A Conversation for Simple Tips for Taking Good Photographs


Post 1


What an interesting guide entry! Well done to all concerned. I think you have pulled off 'Photography for Ninny's' without being at all patronising.

My camera came with a video full of similar tips to those given here, but I think this article is in a more digestable format. And I didn't know that indoor light is yellow.

With regard to photographing children, I think a great deal of patience is required. If they are very young the best results can often be gained by just having your camera handy and being ready to snap them if they do something photogenic. Both my god-daughters have adoring fathers who were patient enough to spend many hours armed with a camera just waiting for their girl to do something cute and both were rewarded with some really lovely pictures.


Post 2

Gnomon - time to move on

Thanks! smiley - smiley


Post 3

Jimi X

smiley - laugh

That's the tactic I employ when taking photos of kids at school for my job.

Primary students will always mug for the camera; young teens will hide from the camera and late teens could care less as long as you don't ask them to do anything. smiley - winkeye

I find I can wait out the little ones until they get bored and go back to being natural. Young teens are a bit trickier, but they too eventually grow bored of hiding from the camera and go back to 'normal'...

Probably the trickiest part of my job actually! smiley - laugh


Post 4

Secretly Not Here Any More

Hope you didn't find any horrific flaws in the editing job I did...


Post 5

Gnomon - time to move on

smiley - ok

If I my add my tuppence´s worth...

Post 6

Pit Hinder card carrying brain donor

( Not much to be added there - well done! )

Invest in a zoom lens. They are not the cheap compromises they once were; indeed you have to work with very low-speed film and very large prints to notice a difference.
Once you have it - use it!
Set to ~35mm and f/8 you get enough depth of field for not having to refocus...with a bit of training you can shoot "off the hip", without lifting the camera to your eyes, which is a boon when working with children or at parties.
Set to ~100mm is ideal for portraits - shorter focal lengths invariably result in bulbous noses and less than happy portraitees. (Actually this is not a function of focal length but of distance and perspective, but nevernomind.)
Anything "longer" than ~135mm - money down the drain, unless you have very steady hands and/or a tripod.
All the focal lengths given here aplly to 35mm format, of course - don´t upgrade to 120 film before you have some experience and/or lots of the folding stuff.

Just my two €cents...I hope they come useful.

If I my add my tuppence´s worth...

Post 7

Steve K.

Good entry and good additional points. smiley - ok

I took a few photography courses some years ago, taught by a pro with mostly very serious amateurs in the class. After the initial "Basics" course, it was a continuing series of "Project/Discussion" type classes. Many of the points are included in this entry and the discussions.

One thing I found memorable was a story about a fabled news photographer who always got that incredible front page shot of the perfect instant. When asked about all the usual stuff - film speed, lighting, composition, etc. - his response was "F8 and be there." smiley - cool


Post 8

Little Richardjohn

The most important thing to stress about digital photography is that it changes the way you take photographs. The instant access to images, plus increased flexibility, plus the ability to alter the image at leisure on a computer, actually changes the way you see photographs. It certainly enables you to see, and take, more photographs.

Film was never expensive, now it is almost free. For most people, digital represents a great liberation.


Post 9

Anna Siren- the heathen of the deep, according to iTunes...

I'm kind of an amateur/serious photographer [I'm straddling the line because I don't think I want it as my main job- English is in the running for that], but I am looking into photography courses at a [somewhat] local college and if I can get into it, I will.

Living for a year or so with a Finnish girl who was really serious about photography helped (she wants to do something with media, I think) and she gave me loads of good info, like always have a bloody point and blurred pictures CAN look good unless there’s too much shake.

I've got into the habit of carrying my digital camera (A510 FinePix) everywhere, just in case something interesting comes up- this way I have got some great, and odd, photos. The only drawback to this is I cannot photograph in school because we wear uniform, I am reluctant about putting the school crest out in the public domain, and if we arte caught with camera phones (never mind cameras!) then there is hell to pay. Having said that, some of the good shots are often to be found where you shouldn't be going, or pointing a camera in the first place!

Little Richardjohn is right, digital photography does change the way I see photos- I can take and take and take, and edit, delete or touch up on the computer when I get home. They look much better there anyway.

Shake is almost always a permanent feature of my photos (I have a mild shake in my hands) so I either live with it or delete the rubbish ones where you can’t see a thing bar trees moving at high speed. Or use a tripod. Always useful.


Post 10

Steve K.

"I can take and take and take, and edit, delete or touch up on the computer when I get home."

For me, that is the key. I have a good film SLR with some nice lenses, all of which I bought decades ago. But I never had access to a darkroom, so I framed up the most interesting shots I could, and lived with them.

Then I got smiley - magicPhotoshopsmiley - bubbly and the whole game changed. Originally I got my film scanned onto Kodak PhotoCD's, which I could load into Photoshop. Now, of course, its just take the SD card out of the digital camera and plop it in the card reader built in to my laptop. Then the fun begins with crops, adjustments, filters, etc., etc.

Just today I took about 18 shots walking with my wife along the bayou. I loaded them into Photoshop and deleted all but 6, then fiddled with those. Way better than waiting for my prints to come ... plus I can print as good as the lab, pretty much, with a modestly priced Canon printer.

smiley - cool


Post 11

Gnomon - time to move on

My camera has software which compensates for camera shake, so that the picture is much steadier.


Post 12

Gnomon - time to move on

My present camera has the a zoom lens which is the equivalent of 24mm to 1200mm, complete with antishake so you can actually take a handheld shot through the 1200mm lens. It's great for taking pictures of people without your presence affecting the shot.

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