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Dont forget to adjust the dioptre on your cameras viewfinder to suit your eyesight. Or if someone has
borrowed it to change it back if things look a little blurry.
When you change lens on your DSLR check the end of the lens that you are about to mount onto the
camera for dust. One way to prevent those pesky dust spots to not appear on your sensor.
When shooting macros of bugs pre-focus on the flower/leaf before the insect (spider) crawls or lands. Then
you will be ready for the action.
When photographing children or animals get down to their level to get a different perspective. It wont look
like you are 'standing over' them too.
A general rule of thumb is that when your shutter speed drops below 1/60 second you need to use a tripod. However with modern lenses you maybe able to shoot a little slower with VR or IS. You might be able
to hold steady below 1/60 too.
Try shooting in portrait mode (vertical). If something is taller rather than wide it might look better in portrait
rather than landscape. Turn the camera 90 degrees & see the difference.
When shooting at night remove any UV filter that you might have on the front of your lens. It will cause light
to bounce back into the lens & give you flares or ghosting.
When photographing sports wait for the 'peak of action' where you get the best possible shot. Learn the
sport & look at what the pro's catch.
Dont be scared to crop your images. Get rid of 'dead space' that doesnt help tell the story in your
Check your backgrounds before you press the shutter release. There could be something that you dont
want in shot or you could get a better one by re-positioning.
Don't always place your subject in the middle of the frame. Sometimes it is good to give a little 'room to
move' in the shot.
When using fill flash for your photographs power down by 1 & 2/3 stops to balance out the light. Then
increase if you need more light to fill.
Increase your cameras ISO in low light situations or to increase your shutter speeds. Most current cameras
can go to ISO 800 without any noticeable digital 'noise'.
If there is one filter you should get to put on the end of your lens it is a polariser. You cannot re-create the
look you get in any post production.
Zoom with your feet. Just because you dont have a big zoom or wide angle doesnt mean you cant get
closer or move back to get the shot.
Pro photographers don't show you their bad photographs. Don't be scared to 'cull' the shots that you don't
think are great, be your own critic.
When travelling to a new destination have a look at the local postcards when you have arrived. You might
see something that you didnt know was there.

If you camera allows shoot your photographs in AdobeRGB colour profile.

It will allow you to capture the widest colour gamut in your shots.
When using a tri-pod turn off any Vibration Reduction or Image Stabilisation that you might have. It can
cause you images to be a little blurry.
If you dont have a remote release or wireless trigger you can use the cameras self-timer when you shoot
on a tri-pod. Most cameras can be set to 2, 5 or 10 seconds.
Placing a person in your shot can sometimes give it scale. A big tree will not be seen as a big tree until you
put someone in to show it is a big tree.
When changing your DSLR lens face the lens opening to the ground/floor. This will prevent dust getting into
the sensor.
Set your white balance to cloudy for sunsets. It will enhance the red & orange colours.
When photographing landscapes get a little lower to get more of the foreground into the shot. Most people
take the eye level view.
The closer the light source to the subject the softer the light will be (like a softbox). The further away the
light source (like the sun) the harsher the light.
Shooting in RAW format gives you greater control of the end image. You can make more adjustments in
the post processing of your photographs.

Your lens sweet spot will usually be the mid-range of the aperture of your lens. I usually find f8 is good &
gives good sharpness to the image.
Try to fill the frame when you photograph to not leave any dead space. This will also help you think about
what you are placing in the shot.
Try not to fill up your memory cards as it could corrupt the whole card. Leave 1 spare shot if you can.
Format your memory cards in your camera to have a fresh card to shoot. That is after you have copied &
backed up.
A large aperture, like f2.8, will give you a small depth of field. Or a shallow focal plane.
Your camera's battery life will last longer if you don't completely flatten all the time. Keep topping up the
level when not in use.
As photography is an art form the rules are meant to be broken. But first you must know which rules you
are breaking.
Use lead in lines in your photographs. Help to draw the viewers eye into the shot or a specific point in the
On rainy days look for puddles & reflections. Makes for a good subject & with water droplets too.

