How To Take Great Autumnal Photos

Autumn is always a great time of year for photographers. This beautiful change in nature attracts new wildlife and displays colourful countryside landscapes.

If you are looking to be inspired this autumn, here are some simple ideas which may help!

1. Find a suitable location

Location can makes a big difference in photography. If you want to capture great scenic photos, you need to find places that express autumnal vibes.

You should always know what you are going to shoot. Are you looking for landscapes? Do you have a subject? Or maybe you are interested in something closer amongst the leaves.

Here are 10 things that express autumn

If you are struggling for ideas, here are some quick suggestions that may help with your autumn photography.

  • Trees & leaves
  • Birds
  • Sunrises
  • Conkers & acorns
  • Water drops
  • Squirrels
  • Frost & morning dew
  • Rain
  • Fog & mist
  • Walk trails

When you are exploring walk trails or forests its always a good opportunity to stop and look around. Combining these elements will guarantee lots of beautiful autumnal photos.

2. Daylight

Since the days are shorter and much colder, daylight can be an issue with any photographer. However, if get up for the sunrises, you'll see the sunlight glistening through the golden leaves.

However don't dismiss the overcast days, as you may capture so fantastic scenery. Mist and dark skies can create dramatic landscape scenery.

3. Look to the ground

One of the obvious changes in autumn are leaves falling to the ground. If you're always looking up or forward its easier to forget what's actually beneath you.

Its a great opportunity to capture colour patterns or creatures moving between the trees and leaves.

4. Don't ignore overcast days

Overcast days aren't a sign to stay indoors, but a chance to capture the gloom of autumn. Rolling mist and dark skies can create dramatic landscape shots, and overall a spooky atmosphere.

The early days of autumn display lots of a mist from the cold nights and warm mornings. So get up and take a chance outdoors!

5. Creatures and Wildlife

Autumn can be a hard working time for animals such as squirrels, owls, foxes and hedgehogs. But you must remember to be very patient and still if you know they are around, as they can be easily startled.

Find out about forest hideouts in your area, it will could be a great photoshoot spot for a couple of hours.

Try to use an aperture of f2.8 or f4 with a long lens to get the best results. Shoot in good daylight to give yourself a good shutter speed, and this will help you with the animals nimble movements.


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99 Things I've Learned About Photography

I discovered photography over 5 years ago, and since I picked up a camera i've never stopped. These 99 things i've learned about photography have helped me improve a lot. I know a lot more about editing, composition, settings, but I know theres still so much more to learn!

