Capturing life’s special moments, in a meaningful way, is possible for anyone who goes out of their way to learn the nuances of photography. Though anyone can purchase a camera, not every person who holds one, will truly master it. Mastering the art of photography is a process that is learned and anyone who seeks out information can become a great photographer. Follow these tips to achieve your maximum potential behind the lens of your camera.

Be aware that the weather will influence your pictures. You might not realize it when you take the picture, but a dark sky will give a very gloomy atmosphere to your picture. Compose your pictures accordingly and let the weather inspire you for interesting creations. You can also wait for different kind of weather before you take pictures.

In photography, make sure that your main focus is on the quality and not the quantity of the pictures that you take. It is always better for you to get ten great shots than one hundred average shots in a day. Quality is always the better choice.

When composing shots, set your white balance manually, instead of relying on the automatic settings. Setting your white balance manually gives you more control over the contrast and mood of your photo. You can make photos look more stark or more natural, and it’s all up to you. Don’t let the computer program decide how your photos will look.

When you have to make a choice on what photos you want to show off, pick the best ones! Resist any temptation to show all of your photos or to display many pictures of similar subjects or settings. People get bored seeing the same thing repeatedly. So keep it fresh while showing all your different photography skills.

Learn about composition rules. Practice and experiment with these rules to create unique pictures. For instance, organizing a picture around diagonal lines gives an impression of depth. You can also play with colors and gradual nuances to give an impression of movement to a picture. Do not follow the rules blindly, but learn when to use them.

Another handy photography tip involves the camera’s shutter. Take the time to learn the ins and outs of shutter speed. Your camera will have setting indicators for S, M, A, and P modes. Program mode is indicated by the “P”. This is the fully automatic setting of your camera, and it sets the aperture and shutter speed automatically for you. If you have no clue about what subject you’re photographing, the “P” setting is helpful.

Keeping your camera very steady is the key in shooting images that are crisp and very sharp. Many cameras have an automatic stabilizer built right into it to allow for some leeway. If you are still having problems keeping your camera steady, invest in some kind of a tripod.

A good photography tip that can help you is to try taking a lot of different pictures of the same subject. This is a great way to help you become more creative. You’ll be forced to try everything you can to get an interesting, yet unique shot every time.

Play with the idea of depth of field and aperture. Most photograph place their object in the center of their composition and have their background look blurry. Reverse this convention and blur your object to focus on your background. You can also play with the placement of your object in the picture.

You should make sure to keep your eyes open for patterns, both artificial and natural. Patterns can make a photo interesting. They also make visually interesting backgrounds for other subjects.

Use the manual white balance when taking your photographs. This has quite an impact on the picture’s mood, and it allows you to control what your picture will look like. You’ll have to practice to find out what looks the best, but adjusting the white balance will help you to become more creative with your shots.

Experiment with the focus on your camera to create interesting pictures. The f-stop number, which measures the depth of field, blurs the background and emphasizes the subject. In portrait photography, this is a valuable approach in getting the results that you desire. A larger f-stop number will increase the depth of the field, making everything in the photograph, background and foreground, focused. You’d use this technique when shooting landscapes.

Experiment with silhouettes. Though a sunset creates a beautiful and popular silhouette, there are other ways you can achieve the same effect too. Any background that is substantially brighter than your subject will create a silhouette. You can achieve this effect by using a rear-mounted flash or by having the subject stand near a window facing east around 9 A.M. Realize, however, that outlining someone’s body or face and make deformities more apparent.

Every picture you take needs a focal point. Determine your focal point before you snap the picture. When trying to determine the focal point, try to think about what will draw the viewer in. Keep the focal point simple, if you use too many focal points it will only confuse the view. You do not have to make your focal point be the center of the picture, but it does need to stand out.

Your camera is a tool that is used for your photos, so use it as such. Learn how to use the different features. For instance, play with the depth of field to draw attention to your main subject.

It’s time for your tripod. Take it out of the closet and find the cable release. Still have those neutral density filters? Get them too. You’re going for a night shoot at the school fair. You have arrived. See the pretty colored lighting at the booths and rides? You will photograph the Ferris wheel, exposing not for the overall scene but for the lights. Place the camera on the tripod and attach the cable release. Set the ISO low, at 100 or if possible, lower. Use a shutter speed of maybe fifteen seconds. Set the aperture at f/16 or smaller if your camera can do it this will make pinpoint lights look like stars. Take some test exposures and make adjustments, and use your neutral density filters if necessary. You have a finished product! Thanks to the tripod, everything is sharp except for the ghostly images of fair goers moving about, and the turning Ferris wheel appears as a circular streak of gorgeous colors. The lights at the booths shine like stars.

Now that you have been enlightened by these simple photographic tips, grab your camera and get out there. That “magic moment” is just a click away, and the world won’t stop spinning. So let your imagination run free, then capture the results for posterity. Only you can tell the photographic story that unfolds from your own unique point of view.

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