Manual DSLR - Creative Lens Techniques

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Landscape photography tips

Make sure your photographs have a clear point of interest. This is usually the thing that caught your eye in the first place and should be the element around which your composition is based. Focus carefully on the subject to ensure it is sharp and aim to place it away from the centre of the frame.

A few steps left or right, going down on one knee or standing on a step can quickly improve a composition. The keys to the right light are its colour, quality and direction. As you settle on a potential subject, note where the light is falling and if it enhances your subject.

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As a rule of thumb, most subjects are enhanced by the warm light created by the low angle of the sun in the one to two hours after sunrise and before sunset, so plan to be at the most important places early or late in the day. Finally, not exactly a travel photo tip but equally as important. Cameras are prime targets for theft. Ideally, you should always have two copies of your images on separate external storage devices and keep them in separate locations.

On most Nikon DSLRs, once you've selected single-point autofocus, you simply use the four-way controller on the back of the camera to highlight a different AF point. The main downside to using the outer focus points on many cameras is that they aren't as sensitive as those in the centre of the frame. You may also find that there isn't a focus point exactly where you want the camera to focus. In both cases you can manually focus the lens, or use a technique known as focus lock, where you highlight the subject with the active AF point and then half-press the shutter release to lock the focus distance before reframing the shot.

Focusing on a static subject is all well and good, but not everything will wait patiently for you while you compose and capture your shot. For this reason, you need to master the art of focusing on moving subjects. Now, once you've locked focus on your subject by half-pressing the shutter-release button, the camera will continue to refocus as the subject moves, until Below Use Continuous autofocus to track moving subjects you fully press the button to capture your shot. When it comes to mastering focus, you also need to know why your shots aren't sharp.

This can be down to focusing, but it may also be due to camera shake or the subject moving.

photography techniques, tips and tricks for taking pictures of anything | Digital Camera World

You'll need to spot the cause, fix the problem, then try again. Selecting the daylight white balance preset gives a good balance of warm foliage and cool blue skies here. You might forget all about setting the right white balance — especially if you shoot in raw , as then you can change it when you process your images later.

However, you'll need to get the right white balance in-camera to be able to assess the exposure and colours of your shots and achieve the best results. Your camera's Automatic White Balance setting generally does a pretty good job of capturing colours correctly in most lighting conditions, but it's not infallible. The main situation in which you'll get better results by using one of the manual preset values is when your subject is dominated by a single colour or tone, such as a blue sky, orange sunset or even a large expanse of green grass.

Whether you're taking a child's portrait or a group portrait, set your camera in its fastest drive setting. You don't need to machine gun the shutter release, but shooting in short bursts will ensure you capture a fleeting range of expressions. It also improves your chances of getting a shot where everyone's eyes are open in a group portrait.

Even if you don't capture everyone's eyes open or their beaming smiles, having a range of shots taken fractions of a second apart means you can easily swap faces in Photoshop.


When you're arranging a group portrait, the first thing you'll probably consider is height, putting taller people at the back and shorter people at the front. However, keep a close eye on clothing too. It's easy to miss clashing colors while you're focusing on everyone's height, and that will be more noticeable in the final picture. But if you're taking an indoor group portrait, you'll need to use a high ISO in order to shoot at that aperture and get sharp handheld photos. Photos may end up full of noise, and even then the shutter speed may not be fast enough for sharp images.

50 Incredible Photography Techniques and Photo Tutorials

A trick here is to arrange everyone in a line along the same focal plane, then the aperture doesn't have to be so narrow. Think about how your arrangement of people in a group family portrait can tell a story about the relationship between the different members. A simple idea is to place the emphasis on the patriarch or matriarch of the family, or the newest arrival.

By grouping the rest of the family around them, you'll be able to create a clear focal point. For larger family group photos, use furniture - whether that's a sofa for indoor shots or a gate for outdoor portraits - to break the group up. Sit the children in front of it and have the adults standing behind it. When you're taking photos by candlelight, you'll need to push the ISO to and beyond and work with large apertures if you're to get a fast enough shutter speed to freeze any motion in your model, the camera or the candle flames. Turn your camera's flash off and use Manual exposure mode.

Switch off any lights, take a meter reading from your portrait-sitter's face and let the rest of the room slip into darkness.

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If you're planning a candlelit portrait shoot, use more than one candle. Not only will it increase the amount of light available to make the exposure, but it will allow you to spread the illumination for softer shadows.

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Portrait photography techniques, tips and tricks Tip 1.

7 Cool DSLR Tricks for Beginners

Focus on the eyes While eye contact is not always desirable in a portrait, sharp eyes certainly are.