You’ve probably been in situations when you’ve felt the urge to capture the scene perfectly – a stunning landscape, a graduation or wedding ceremony, cute animals or gorgeous flowers – and you’ve grabbed your camera and clicked what you thought were amazing pictures. But later, when you look at them you find them flat, uninteresting, badly composed or just plain boring. There’s nothing in them that reproduces the mood/emotions you felt.
Professional vs Amateur: The same scene, shot by a pro can look completely different. There is drama, character, color and probably a story. Professionals don’t do different things – they just do things differently! They have a simple set of rules that they follow and they gather experience as they work.
5 Professional Photographers’ Secrets You Never Knew:
1. Genre: Most pros specialize in one or two genres of photography: fashion/food and beverage/portrait/architecture/landscape etc, just like an artist. Great artists can and do paint any kind of picture, the genius lies in finding your niche.
2. Equipment: Pros invariably started out with a basic SLR and moved on to more sophisticated equipment as they gained confidence. Don’t get enamored by tech, but stay updated. Know your camera/lenses/software thoroughly. Maintenance is crucial.
3. Technique: is what separates talent from professionalism. Lighting, shutter-speed, use of flash/natural light, filters etc give you better control over the composition. Take more shots than you need – you never know which one’s the best.
4. Composition: Point and shoot are fine for amateurs, but for a pro, a picture must be composed down to the last detail. Color, mood, lighting, and balance should be first blue-printed in the mind before translating to the camera. For portraits: use the portrait mode of your camera and position the subject correctly, don’t deform the person’s structure with wide-angle lenses, avoid the flash and get closer to the subject. The “rule of thirds” is a mantra that most great photographers and artists use. Draw three equal, imaginary lines horizontally and vertically across your frame and place your subject along the intersection or the lines
5. Innovate: If you don’t have a tripod, take the shade off a table-lamp and use it as a pedestal for your camera. If you need a macro lens, take the lens off and hold it in front of your camera – but you have to take the photograph manually. Travel photographers should use Photoshop to delete tourists from their pics – this gives a magical, stunning effect to historical monuments.
Award-winning professional photographers are not merely lucky or equipped with pricey gizmos. The enormous effort, time and resources go into their work. Though there are no short-cuts, the above secrets can certainly put you on the track to clicking great pics.
Emil Kadlic is a professional photographer and freelance (photo editing and photography) writer and contributes to different (photo editing and photography) blogs.