5 Random Photography Tips

I think we can all agree that lists are fantastic.  You know what else is fantastic?  Photography tips.  This week, we are combining both of these fantastic things into a fast, fantastic list of photography tips.  Exciting, right!?

Here we go:

1.  USING TWO DIFFERENT CAMERA MODELS:  Be careful here, friends.  When shooting with two different camera models, it will be virtually impossible to match the look of the images in post production.  Even if you shoot with two different model Canons or two different model Nikons, you will still have a hard time matching the look of your images in post-production.  So if you’re looking to buy, rent, or borrow a backup camera, make sure to get the same model of your primary camera.

2.  DIRECT FLASH IS YOUR FRIEND:  Surprised to hear this?  I get it.  We make a big deal out of how wonderful bounced flash looks when it falls on your subject from the side and creates a great 3 dimensional portrait style light.  And bounce flash is indeed great.  But what if you can’t bounce off of anything?  Should you not use flash?  Nope.  Use direct flash.  This is especially important when you have a bright backlit scene like a sunset or beach scene that you want to feature behind your subject.  Here’s a tip:  meter the background scene without your subject in it, and underexpose the background by ⅔ of a stop or so; then place your subject in the scene and adjust your flash power so that the subject is properly lit.  Voila!  You’re gonna love it.

Another tip (I’m feeling generous):  If your subject is wearing white (Read: wedding dress) don’t be afraid to use a bit of direct fill flash on them so that you can properly expose for the white clothing and the skin tones.

3.  SKIN TONES ARE KING:  Everyone wants skin tones to look natural in their images.  Make sure you’re making skin tones your priority when shooting so that you can keep skin tones natural in post-production.  For example, if you’re shooting using flash under colored light, like tungsten light, put a gel on your flash to make your flash the same color as the light in the room.  In this example, you’d use a yellow or yellow-ish orange gel.  This way when you correct the image as you correct for your subject’s skin tones, the ambient light in the room and on their clothes (Read: wedding dress) will be the same as what’s on your subject’s skin and will look more natural.

4.  ADD CROP SPACE FOR PRINTS WHEN SHOOTING:  When making an image that you know might need to be cropped to different sizes later, make sure to leave some room around the subject so that nothing gets cut off when the different prints are made.  It might be useful to experiment a bit with cropping one of your images to different print sizes so that you can see how you’ll need to compose your images.

5.  DON’T SHOOT TO CROP:  The idea here is, don’t compose an image that has a super wide composition and say, “Oh I’ll just crop it down later to the part I really want.”  Compose your image in camera the way you want your final image to look.  If you have to crop your image down to half of its original size, you’ll also have an image with half of the original resolution.  That will be very bad if you were planning to make a larger format print.