Things Other Photographers Never Showed Me as I was Learning

Found in: Photo Tips
Jul 06 2011
by Brianne Waterson

My name is Bree and I am a self skilled photographer and business owner. When I was asked to write some articles geared toward photographers, my initial thoughts were to write some in-depth articles featuring subjects that interest me the most, but I decided there were lots of those. I decided to write a series of articles instead, entitled Things Other Photographers Never Showed Me as I was Learning. So, here it goes...

  • No matter how much you learn, you will only be successful if you strive to learn something new all the time. This seems like common sense when you think about it, but too many people learn a few basics and then call themselves photographers and do the same things all the time, never improving.

  • I learned right away not to shoot portraits using the camera's built-in pop-up flash, but no one explained the Speedlight I bought. I highly suggest reading the manual. There are two important things... First, use your Speedlight in manual mode to optimize its full potential. Secondly, learn how to use the high-speed sync. I took a photography class, and even the teacher wasn't able to tell me why I couldn't speed up the shutter speed past 1/200th of a second. She had no answer! I am here to tell you the flash symbol with the H will fix the problem. Again, look at the manual to work with your particular model.

  • Aperture! Some photographers may say you must shoot all the time as wide open as your lens goes, whether it's capable of 2.8 or 5.6... Others say if it's sunny, 16 f-stop if its overcast its 8 f-stop. I am here to tell you it all depends on your purpose! If you are shooting a shallow depth of field shot, wide open is appropriate, with a long lens as well! If, however, it is bright out, and you are trying to take in a whole scene, f11 may be more appropriate! With practice, you will learn to judge this. Light meters also help if you find this challenging.

  • I learned right away to shoot in manual, the only way to accurately photograph every scene. If you are serious about becoming a photographer, this is a must! It was never explained to me why, though.... well, not at first in clear terms. Basically, if you let your camera make the decisions for you, you will end up with the same mediocre shots as everyone else. If you choose your settings, you will get the shots you want, with practice of course.

  • Books, YouTube, and video classes can be your best friend! I have never known how many photography books there were till I looked on one day and fell in love. An important thing, however, to remember is to HAVE YOUR OWN STYLE! Looking at others' sites or books for ideas is not wrong, but you need to use them only as inspiration.

I will elaborate more on this subject in my future articles. For questions or topic ideas, email me at [email protected]

Guest writer: Brianne Waterson

My Name is Brianne Catherine. I go by Bree. I am the sole owner of MTM PHOTOGRAPHY AND CUSTOM EDITS. I have attended Baker College for almost four years and will be graduating with a business degree in the fall of 2011. I love to write and I love photography.

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