This month is my 2nd year of shooting on manual mode. I just wanted to share some lessons I’ve learned in my 2nd year of shooting on manual mode.
1. Take a step back. Literally, I tend to get too close to my subjects which leaves them little room to breath in photos as well as increases my chances of limb chopping.
2. Post-processing takes my photos to the next level. One of my big goals this year was to learn an editing program. I thought my SOOC shots were good until I edited them. Wow! What a difference!
3. A great black and white conversion takes time to learn. Another goal of mine. It isn’t just a click of a button to convert a photo to black and white. I am thankful I have created a preset that works on most of my photos.
4. Skin tones are harder to nail than I thought. I never realized how much of a science goes into getting your skin tones correct. I realize I have a long way to go on skin tones.
6. Light can make or break your photo. Have you ever noticed that a lot of the photos you are drawn towards have amazing light?
7. This is a way more serious hobby than I could have ever imagined. If you know my personality, I typically do a hobby for about 6 months before moving onto the next one. I have never stuck with something for 2 years straight!
8. I still don’t have a desire to go into business. Although, I don’t want to go into business shooting others, I do LOVE teaching others about photography.
10. Examine what is in the frame prior to taking a photo. It is important to make sure that everything in the photo is relevant and is part of your vision. Clear out the clutter whenever possible.
11. Critiquing other’s photos helps me learn how to train my eye. It is amazing what you can learn when you really sit down and figure out what you like and don’t like about a photo. You can’t help but internalize that information and apply it to your own photos.
12. Carrying my camera everywhere I go is more important than making sure I have diapers. Sometimes you have to make a choice about what can fit in your bag.
13. Try to shoot at least 3 different angles. It’s easy to shoot straight on but if you try to vary it up you may be surprised with what you are able to capture.
14. I LOVE my wide angle!! When I bought my D700, I toyed with the idea of selling my wide angle. A friend of mine mentioned that I may want to hold onto it and she was RIGHT! I couldn’t live without it now.
15. It’s better to crank up your ISO and have a little noise than to keep it low and have an underexposed photo. If you think you are going to fix it in post processing later you will realize you have even more grain in a photo that is underexposed.
16. Getting the image right in camera saves a ton of time later.
17. Buying presets isn’t cheating. I have realized it’s okay to use other’s presets once I knew how to break them apart and tweak them to work with my photos. Work smarter not harder, right?
18. Making my own presets is another huge time saver. I love to use my own more than the ones I bought because they fit my photos just perfectly.
19. Setting up an organized system for my photos has saved me. I often need to pull from past photos and knowing exactly where they keeps me from losing my mind. I wish I had had a great system in place last year!
20. There are so many more composition guides than just the rule of thirds. I am still learning to master the golden spiral and golden triangle, but I’m glad to have another way to set up my shots.
21. I will NEVER be able to learn everything about photography.
What are some lessons you’ve learned???