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1 Not the camera takes the photo
Tips for photography beginners: A good camera doesn’t make a good photographer. A great motif doesn’t suddenly scream “Here I am!” just because you suddenly walk past it with a 5000 Euro camera.
What is important is not the quality of the camera, but an eye for good motifs and a basic understanding of the functions of your camera.
Of course, in some situations it is easier to have a “good” camera with you. We.B had to take pictures with a Nikon D40 incl. kit lens in low light with very high ISO, so as not to shake the image without a tripod. Nevertheless, the camera was used long and gladly.
But there is always a moment when your own demands simply become too high for an entry-level model. Before we started our first six-month trip to Southeast Asia, we switched to the Sony Alpha 6000 system camera.
Of course, you can already notice a difference in quality. Sure, a good professional camera makes it easier for you to take good photos. But a bad image, even with the Sony Alpha just a bad picture.
So, don’t let the quality of your camera affect your creativity and skill.
2 your own style
If we walk towards a moss-covered, rusted door handle with a camera in the attack, one might think we have lost our minds.
Old, broken and rotten things – that’s our thing. Trish always calls it “The Beauty of Decay”, which sounds a little nicer. We think it is important to find your own style and find out for yourself what you like to photograph.
And you only find out if you go to the door and at best have your camera with you.
If you like to photograph dog heaps, then that’s ok and then people like to look wrong.
Is also certainly a funny picture when you see someone running towards a heap of dogs with joy. But hey, why not.
3 motifs are everywhere
You don’t have to drive far away to take great photos – even if it’s even more fun far away.
Motives are just everywhere. If you look at the monitor now, you have a lot of motifs right in front of your nose. They are only so commonplace that you don’t recognize them as motives.
Just imagine the following: take 30 minutes and only take pictures in your own four walls. The next step is to take your road. You will certainly pass by totally ingenious motifs every day.
You don’t care enough about the environment that’s closest to you. We have certainly walked past this graffiti wall hundreds of times before we perceived it as a great motif.
4 Without fixed focal length, we go nowhere
We like to take pictures with a fixed focal length. Also on our travels we always have a fixed focal length in our luggage. We are currently shooting with a 35mm fixed focal length of Tamron.
Photographing with a fixed focal length is really a great experience. So you are much closer to your motives, because you also have to move towards the motif.
No zoom, no comfortable standing across the street while I photograph my subject across the street. Try it out!
If you don’t already have a fixed focal length lens, write it at the top of your wish list. Especially for portraits super awesome!
Here you can find more information and reviews about our fixed focal length lens. But if you don’t want to buy one, force yourself not to use your zoom.
5 light is your friend, not your enemy
As a rule, you should make sure that you have the light source in your back and that your subject is well lit.
Light and shadow are great tools to take super interesting photos. We like to take backlight shots .B. super.
Just break the rules, take pictures against the sun or use the light to create shadows. The picture at the main station would be only half as interesting without shadows.
6 One motive, many possibilities
The picture here was taken in New York . Why didn’t Trish photograph the view of New York? The answer is simple:
It just didn’t get through to the front of the railing, because we were in the queue for the ferry rather behind. So, we had to look for another motive.
Be creative and don’t always pay attention to the obvious. And always have someone with you who you can put on your own sunglasses in case of an emergency.
7 image editing
So no photo here. We don’t like image editing. And even less so if you look at the pictures at first glance that they are edited.
Now we would be lying if we claimed that we were not editing our images. We take pictures in RAW format, so they need an edit afterwards and have to be “developed” so to speak.
We organize and edit our photos in Lightroom and develop each photo to match reality.
However, those who are familiar with Lightroom or image editing will immediately recognize when an image is over-edited. In case of doubt, anyone who is not familiar with image editing recognizes this. Because not infrequently, the pictures are really misidentified to the point of being unrecognizable.
As you notice, we get really bad mood on the subject. Above all, it makes you sad to see photos being smeared.
Where we get in a bad mood is when we hear someone say “Oh don’t do anything, I’ll just work on that later” or something like “I’ll just get out later!”.
Of course, this is all a matter of taste and we don’t want to ban anyone from editing photos. Proper image editing is important, but too much is dangerous!
8 Travel & Photography are best friends
We would argue that travel and photography are our greatest passions. What luck we have that the two can be brilliantly connected. That’s why we take our cameras with us everywhere. And that’s exactly what we’re advising you to do.
With a system camera you have the advantage that it is relatively small and light. So we don’t mind simply putting them in the shoulder bag – naturally protected in a camera wrapping cloth (by the way, the best invention ever!).
Not taking your camera with you is like using an umbrella. If you’re not sure if it’s raining and you don’t take an umbrella with you, it’s definitely raining!
If you don’t take your camera with you because you think you won’t find a great subject anyway, you’re guaranteed to get annoyed afterwards. So, camera always pack. You never know if you won’t suddenly have the motive of your life in front of your nose. Sure is safe.
9’s better rushing than it’s wobbling
To the matter of light sensitivity. Yes, that’s one thing. With the Nikon D40 we have often reached our limits, such as .B during our visit to the Teufelsberg.
The weather was rather modest and therefore rather dark. Without a tripod, you have no choice but to increase ISO sensitivity.
We don’t think that’s bad in most situations. The noise in the image often makes the image more interesting than if it were “clear”.
We photograph all the pictures we take with a high ISO in black and white. We think it is less suited to colour photographs.
In black and white images, the photo is often the ultimate touch. But that’s probably all a matter of taste.
But we find rushing black-and-white photography sounds intoxicating by name alone.
10 Nothing works without fun
The last point is actually the most important. Have fun! The way is the goal. It is not always the case that tip top pictures have to be created during a photo tour.
Just don’t get annoyed that you don’t like your photos. Then the fun is lost. With every photo you take, you get a bit better. So, stick to it and have a lot of fun.