As promised in my latest email, I’m sharing how you can improve your photography for free.
ZERO DOLLARS SPENT.
And all you have to do is take one photo each day. That’s it. Do you have to use your “fancy camera”? Nope, you don’t. You can use your iPhone. Because although you do want to get better at manual mode on your DSLR, you also want to work on composition. And that can be done with ANY camera.
And listen. It doesn’t have to be this huge production. On days when you can pull out your DSLR, go for it. Practice in manual mode (you can get a free manual mode download right here or up there in the freebies tab) and in various types of lighting. On other days? Just use your phone’s camera and work on composition. Have a look at these few phone tips below (which can also apply for your DSLR). Again, all of these will improve your photography for free.
1. Download the VSCO app and turn on the Rule of Thirds grid in the camera mode. Now you’re able to take a photo within that app while keeping your mind on the composition. We will discuss more on the ROT in future posts, but for now you can read up on the basics in that link above.
2. Keep your photos simple. Take advantage of negative space and make your photos stand out by avoiding a busy scene. One interesting subject is all you need for a lovely shot.
3. Take shots from various angles. Shoot from above by standing on a chair, stool or even your counter. Just watch out for your feet in the frame as those cat socks would be a silly distraction. Squat down and shoot up high. When photographing your child, get down on his level, but don’t forget to shoot down on his as well.
4. Remember the silhouettes! Sounds tricky, but it’s really easy! Find a simple subject and face the light (sunset/sunrise works nicely). Tap on your phone screen and hold to lock the exposure. Next, you’ll just pull your finger down on the screen to darken the silhouette even more. It’s super fun and easy!
Now, when using your DSLR, you’ll refer to the manual mode download and you can always email me for help. To make it less overwhelming, try and concentrate on one aspect each week and use non living subjects.
THAT LAST PART IS VERY IMPORTANT!! I WILL REPEAT IT BELOW:
Concentrate on one aspect each week and USE NON LIVING SUBJECTS.
In other words, do NOT use your children or other family members. It is extremely frustrating because they rarely cooperate and you need time to think or manipulate the settings. Instead, use a toy (LEGO cooperate nicely), a coffee mug, or even a doll.
Again, work on one aspect each time you pull out your DSLR. Perhaps one week it’s shutter speed and another week you might experiment with aperture. The best place to practice when your inside, is by a large window or just inside an open door. I like to open the front or side door and photograph various subjects. When outside, avoid dappled light (This is light that comes through the trees and makes spots on the ground. When you see light spots on the ground where you are shooting, move. Instead, head toward an area with shade. That may be on the side of your house or just inside the open garage.)
Now remember? You’re going to take a photo EVERY SINGLE DAY.
ALL OF THE DAYS.
You can use your phone for a while. You can use your DSLR for a while. But you MUST TAKE A PHOTO EACH DAY.
You will see your eye for composition change. You’ll see light differently. You’ll absolutely grow as a photographer and I pinky promise you that. If you follow these rules and you DO NOT improve? Let me know and I will come and babysit your kids for 87 days. That is how confident I am that you will improve your photography.
And as a fun little way to show you? Here’s my very first Project 365 (a photo a day project) from 2011.
Have fun with that link and don’t be jealous of my yellow snow in the very first shot.
Now. GO GET ‘EM TIGER!