Ah, Spring is in the air. Well, it is for us in the Northern Hemisphere. If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, Winter may just be getting started. In that case, we apologize.
Spring means so many things. Animals come out of hibernation, trees start to blossom and life seems to return to nature. It also means a great photo opportunity. For those of you thinking about dusting off that old camera and getting some outdoor shots, here are some tips on making those shots great ones!
Use a tripod in low light
When shooting in low light, always use a tripod. Your shutter needs to remain open for a longer period of time and any movement will create a blurry image. A good tripod or monopod can be the difference between a great shot and a garbage one.
Compose your shot
Try to have a background, middle and foreground component to your shot. Be conscious of their presence and relation to each other; this will add depth to your image.
Introduce people to the mix. Don’t just center their faces on the frame, make them move (or move your camera) in such a way that the frame still contains the three elements. Those elements still maintain a relationship.
Set up complex shots ahead of time
Make sure that any pre-sets for your shot are set. If you’re doing a long exposure, consider setting your mirror lock (to avoid any unnecessary shake), noise settings and manual focus well in advanced of your shot.
Be aware of your lenses’ capabilities
Most lenses produce sharper images at a specific f-stop mostly at f/8 or f/11. For the few that don’t, it will be somewhere near the upper-middle of its range. Avoid extreme apertures; most lenses perform poorly at the ends, especially wide-open, smaller f-numbers. There is very little time for light to reach the sensor and be captured.
Make colors pop with a lower f-stop
Drop your f-stop by .5 or by 1: Change f/4 to f/4.5 or f/5. This will make your colors come to life: Your dull blacks will turn into pure black, and it will add contrast to your yellows, blues and reds.
To quote someone much smarter than me: “Failure is only a rehearsal for when it all comes together perfectly.” Don’t be afraid to experiment. In photography there are no rules, there is only what works for this occasion and what works under other circumstances.
I hope these tips help you get the most out of this beautiful season. Now, get out there and take some pictures!
Do you have any outdoor photography tips? Share them with us in the comments below!