out or blurry.2 years ago
Great questions and comments, folks, thank you! Please keep them coming and if everything doesn’t fit into one post, I’ll run the idea of a series past Liesl or see about making the information available elsewhere.2 years agogy17 @gy17
My photos are absolutely terrible, which is why I post none of them. I am not even sure what my problem is. Bad lighting? Not knowing where to place my kids? General ineptitude?
I think I may need an entire troubleshooting guide. A bit much to ask, though 🙂2 years ago
Why not put up a photo somewhere and I’ll have a look? It might be tough to address everybody’s unique combination of space, camera, and lighting all in one post but I’ll certainly take a whack at it.2 years agogy17 @gy17
Sarvi, you are so kind – thank you. I realized I probably sounded more negative about it than I actually felt. I’m at work now but I’ll take a picture later and put it up for analysis!2 years agoNicole @motherof5
Sarvi is a marvel and the kindest soul gy17, don’t you worry a jot.
She kindly helped me so often with tips. I will show the areas I use and she advised me how to light them. It was so useful https://www.flickr.com/photos/motherof5/sets/72157643288191093/2 years ago
I was hoping you wouldn’t mind sharing those, Nicole! There’s a particular photo of your formerly youngest daughter (eep!) in front of the sky/field backdrop that is just breathtaking that I was hoping to use as an ‘after’ photo. And thank you. I really want to make sure nobody feels shy about sharing less than perfect photos. Nobody is born with a camera in hand — there’s a learning curve and I am only interested in helping people move along it if they want to.
So far, the most requested topics are:
1. Indoor photography with minimal natural light
2. Shooting in a smaller space/around household objects
3. Getting pinpoint focus
4. Your next lens (for the 102-ers)
5. Specifics of photographing (and documenting) garments
6. Working with those bouncy creatures we call children
Did I miss anything? It’ll take me a little while to do some research and think about how to present everything in a coherent way, and there aren’t magic bullet solutions to anything (just press this button and it’ll be perfect!), but I think that about two posts covering lighting and composition should yield a handy cheat sheet of usable tips.
When I had this conversation previously with another group there seemed to be two factions, people who were already doing pretty well and wanted to advance (and I think the best I can do for those folks is point them to existing resources from professional photographers) and those who do not want to make an additional pastime out of photography but still want better results. The second group is the one I think it might be in my skill set to help.2 years agovothgirl @vothgirl
Sounds like a brilliantly helpful post, Sarvi — can’t wait to read and learn! Topics #2 & #6 (ohhh, particularly #6!!) are of most interest to me. I usually use my iphone to take pictures since it’s convenient, but have a nice DSLR camera that I really should learn how to use!2 years agoJess M. @mommy2maria
My problems are these: a)I don’t have a dslr, we have a broken point and shoot, so we just use our phones, and b) an uncooperative (99% of the time) subject LOL.
Either way, I look forward to reading everyone”s thoughts.2 years ago
Ha! Funny you mention it, because I was shooting a friend’s (very casual) wedding and somebody made a comment about how all you need to be a photographer is a fancy camera. So I handed over my camera and started shooting with my cell phone 🙂
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