Ask an expert about photography

15 Dec

The other day I had the privilege to sit in an after school activity with Aloha Lavina about photography.  It was an enlightening experience as she is a professional photographer and had a lot of immediate tips for a beginning photographer.  Some of them I would like to share with you, plus add a few of my own.

Tip 1. Holding a camera:

  • Use your right hand to hold the right hand side of the camera.  Use your index finger to press and release the shutter button.
  • The positioning of your left hand will sit underneath the camera or under/around a lens if you have a DSLR.
  • Tuck your elbows into your sides.
  • Have the camera close to your body if using the viewfinder which will add extra stability.  If you’re using the LCD make sure you don’t hold your camera too far away from you.
  • Add extra stability by leaning against a solid object like a wall or a tree or by sitting or kneeling down.

Tip 2. Breath properly:

  • Before you take your shot take a gentle but deep breath, hold it, then take the shot and exhale.  This is the most relaxed moment we can get and therefore also the steadiest.

Tip 3. Rules of Thirds:

  • Stop placing your subject matter directly into the center of the photo.
  • Place them in: top-right, bottom right, top-left or bottom-left corners.
  • See this website for more details.

Tip 4. Macros vs Landscape:

  • The macro setting is for super-close-up photos.  The depth of field is narrow, which means that most things that are not directly focused upon will be out of focus.
  • The landscape setting will allow for total focus of everything within view.

Tip 5. Get in close:

  • For a close-up, get in close, and then get in a little closer again to your subject.  You don’t need to be on macro settings, but beware of the focus and the composition.

Tip 6. Choose a different Angle:

  • Try shooting from an angle you wouldn’t normally shoot from.  Get down on the ground for a worm’s eye-view or try standing on a chair to look down at the subject.  The stand-point-and-shoot shot is very boring for the viewer.

Tip 7. Always put someone in the photo when traveling:

  • Unless the shots are meant to be printed out in large format for artistic purposes, put someone into the photos for reflection later.  Most photos are less interesting for the audience when they are an assortment of nothing but landscape or cityscape shots.  You and your friends as subjects make it more fun for everyone.

Tip 8: Using a Flash:

  • Distance?  Don’t use a flash from more than 10-15 ft away from the subject.
  • Windows?  Don’t use a flash.  Be as steady as possible, ideally with a tripod to avoid camera shake.

Tip 9, 10, 11 and more: See this website for more tips about composition, panning, night and winter photography, lighting and other stuff.

Choosing a camera is another blog entry I talk about since many people ask me about it.

1 Comment

Posted by on December 15, 2010 in Design, Education


Tags: ,

One response to “Ask an expert about photography

  1. Andy

    April 25, 2011 at 6:00 am

    This would be really hard for me, I can’t even do something like that…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: