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Monday, January 17, 2011

Five Photography Resolutions for 2011

A new year means another 365 days (sometimes 366) of happiness and sadness, peace and violence, sunrises and sunsets, and of course photography. Throughout the history of business, companies have tried to come out with the best new products, whether it be camera body's, lens', flashes, or accessories. While photography hobbyists will always be buying the newest "thing" as long as there's a market to do so, at the end of the day, photography comes down to the ability of the person behind the camera. So the photographer must always strive to become better and hone their skills. Here are our five quick tips to getting better photographs in the new year.

1. Fill the frame and get closer. Getting closer to a subject helps you to become more intimate with a subject and capture them in a much truer light. For portraits, remember to focus on the eyes because they truly are the gateway to the soul. In landscapes, experiment with focusing on a single detail in a scene and keeping it simple.

2. Be aware of backdrops. What is behind your subject is just as important as your subject itself. Cleaner backgrounds are a good place to start because they help to isolate the true topic of your image. Complicated backgrounds are trickier. Remember not to have backgrounds that are too distracting, but one's that add to the overall worth of an image. A good way to enhance the background of your image is to change your perspective or decrease your camera's depth of field.

3. Understand flash better. It's very important to remember that flashes only go so far. Understanding the limitations of your flash, help you to better manipulate lighting conditions. Also, experiment with flash fill. Flash fill allows you to get rid of shadows, without weirdly exposing anything else (to do a flash fill you must either use a gel or lower the stop of the flash). I, on the other hand, personally try to avoid straight forward flashes. For less overly exposed results, I "bounce" the flash off the walls when I'm indoors, by aiming it away from the subject.

4. Take some vertical pictures. Vertical imagery offers different compositions that horizontal can't, and therefore can create a greater diversity of a visual experience.

5. Follow the basic rules of composition. Observing the rules of composition, help make your snapshots into more powerful visual statements by helping you create a more dramatic setting.

...and some extra tips for safe keeping...

6. Practice, Practice, Practice. I hate to go this route, because everyone says this, but practice makes perfect. So get out more often with your camera and with more memory cards. Since most people learn by doing, grab your camera and try some of these things out for yourselves. If you really want to go all out, try a Project 365.

7. Know your camera. Read your camera manual! Its a vast collection of free photo tips bundled into something you've probably left in your garage, or worse yet, thrown away (don't worry, you can usually download them online). Understanding camera modes (tutorial to come), ISO, file formats, etc., are a good place to start.

So happy new year and happy shooting in 2011! From...


Anonymous said...

Some great ideas that I have to try out for the new year, thanks. I especially love the black and white shot of the elderly man.

juliet said...

great photos
ill hire you for my next party

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Chase Guttman is a talented and passionate, award-winning photographer having shot everything from landscapes to wildlife to portraits and events all around the world. Chase Guttman is also an affordable NYC assignment photographer, ready to fulfill your photographic wishes with his distinct style and attention to detail. He also runs this popular photography tips and guide blog, with weekly insights into photography that helps everyone from amateurs to pros better their photographic skill. Visit us at our website:

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