  1. Never do photography to become famous
  2. Enjoy shooting in any situation
  3. Prepare yourself for every photoshoot, pick lenses you want and remember to charge up your camera battery!
  4. Always take an extra layer of clothing to keep warm or dry
  5. Find a goal you want to achieve
  6. Write tips about photography, so you can refer back to them
  7. Never go shooting without a tripod
  8. Be pleased with little photo success
  9. Build relationships with other photographers. Get connecting!
  10. Watch the place you want to shoot first, enjoy the scenery and the shoot with your camera
  11. Always stay relaxed
  12. Be still when photographing wildlife
  13. Perspective shots are amazing to view
  14. Dedicate more time into photography if its your true passion
  15. Join a photography community
  16. Keep your camera and lenses clean
  17. Never compare yourself to other photographers
  18. Find your own unique niche or style
  19. Compose your shoots, don't keep hitting the shutter button
  20. Accept criticism, learn how to improve
  21. Do something new and creative
  22. Get inspiration from other photographers
  23. Critique your own photos honestly but respectively
  24. Get feedback from partner or family
  25. Don't copy other photographers styles
  26. Be ambitious
  27. Use the golden ratio
  28. Use the rule of thirds as basic guidelines
  29. Take portraits of yourself
  30. Read online about photography
  31. Add an object into landscapes to give it a point of interest
  32. Pay attention to s-curves and lines
  33. Every shooting situation is different than expected
  34. Always shoot in RAW!
  35. Keep your sensor clean
  36. Discover objects you think are beautiful
  37. Practice makes perfect to become a good photographer
  38. The best equipment is what you use
  39. You can't photograph everything
  40. Break the rules, but not your camera!
  41. Pay attention to how light reflects or falls
  42. Eyes move to contrast
  43. Clouds create atmosphere of landscapes
  44. Start a photography blog
  45. Accept praise and say 'thank you'
  46. "Nice photo" is not a useful feedback
  47. "Brilliant" isn't helpful either, write strong feedback
  48. Ask a question at the end of your social posts to encourage conversation
  49. Always find a solid focal point in your photo!
  50. Do a review of your previous photos and compare them to your latest
  51. Use quality over quantity
  52. Everyone starts with a small amount of equipment
  53. Your opinions on photography are important
  54. Leave a funny but thoughtful comment on photographers posts
  55. Try out some photo contests
  56. Optimise your image for great results
  57. Shoot some behind the scenes footage
  58. Shoot different exposures as much as possible
  59. HDR always gives a range of great colours
  60. Always remember why you love photography from the start
  61. Mistakes are allowed, don't for get that!
  62. Think outside the box, try the ideas you think could work
  63. Understand histograms and why they are important
  64. Know your camera and all your settings
  65. Have a go a certain style such as Macro Photography
  66. Don't be afraid to get dirty outside, take awesome photos!
  67. Look at the fine detail of your photos
  68. Believe in your potential as a photographer
  69. Be thankful for all the comments and feedback you get
  70. Never trust what the LCD sees, normally it is a lot brighter
  71. Provide enough computer space for your photos
  72. Find beautiful moments in photography that no one else would see
  73. Always arrive at least 1 hour before sunrise or sunset to give yourself enough time
  74. Share your posts on multiple social media platforms
  75. Ask your friends to help share your photos to new people
  76. Visit places as often as possible, scenery changes all the time
  77. Print your images to a big size and see how amazing they are
  78. Take some extra shots, even when you think you have enough
  79. Pay attention to how the sky changes the structure of the foreground
  80. Connect to your monitor and view live mode of your photos
  81. Don't worry about how people judge your images, no one is perfect
  82. If you love your photo its worth publishing
  83. Learn from your mistakes, you're only human
  84. Don't become lazy, learn how to be disciplined with yourself
  85. Do your images expression emotion, colour, focus?
  86. Search for your mentor, or guru! Who is your go to for advice?
  87. Photography is about capture memories as well as good photos
  88. Don't ever think you wasted time, bad days are ones to learn from.
  89. Don't join a community where its not true feedback
  90. People will always find a negative, use it as motivation to succeed
  91. A famous quote to live by: "Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst".
  92. A more expensive camera doesn't guarantee better image quality
  93. Always keep in mind how your images would look on print
  94. You will only grow with the quality of your images, there is not other way.
  95. Find objects that you can use on your lens
  96. Photograph images that you can use in a portfolio for future clients
  97. Always check your settings, it can ruin the whole photoshoot
  98. Find friends that you can do photography with on a regular basis
  99. Start from number 1 of the list and remember them all 😉

I hope these 99 things i've learned about photography, will also help you in the future! Follow my instagram to gain inspiration and find more tips and tricks.

Follow my Instagram! 

 

 


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9 Useful Landscape Photography Tips

I've recently found myself more involved in landscape photography and it's definitely helped me learn some valuable tips.

There's been a lot of mistakes along the way, but thats all part of the experience. I hope these 10 useful landscape photography tips will guide you to great photo success.

1. Focus On Depth Of Field

Your main priority when shooting landscape photography should be making sure that all of the scenery is in focus. To do this you will need to choose a small aperture setting (large number).

So simply, the smaller the aperture the greater the depth of field in your photo.

TIP: A smaller aperture also means less light, so try increasing your ISO or extending your shutter speed.

landscape-photography-tips

2. Take A Tripod

Always take a tripod with you when photographing landscapes. The conditions could be windy or too unstable for you to take hand held shots.

It's also vital if you're trying to achieve high resolution long exposure photography. You'll want to keep your camera as stable as possible if you want to keep the photo quality high!

3. Find A Focal Point

A great guide to follow is using the 'rule of thirds', as this allows you to break up your photo and understand the focal points. Many photographers take too many photos without thinking about the actual elements.