A small aperture, like f22, will give you a greater depth of field. The focal plane will be from front to back,
When walking with your DSLR on your shoulder keep the lens turned into your body. It will help with hitting
the lens end on objects.
When taking portrait shots of people take 2 or 3 shots as your subject might relax a little when they hear the
first click. Might get a more natural look.
If you need to hand hold in a low light situation to keep extra steady only snap when you have breathed out.
Also push your elbows into your body for extra support.
When shooting JPEGS don't forget to set the white balance for the scene. If you photograph RAW you can
always change in post production, still good to get right.
Keep your lens hoods on as it will help prevent stray light getting down the barrel. Will help with the little
flares you sometimes get.
Have a routine when you start a shoot. Check ISO, RAW or JPEG, Mode (A,S,P or M), White Balance,
image size, battery level, metering, single or multi shots.
The image you see on your camera's LCD is a processed JPEG photo even when you are shooting RAW.
When you have downloaded the photograph might look slightly different.
Don't forget to look up above you. The best shot might just happen to be there.
When photographing the moon you still need a fast shutter speed like 1/125 sec as it is a bright object. A
slow shutter speed will result in it just being a bright circle.
When you crop your images in post production you will lose mega-pixels & file size. Shoot with the max
resolution your camera can so you have some scope.
When your camera processes JPEG images it will automatically 'throw away' detail that cannot be
recovered. Hence why when you mega-pixel count is lower than the resolution of the sensor.
A quick way to extend your lens focal length is with a tele-convertor. Standard convertors are x1.4, x1.7 &
x2.0 but be aware that you will lose stops of light.
Shooting into the sun can give you a nice silhouette. Just have a fast shutter speed to 'blacken out' an
object against the sky.
If you are shooting at sunrise at the beach with your tri-pod beware of the waves. They will cause your tripod to sink into the sand.
If you are unsure of the direction of a light source, like the sun, hold out your hand directly in front of you.
Vertical & see where the light is coming from.
Cold weather will flatten your batteries faster. Keep them in pocket when not in use to help retain their
When shooting a panorama sequence put your white balance on one setting so the colour doesn't shift.
Also the same aperture to keep the depth of field the same.

Another panorama tip is to overlap your shots by about 1/3 so that you can stitch together your images with
some give. Will help your editing software too.
More panorama tips. Lock the focus on one point & turn off the auto-focus so that you keep the same depth
of field. It wont try to re-focus.
True macro is 1:1. Some lenses have a macro scale of 1:2 which is close but not considered a true macro
HDR is High Dynamic Range photography where a series of shots at different exposures are merged to
make one image. It creates an image that is more like what the human eye can see.
Dont forget to look behind you too. You might have missed a good shot!
If you are getting dust spots on your image shoot at a larger aperture like f2.8 f4 or f5.6 until you get to
clean it. It wont show up the spots as much.
When taking photos thru glass get the front of your lens as close as possible to the glass line. It will help cut
out reflections.
If using a flash with a window be sure to angle the camera slightly to reduce the flash back into the camera
lens. Angle of incident & angle of refraction.
Dont forget to check the corners in your shot. There could be something distracting there.
Use the rule of odds when photographing too. Have an odd number of objects in shot as it will balance out
the picture.
If you are trying to direct people in your shot don't say move left & right. Use your hands to point to where
you want someone to move or stand.

Nickelmetal hydride battery NiMH batteries lose about 10% of their charge a week when not in use. Don't
forget to charge before you head out!
Do a 'border patrol' of your images in post production & remove those distracting items. Crop out the dead
space too.
Your eye will always be drawn towards the brightest object in a photograph. It is a natural way the human
eye works.
When you look at someones face you will naturally look at the left side of their face. It is therefore important
to make sure you have that sides eye in focus.
We naturally read from left to right in the western world so if you are trying to find something in a photo look
from right to left. You will actually slow down as you are not used to looking that way.
If you find something interesting to photograph & cant decide if it is portait or landscape shoot both. The
advantage of digital is we can take as many as we want.
If you have a dust spot on your sensor & cant find it when you go to clean just remember that you will need
to look on the opposite side of what the screen is showing. The image is up side down on the sensor.

When photographing kids or animals try to get down to their eye level. Dont look down on them.
Depth of field extends one third in front & two thirds behind the place of focus. This the hyperfocal distance
In general in photography lights advance & dark's retreat. Bright areas in your photo will be noticeable first.
Placing something dark behind your subject will bring it forward. Will make it stand out better.
Early mornings are the best & usually calmest time of the day to photograph lakes & rivers before the wind
whips up. Good time for reflections.
Don't forget to wash your tri-pod off after shooting at the beach or in salt water. Prevents the metal part
RAW files give you greater latitude with your exposure range in post production. Another reason to shoot
When shooting video always video in landscape format as we view it on TV or computer screens which are
If you are unsure of if an image might look good in B&W take a quick snap with your smart phone & use an
application to convert. See if it looks OK.
Keep your horizon lines straight when you have any body of water in it. Looks funny when water flows