I have an entire week away from all the stresses of life.
A week away from technology, a week away from the internet. I have an entire week to do anything I want. So what am I doing? Here I am in the middle of the woods, camping. I'm on my laptop, typing away, as the music is bluetooth'd to my portable speaker. Aerosmith and light fluid fumes fills the air as the charcoals burn down on the grill.
It's time to share some knowledge...
Good photography has (almost) nothing to do with the camera setting and technology behind how it works. That's the truth for the most part. Photography is about capturing an emotion plain and simple. Most people (other than photographers) don't think about the rules of photography and the technicals when they look at an image. They look at an image for who's in it, is it a happy picture? Is it sad? What were the people doing? Whatever it is, it stirs an emotion, if it's a good image. Let's talk about the basics.
Timing is everything.
Most people will be shooting with cell phones and some will have nicer DSLR camera's. It's all the same. The best time to photograph is during the soft golden hours, at dawn and at dusk. This is when the light is soft. When your shadow is longer than you, you've got the best light.
Stay in the shallows.
To easily achieve the cinematic, blurred background look, move away from your subject matter. Use your telephoto lens to zoom in and compress the image's foreground to background to create a shallow depth of field.
Seek out natural framing elements, trees and branches, rock formations and knot holes to add more layers to your image. Be sure to leave space around wildlife to frame them within their natural habitat.
The eyes have it.
Change your perspective whenever possible to photograph at an intimate eye level with your subject. Place the eyes in the 'power points' (This is the intersections in the 'rule of thirds.') and be SURE to keep the eyes in focus. The viewers eyes will ALWAY go right to the eye's in a photo. If you have to, don't be afraid to get down on the ground. You can worry about the laundry later. Getting the photo right is the more important thing.
Use a monopod.
It's a one legged tripod. If you are using a heavy telephoto lens for photos, consider using a monopod to stabilize it. This will help stop those blurry images, especially in low light.
Do photo yoga.
Take a few versions of a composition with a verity of perspectives, both vertical and horizontal. The best image is not likely to be the first one.
Shoot in burst mode.
Burst mode is when you can shoot many image with one click. This is especially true with pet photography. Shooting in burst mode will increase the likely hood that you'll capture a candid behavior, head position or unique angle of your subject. Be careful, you don't want to over do it with burst mode. Otherwise you'll be sifting through 50 images for the one 'keeper'.
Keep it simple.
The best camera is the one you have with you. Don't get bogged down with all the gear and toys. All you need is a camera, your brain and a little creativity and you can create beautiful images. You can create memories you can create an emotion that your friends and family will enjoy for years and even generations.
Well, that's about all the time I have. The sausages are done and the wife is waiting on me to eat. Tom Petty plays as I end my writing for the day. You, go out, take some photos. As for me, lunch awaits!