Semester Abroad- Advice on photo taking

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by tdevers, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. tdevers macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2008
    I'm spending this Fall in London through my university. I picked up a Canon SD770IS earlier in the year and have an 8GB SDHC card on the way as we speak.

    Can anyone recommend good photo taking techniques or reading material? I've taken picture for quite some time, but I'm still an amateur. I want to make sure I know what I'm doing and don't end up with blury shots come December. Thanks!
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Those cameras are pretty much automatic. That is why they are called "Point and Shoots". The mistakes people make are to think the camera sees like the eye sees. It doesn't. The eye/brain automatically ignores unimportant stuff. Cameras record blindly.

    Don't just look at the main subject on the viewfinder. Think of the LCD screen as a print. Squint so that the screen is blurred and thin k about the overall composition, the use of color and lines and shapes. and look at the background does it support the subject? if not move (with your feet) Is there extra "stuff" in the shot, it so walk up closer.

    Shoot using the widest angle on the zoom possable and get close. PPeopletend to be lazy and use the telephotosetting on the zoom. That's wrong. Think about camera location, being closer makes the subject larger relative to background objects, choose the camer location to adjust this.

    Some rules to remember.. rule of thirds, objects not clipped by frame edges, get closer, diagonal lines are good, odd number of "things", get closer, use flash to soften shadows in bright sunlight, Lines that lead eye to subject are good. Get closer,....

    OK you get the point. 99% of the problems are because people just point and shoot and don't think. Think about the final print and about how the different parts of the image will fill the frame. Technical stuff like s not o important. Automation handles that.

    The best thing a beginner can do is get some big, over sized "coffee table books" from the library that compile many images from famous photographers. Find the ones you like then go out with the idea to copy their style.
  3. telf22 macrumors regular

    Sep 2, 2007
    very good advice.
  4. hhlee macrumors 6502

    May 19, 2005
    please please for the love of preserving your memories, don't put all your baskets all into basket!!!

    get MULTIPLE smaller cards so that any single card failure (accidentally formatted, weird hardware failures) and back up your photos on dvds or external hard drives.

    i had a lumix camera which i bought new with a 4gb sandisk sd that i took to germany world cup 2006 and guess what, weird sd failure and i lost ALL my pictures!!

    its probably exceptionally rare but better to be safe than sorry.

    on photo techniques, like other people have said, the best thing to do is to look at other people's photos. aside from coffee books, definitely browse sites like flickr, read, etc...
  5. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2007
    Adorama has a deal going on SanDisk 2GB Ultra II SD cards:

    I would actually avoid sifting through thousands of photos on flickr… needle in a haystack; instead I suggest sticking to books, which almost without exception have a higher percentage of awesome work.
  6. bocomo macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    New York
    i would add that you might think about making some notes about what you are photographing so that you will remember them. i spent some time in london and brighton in '98 and can't remember much about what i shot unless i look at the notes. just some quick stuff when you turn in each night.

    that, and meet people!
  7. tdevers thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2008
    ChrisA, that's some great advice. I really appreciate it. I felt that a small point and shoot would be my best bet so I could always have it in my pocket where ever I go. I just wanted to get the best out of it.

    I plan to sync all of my pictures with iPhoto whenever possible and upload to my Flickr account. I know a few people that have had SD card failure for one reason or another and lost everything. I always make sure to back everything up. I just wish I had the money right now to pick up a 2.5" external for Time Machine while I'm over there. I feel that getting Apple Care for international coverage is more important and better in the long run.

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