Always ask yourself what is the most interesting part of the photo? Then work out how you draw the focus to that particular point. An example of this could be a path that leads you to that area or horizon that brings the image central.

wide-landscape-photography

4. How Good Is The Sky?

The sky can sometimes make or break a quality photo. If you have too much light it can leave over exposed areas, but if you have too little it can make areas very dark.

TIP: Golden hour (As the sun starts to go down) is the best time to shoot. It creates clean soft lighting and beautiful atmosphere to any landscape.

5. Follow Those Lines

Leadings lines are favourite in the photography industry, they draw you straight down the photo. If you find a location with strong or repetitive lines, try experiment with this opportunity.

6. Experiment With Movement

What i've learned to do is watch anything that moves in the landscape e.g water, clouds or grass. Can you take advantage of long exposures and photograph some natural movement?

I've constantly see beautiful long exposures all the time, and instagram is a great place for inspiration.

(Credit William Bout)

long-exposure-landscape

7. Weather Options

You have to be realistic when taking landscape photos, could there be other risks? Never take too much of a gamble with your equipment in bad weather conditions. The worst feeling is breaking or losing equipment because of some wind or rain.

Take your time, plan out the best days to shoot and focus on whats right for you!

8. Change Where You Stand

I've said this many times before, but don't follow the crowd, move about more. If you focus yourself in one spot you always miss other opportunities for great captures.

Experiment with height too by finding yourself a good view point or shooting low amongst the land.

9. Build A List Of Locations

Learn more about your local surroundings and research online. You will be amazed what you find online whether it's inspiration or just from someone else's experience.

Pick a location and go explore, its the best thing you can do!


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5 Ways To Instantly Improve Your Photography

When trying to instantly improve your photography, you will constantly find yourself feeling frustrated most days. But actually thinking of a new concept can be quite simple with a few adjustments.

This article will hopefully give you 5 great ways to instantly improve your photography game. Lets start with something simple.

angles-improving-your-photography

(photo: David Bartus)

Angles

Taking photos isn't just about seeing the subject from the front, left or right side, its about how you can create photo presence. When taking pictures of people try positioning yourself lower down for a powerful and taller perspective. But when shooting objects, they generally look better from a waist level or same perspective as the object.

Even try playing around with blank space to create more focus on your subject. Just take 10 seconds to think to yourself, how can I improve this further.

Shoot Through Something

Go round your house and find something to shoot through. This could be a cheese grater or a used pringles tube, just try something and be super inventive! If you think outside the box and you'll be surprised at how your photos turn out.

shooting-though-objects-oliver-howells

(photo: anthony derosa)

Try The Opposite

Everyone can easily follow the crowd by copying another photographer. So show off your skills by doing the opposite to what everyone else is doing.  Stay in the same location but move elsewhere, e.g move left, go right, or get up higher. Consumers are always excited by anything different, so go build your profile as an individual (stay away from the crowd).

It's All About Good Lighting

If no one can see your image, was it worth the hassle? Even night photographers use good lighting to make their photo stand out and highlight detail. Start of with a spotlight lamp (From Amazon or Ebay) or just move to a window for bright natural lighting.

White lightning makes all the difference, so don't be afraid to light up your shoot from all angles.

Look At Your Surroundings

When setting up a photoshoot you want to focus on two areas;

  1. What's going on in the foreground? 
  2. What can I see in the background?

How you can fix your surroundings

In fairness this might be something you could edit in photoshop, however don't let it affect the whole look & feel of the image.

So before you even click the button, just take a step back and look at your surroundings. Maybe somethings casting a shadow in the corner, or you see theres not enough interest around your object. Try adding a few household items to make it look natural and authentic.

 


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Top Tips for Macro Photography

What is Macro Photography?

By Google Definition Macro photography is producing photographs of small items larger than life size.

Macro photographers specialise in photographing objects, wildlife and materials that have unique or fine details you wouldn’t be able to see with the naked eye.

How do I achieve high quality macro shots?

If you’re looking to learn macro photography or even improve what you already know, there’s a few things you must remember to do.

