The most important single piece of advice I can give you is about the lighting. You must make sure that the light condition is ideal before you can even think of taking a snap. Without proper lighting conditions, you photos will look a lot different from the way you saw and envisioned it. At best it would lack a touch of life and look dull. At worst, your photos would shadowed and dark or over exposed and bleached white.
Of course you can take a picture with a flash, even in total darkness and there are many award winning photographs taken on the spur of moment. But that’s not technique, that’s luck and being at the right place at the right time. I believe if the light is good, then if you take a number of snaps, at least one is going to be good. But light is the first thing you need to take care of.
You don’t need a light meter, or a light technician to assist you. For natural condition the first rule is to keep your light source (in most case the sun) behind you and in front of the subject. For indoor condition, the same light source rule is applicable. If you need a flash to lighten it up, don’t worry, an automated flash is good enough for beginners and you can always follow the manual that came with the flash equipment. For advanced work, I am sure you will learn along the way and that’s when it counts.
Here are a few basic tips that I am sure will help some of you:
- Start with the basics: You don’t need an expensive camera to take good photos, at least when you are starting. Start with something you can easily afford and let your experience guide you to what you want.
- You camera is your friend: If you are seriously into it, you need to act like it. Keep your camera with you wherever you go and don’t feel shy or intimidated about your camera or photography. When you have something that’s worth taking a photo, bring out your camera and get to work.
- Make a plan: Always keep your camera with you for the inspiration to hit you. But don’t be all passive. You need to make a list of subjects and settings that interest you and try to take the best possible snap for each of them.
- Keep an open mind: A rare and beautiful sight might be hiding in plain sight. You don’t need the velvety grasslands of New Zealand or the picturesque villages of Greece to take the perfect shot. Even in your own living room there might be a story of light and shadow waiting to be told through your photograph. See through a fresh pair of eyes, the eyes of a photographer.