If you could give one tip, what would it be...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by brendanryder, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. brendanryder macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2006
    I let my friend use my camera tonight and he dosent know much about cameras. He asked me if i could give him one tip, what would it be?
    i couldn't think of anything on the spot.

    So, if you gave your camera to someone and you gave them one tip. What would it be?
  2. James L macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2004
    Not for a beginner as new as your friend, but my tip would be:

    "Don't be afraid of lighting".

    Too many people remain "ambient light only purists" for all the wrong reasons. Lighting takes a little bit to learn, but it opens the doors to so many new photographic opportunities.
  3. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    "Photography is fiction"

    Once people realize that, they are free to treat their images as such and with that, explore possibilities that don't have to mimic "real life."
  4. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    Point the camera at something interesting. That will instantly catapult your friend into the top 5% of amateur snappers... ;)
  5. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816


    Oct 7, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
  6. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    The rule of thirds. I have trouble with this all the time, because your natural instinct is to put the subject of your photo in the center of the frame and shoot, but "properly" framed shots look so much better.

    EDIT: just a comment on the lighting tip. I'm one of those natural light only people (when practical) but it's because I 1) don't know enough about lighting and 2) don't have the right equipment to do anything useful about it. So, while I agree that a tip about lighting is important, I think it's a tough one to give to a complete newbie because they're not in a position to really do anything with that tip, yet.
  7. chrisburke macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2007
    if i handed my camera to someone who didn't know anything about photography, my first tip would be, "don't break it unless you want a serious beat down"
  8. bocomo macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    New York
    pay attention to the edges of the frame, not just the center
  9. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    I concur. I'm just getting into flash and off-camera lighting, and it's opening up a new world. I used to be a purist, but only because I was scared that controlling the light would be too difficult. It's not.
  10. zebbz macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2008
  11. wadejc85 macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2008
    Agreed. I never let people use my camera. Never.

    Tip? "Go buy one" :p
  12. Martster macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2008
    Van Diemen's Land
    one tip

    Its a good question.

    the biggest challenge for new photographers (once they've found some interesting subject matter) is to learn to compose the image they see in the view finder, rather than simply "looking through" through the lens at the subject.

    The classic symptom is what I call 'mental zooming';
    This is when the photographer sees an interesting subject (lets say a rare bird), gets excited and takes a series of shots, only to find when they get home that the subject is a tiny speck in the frame that has little resemblance to what they thought they saw.

    Because the human visual system is so flexible and adaptive, its often not until you photograph something that you realise how much our 'software' (brain) enhances our perception.

    This difference is one of the reasons I love photography.
  13. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."

    My teacher back in Jr. High for the yearbook where I learn photography said if you're relaxed, your subjects will be too, and your subjects and comps will be better...

    Works for me...
  14. ajpl macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2008
    Don't just shoot away and hope.

    Oh and learn the basics [of exposure], as without that foundation, everything else is guesswork.
  15. greg555 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2005
    Don't put the person's face dead center in the photo. (My wife and I call them headroom shots.)

  16. brendanryder thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 28, 2006
    wow, im quite surprised witht he amount of results.
    Thanks guys.

    and if anyone has their own to add, please do :D
  17. Pikemann Urge macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2007
    Look at lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of photographs.
  18. eyeon macrumors regular

    Apr 7, 2004
    Montana, USA
    Make me laugh, make me cry, make me cringe, make me smile -- but whatever you do, don't make me yawn...
  19. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    I wouldn't say that specifically. Many portrait photographers put the face in the dead center of the frame. Do realize, though, that when that happens, the face as a whole is less noticed and the image becomes more about the details. The eyes, or the lips, or the hair, or etc. Other design aspects come into play.



    The face is center. What happens to the viewer? The eyes deviate from the center of the nose and browse up to the subject's eyes. They look at the text, or venture down to the lips. Also consider that the eyes jump out because of the contrast. Bright jumps forward, while darkness recedes. This is why the text and eyes are so dominant, even though the eyes are nearly dead center in the frame. Text also takes precedence over object.

    So, consider that perhaps when conducting a portrait. Break the actual face apart and choose what elements are important in it.

    image by: Mitch Kern
  20. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Yeah, make sure they don't touch the lens. I get pissed when I see finger prints on DSLR lens eventhough its just a demo :(

    Anyway since its about fingerprints, what happen if there is fingerprints on the lens? What do you do?

    Oh yeah and like other says, Dont drop it!
  21. Clete2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 20, 2008
    Yes, yes, yes.

    I would say: Zoom now; avoid cropping later.
  22. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    The trick is to always use a protective sky filter so that it is impossible to touch the lens.

  23. jbernie macrumors 6502a


    Nov 25, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Given how memory cards are so damn cheap these days...

    Take lots of photos, it costs $0 to not print something that didn't quite work out. Never limit yourself to "x" photos of a subject, you dont have to share every photo.

    This is such an important thing when traveling, you may only visit that place once, make the most of it.
  24. mcarnes macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2004
    USA! USA!
    Best tip: Don't buy a Nikon, they are crap. Get a Canon.

  25. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN

    Keep your kit simple. Learn to use what you have and get good at it. If you over flow yourself with lenses and extra gadgets you'll find yourself fiddling with your rig more then shooting.

    My set up is
    Canon 350D
    Nikon AI primes in:
    24mm 2f
    50mm 1,4f
    85mm 2f
    185mm 2f

    It is a nice small rig. Chances are I know what focal length I will be attempting before leaving so I usually only need to being 2 lenses.

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