- Arts and Design
Photography,Having Fun With Your Camera
Grab your camera and see the world that's in your back yard.Click thumbnail to view full-size
My personal Tips and Ideas for beginning your photography Hobby
My name is Brenda Cooper and I am by no means a professional photographer. I developed a great love of photography after taking a class in High school and Have enjoyed this hobby for many years. Since then I have discovered you don't have to be a professional to have fun with your camera or to take profesisonal looking photos. Just a few simple basics and some trial and error and you are on your way to having some of the greatest fun you ever had.
First of all you need a good quality camera preferably with a zoom. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars if you are just starting out with your hobby. My camera was bought on an online auction for 1/4 of the retail price and it was new in the box. I chose an Olympus 35mm SLR with a 4x zoom. If you want a 35mm and aren't that familiar with exposure times and filters etc., then I would recommend an SLR It has all sorts of little buttons to make things easier for you when adjusting the lighting, exposure, bringing the foreground and background into focus together or fading one out. They also have a button to make sure your moving subjects are not blurred.
I personally prefer 35mm because in my opinion the print quality is so much better. I have never used anything else.
Once you have your camera you may want to think about the types of subjects you want in your photos. Don't limit yourself. Absolutely everything around you has an artistic quality about it. I never leave the house without mine. Most of the time I'm never looking for anything specific to photograph. I've found that some of my favorite photos were ones I simply stumbled upon as I was out and about. You will see several examples of these in my slideshow. Especially the bridges in the fog.
Look at your subjects from different angles when you find something stationery that catches your eye. Sometimes that can make all the difference. Have fun with your subject. Get down on the ground and get a different perspective. For example; try shooting the sun dappeling through the leaves of a tree by standing under the tree and looking up instead of in front. Get creative. Light doesn't always hit all sides of an object and a bit of shadow or the absence of one can add quite a bit to the "feel" of the subject so move around looking at your subject from all sides also taking the background into consideration before taking that shot. You don't want to photograph a beautiful flower only to have someones garbage can right behind it. I had a friend once who took a photo of her son at a soccer game. It was a great action shot of her son but...... she failed to notice the porta-john not 10 feet behind him. It too was a very nice clear closeup that unfortunately became the humorus main subject of the photo.
Another simple trick is physically removing something from the foreground or background if possible to get that special shot, especially when photographing flowers. If it's a leaf that just sticks out from the side like a sore thumb or another flower in front that has some dead petals, simply snip it off.
Another thing to watch out for when doing outside shots is the sun. Try not to have the sun directly on the subject because it can make your subject look too bright and you may have some very white "hot" spots in your finished print. Then unless you are wanting a silhouette, keep the sun facing the subject, never directly behind it. Your subject will be very dark otherwise.
Early morning sun or dusk is the best time. The light at those times is diffused and there is a certain quality of softness to your photos.
Placement of your subject in the photo is crucial to what can make a photo outstanding or just ordinary. Wrong placement can actually ruin an otherwise perfect photo. Most people think the subject has to be centered but this is not true. Consider what surrounds your subject, you may want to include some of that. Don't be afraid to offset your subject. The general rule is placing your subject closer to the corners either slightly to upper left or right or slightly to lower right or left. When shooting a photo that has a definite "horizon", for example; a beach scene, and you want the ocean and sky included in the photo NEVER have the horizon line running through the center. Move the lens to include more ocean and sky with less beach thus moving the horizon lower in the shot or move it to show more beach thus moving the horizon to the upper half. Try to follow this rule in every shot. It makes your photos more interesting and remember move around the subject if possible looking at it from different perspectives.
Now heres another side to being creative with your camera. You can make a still life out of just about anything in your home or outside. A still life is the main subject of the photo whether it be something as simple as a vase of flowers you use as a centerpiece to some elaborate set up you put together yourself. You will see a number of still life photos I've created right at home using food, pieces of personal collection items, jewelery, etc. Still lifes are very simple and some can be quite artistic on their own. I can go as far as to say some can be rather abstract or even modernistic in their apperance. For example I took a simple collection of sea shells, dumped them out into a sand coverd bottom clear glass dish, covered them with water and set them in the sun so it could reflect off the water, then I looked it over through my lens to get the angle just right. Creating your own still lifes is great fun and truly brings out your creative side.
When doing anything close up like still lifes or anything stationary, it's always good to use a tripod, either a table top model or freestanding model because it will be almost impossible to keep your hands from shaking a bit. When using a freestanding tripod cut tennis balls to put on the legs to give it more stability and if outside and it's windy you can use small sandbags to hang from it or pack around the legs to keep it steady. Sometimes it's not possible to carry a tripod and maybe you don't have one so I have found that turning on the stop action mode is a big help. If you are still worried about movement from touching the camera while on the tripod, you can get a remote with most cameras so all you have to do is look through the lens and click. Ask about the remotes when buying your camera to see if one is available for it.
Another fun thing to use when doing still lifes is a mirror. Set your object on one preferrably outside so you can catch the clouds in the mirror too or if you are taking a picture of a friend or family member have them hold the mirror to the side of their face. An example of using a mirror is in my slide show.
Let your creative side lead you into finding the artfulness and simple beauty in the most ordianry things. So go grab your camera, experiment and have fun.
Thank you for visiting my page and look for more helpful tips and ideas comming soon for more fun and easy ideas to be creative with your photos.