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5 Insanely Simple Tips for Instantly Becoming a Better Photographer

5 Insanely Simple Tips for Instantly Becoming a Better Photographer

Photography is an art form that takes decades to perfect. While you can’t expect to transition from amateur to seasoned professional within a few weeks, you can hack your way to the top by heeding the advice of others and perfecting some of the following five tips and techniques.

1. Shoot at Golden Hour

As you know, there are certain times of day when natural light is more conducive to high quality photography. While people will argue over which time is best, most would agree that the hour before sunset and the hour after sunrise are the best. This is often referred to as the “Golden Hour.”

“Just before sunset the sun is very low in the sky. This produces more directional light because of the low angle,” says photographer Lauren Lim. “Basically, it adds more dimension to the scene! Shadows are longer (and softer) than during the day, and things just look more interesting and dynamic.”

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Whenever possible, shoot during the Golden Hour and play around with front lighting, backlighting, and different angles. Each setup will produce very unique results.

2. Use Shadows to Your Advantage

Whether you’re shooting during Golden Hour or in the middle of the day, shadows can always be used to your advantage. Make sure you’re paying attention to your environment to ensure you’re making the most of these details.

“Shadow plays an important role in creating drama in your portraits,” says Waseem Abbas of Envira Gallery. “Whether you shoot in sunlight or artificial light, you can use shadows to maximize the volume in results of your photography.”

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Before shooting, look around and take note of where the light source is located and how it’s hitting various objects in the room. Based on this information, move around and take some shots at different angles. Review the results and proceed to work with the best ones.

3. Obey the Rule of Thirds

Are you familiar with the Rule of Thirds? This rule is one of the fundamental principles of proper photographic composition and requires the photographer to look through the lens and divide the scene into three rows and three columns.

When taking a picture, the photographer is supposed to frame the subject of the photo along one of the intersection points. This satisfies the theory that the human eye naturally gravitates towards these spots (rather than the very center of the image).

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4. Shoot With a Roll of Film

While digital cameras are great, they can also be a crutch. In extreme cases, amateur photographers can greatly stunt their growth by learning on a digital camera. The solution? Try shooting with a roll of film every now and then.

When shooting with a roll of film, you typically only get 24 or 36 exposures. This forces you to slow down and think about every shot you take. As a result you’re more conscious of what you’re photographing, how you’re composing the shot, and the purpose of the shot. Over time this will teach you to be a better photographer.

5. Buy Used Equipment

Photography is certainly a creative pursuit that requires talent and experience, but there’s also something to be said for having the right equipment. Sometimes upgrading from outdated equipment to newer alternatives can be enough to transform your results.

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The issue is that any new equipment is going to be expensive, so here’s a tip: buy used! You can find photography equipment, supplies, and accessories online, in consignment shops, and even at garage sales. Keep an eye out and snag these affordable buys.

Become a Pro Today

Not everyone can become a talented professional photographer but you won’t know until you try! Work on improving your skill set day by day and you’ll quickly enjoy the benefits of your progress.

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Anna Johansson

Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.

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Last Updated on January 11, 2021

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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2. Stress Relief

Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

3. Improved Sleep

Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

4. Appetite Control

Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

7. Mosquito Repellant

Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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8. Pain Relief

While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

9. The New Anti-Viral

Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

10. Improved Cognitive Function

Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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11. Money Saving

With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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