Schaun Mack

Through the evolution of technology cameras have evolved from the Polaroid and 35mm cameras. Today to capture the world around us we have watches, computers, Ipads, and cell phone devices just to name a few. Photography is a dynamic art form in itself with many variables and moving parts. It is very easy to become overwhelmed and feel lost with the ever changing trends, pixel qualities, resolution, formatting, file formats, and photo editing software. So where do you start and how do you get a photo that is a good representation of your work? Below are a lists of a few ways to better your photography skills.  

1. Start with at good camera If you don't have a good camera, professional photography may be an option. What if you are in a budget? Cell phones can be an option, but these come with the sacrifice of quality, resolution, and the lack of flexibility in editing and formatting. Better cameras often referred to digital single-lens reflex camera or DSLR cameras offer in camera file formatting more commonly known as a RAW file. This type of file formatting is the most common and allows users flexibility in multiple photo editing software programs. 


2. Make sure your camera has a flash option - This will greatly hurt or help your photos enhancement. Knowing when to use your flash in low lighting conditions and when to turn it off.

3. Image Stabilization - Learn to use your camera properly. Having a steady hand will help remove blur, a shaky lens, and ill timing. It is recommended to use a tripod if you have one. If you do not have a tripod find a good sturdy rest.

4. De-clutter - Pose your subject in a non-movable well light area. Cleanup and remove any unwanted background clutter. Create a backdrop, a cheap bedsheet of an accenting color can be used to create that 1 on 1 viewer to subject environment. 


5. Understand your subject - Only you can improve this and will take research on your part. The subject you are photographing should be well thought out and displayed in accordance. Eyes should always be in focus.  Posing and articulating your subject, camera, and your body will will make the image. Keep in mind of your background and the prior 4 tips.

6. Play with perspective - If you have a wide angle shot then landscaping modes and backdrops would be a better fit. The same goes if you have a tall subject to photograph, you would want to use portrait modes and backdrops in this scenario. Move your camera and body closer and further away to capture your subject without cropping your image to maintain the best resolution and aspect ratios. 

7. Focal Point - The focal point is known as the area of the photo you want your audience attracted to.  Since photography is an art form their are many views of what makes a photo better than the next. One thing that most agree on is the rules of third. In an example with your subject focal point focused on the eyes you should also focus on dividing your subject and background from 1 image into 3 sections. Your photo's focal point should encompass a third of a section in your photo. The reasoning behind this theory is that as a viewer you are immediately drawn to a specific part of the photo and the rest of the viewers eye will automatically scan the other two thirds in a flowing pattern and back to the first section of your focal point. 

8. Be critical - Don't be afraid to take multiple photos. Selecting the right photo can take time while following the above 7 tips.  Keep in mind that once you decide on an image that you are also deciding what your best work is for your audience.  Remember that your image should also be appealing to your audience. 

9. Photo editing software - Although this is not a requirement for all, photo editing software when used properly can significantly improve a photo overall and provide a separation among non-users. The more common features like Brightness, Contrast, Sharpness, and Color enhancing are typically the basics that help to enhance any image. With more sophisticated image editing software, users can create watermarks on images and encryptions so their work is protected from copyright infringement. 

10. Learn from your mistakes - Review your photos and images keeping in mind of the above tips. See what works for you and improve your methods to fit your needs. 

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