Photography tips

  • Composition. The best photographs have a unique angle. Climb on top or kneel down to get that perfect shot; capture a different perspective. Walk around the subject that you want to shoot. Art is everywhere; it’s just a matter of scoping it out. It’s all about the angle. On my most recent trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia, I woke up at 4:00 a.m. to capture the polished stone streets right after they were washed. I stretched out on the ground and set up my tripod. It’s as if the stones were coming into my lens.
  • Synergy. Everyone always asks, "What do you shoot?", and "Where do you get your ideas for a collection?" Inspiration is everywhere. A piece may be beautiful as a "stand-alone", however, if you create a theme, and run with it, the results are astounding. On my most recent trip to Italy, the doorknockers in Tuscany intrigued me. Each one is a piece of art, with a beautifully aged wooden door as a backdrop. Each knocker was stunning, but when I saw the entire collection together, the results of my efforts were magnified. I also photographed collections of clocks and doors from around the world. Get creative and start thinking of themes to capture. The sky’s the limit!
  • Keep snapping. Now with digital photography, you can keep taking as many pictures as you want without incurring the cost of film. It’s just a matter of editing and deleting the ones you don’t want. Also, always shoot on the maximum resolution, meaning the largest file format. At a later date, you can always crop out certain areas of the picture, and still have enough resolution to enlarge the portion of the picture that you like. A maximum file size will allow you to print your pictures to almost any size. I also recommend stocking up on extra memory cards, film, and batteries. I will never forget my frantic search for batteries in Venice back in 1998.
  • Digital Restoration. If you can keep the image real without manipulating it to look beyond fake, go for it! Clean up your images and make them more visually appealing. Take out that obtrusive power line, and allow the beauty of what it is you’ve captured to rise above. Also, have your favorite film images converted to digital files, that way you can keep the film in your archives, and a digital back up off site. By the way, film is still great. I love to capture Europe with black and white film. Take two cameras; one digital SLR and one film.
  • Back it up. External drives are very inexpensive. Always keep images backed up. I suggest keeping them on your computer, in a smaller file size, for easy viewing. Larger or maximum file sizes will start taking up valuable storage space. Also, viewing & retrieving them are much faster with a smaller size file. All images (maximum/originals) should be backed up to hard drives; one in your residence, and a duplicate drive at a close friend or family member’s house. It will only take a few minutes; be proactive to the situation. The last thing you would want is to lose those precious holiday photos, or vacation photos with your fabulous friends from your summer holidays in the sun-drenched Greek Isles.
  • Put the camera down! Don’t forget to stop and enjoy your surroundings!
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