  1. Take a tripod with you. It’s much easier to take photos of your object with a tripod. Your images can easily blur when you are zoomed in.
  2. Light up your area. Make sure that your overall space is full of light. Being so close to an object can create a lot of shadow and dark areas.
  3. Use a fast lens. If you planning on taking photos of tiny creatures, you’ll want to take a fast shot. Use a lens that is ideally a prime lens with f1.8 or f1.4.

water-droplets-top-tips-macro-photography

How do I set up macro shots?

Now you’ve got all your equipment with you, heres what you need to do.

  1. Put your camera on manual focus. Setting your camera to manual will make it easier for you to see the detail on your screen.
  2. Add your chosen lens. Choose which macro lens to use, my personal favourite is the 30mm macro lens for my Lumix G7.
  3. Open up the aperture. Make sure you aperture is on f1.8 or f1.4.
  4. Keep snapping away. Don’t stop for 1 second, your object might be a small bug and its not going to stick around forever.

Macro Photography

Finding Your Photography Style

How can I find my photography niche?

Finding our style in photography is one of the hardest things to do and sometimes we feel like we will never find a niche. However from my experiences I do know some ways which will point you in the right direction, so that hopefully one day you will go on to inspire others with your work.

1. Stop Trying To Be Someone Else

It’s very easy to get sucked into this world of “I like your photos, so i’m going to create that same shot”. If you keep following this path you will only end up chasing someone else’s success rather than creating your own. Being inspired by a persons work can easily become you trying to copy their portfolio, so you have to remember if you want to be at the same level as them, you need to try a different route or expand even more on their ideas.

2. Shoot Every Day

If you really think photography will be your career, passion, lifestyle; then shoot every single day. Someone who is passionate about photography will go out and take photos of anything from all different angles and perspectives. You wont always have the perfect shoot every day and you may hate a weeks worth of photos, but what you are doing is expanding your imagination in this photographic world. You’re allowing yourself to grow over time and learn from the mistakes you’ve made.

3. Learn more about your camera first

Your camera is the main tool you use, so even if you have a boring location it’s how you turn that situation into something unique. The best thing to do is put it in manual and go back to basics. Learn about a cameras ISO, shutter speed and aperture and then start changing the focus and lightning. Keep learning about your cameras functionality and then people will end up asking you “how did you take that shot?”.


photo editing tips

My Photo Editing Software

What software do I use?

There are so many options to choose from when it comes to picking photo editing software and to be honest it really all depends on what works best for you. There are no right or wrong answers, but I want to show you which applications fit into my to top 3, so hopefully this will help you a little more when you edit your photos too.

Paid Photo Software

If you don’t mind looking at the priced options, then this list will definitely allow you to explore a much wider variety of photo editing applications.

Adobe Photoshop

At the very top spectrum of editing software is Adobe’s Photoshop and it has everything you need to make your images look perfect. There are many tutorials online that can help edit your photos professionally for your portfolio. Whether its complexity or simplicity, this is the best software all round.

One of the major downsides to photoshop is the cost. You will be looking at a price of £19 a month. So if you haven’t got that kind of budget their are other alternatives that may even be better suited for you.

Affinity Photo

Next in line is Affinity Photo. The company Serif have made this one of the most successful applications in the past fews years, winning multiple awards and recently going on to make their applications available for tablets too.

The reasons behind it’s success is because of its user friendly experience. The tools given to you are extremely advanced and whether you’re looking to remove objects or blend new items into your photo, it will always look extremely crisp and clean throughout.

The price of this product is £48.99 (one off cost).  Although this might seem expensive to some people, I would say that this money will always be well spent. I’ve used affinity for many years and I have never been disappointed with any of their applications.

Lightroom CC & Lightroom Classic

Adobe have also created another adobe application for photographers called Lightroom. Over the years this has become one of the most popular choices for photographers. Why? Because its simple, fast and easy to use.

If you more interested in the colour grading, lighting and clarity of photos, this might be the application for you. Photoshop and Affinity are designed for extreme editing, meaning you can be endlessly creative. Where as Lightroom is designed to bring out the natural beauty of your photography with sliders and adjustments.

The price of this application is £9.99 a month. I would recommend looking on Adobe’s website for additional offers or promotions, you might want to combine both Photoshop and Lightroom.