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11 Gear-Free Photography Hacks

11 Gear-Free Photography Hacks

It doesn’t matter if you’re taking photos for a hobby or to jump start a career, we could all use a little help. Everyone has to start somewhere and most of the time, where we start is with a simple camera. If you don’t have gear, don’t worry. You can still create some great images with the personal camera you have at home. Here are some simple tricks that can help you forever freeze a moment in time.

1. Rule of thirds

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    This is probably going to be in the first lesson of your first photography class in the world and your easiest. The first step is to break your image down into three parts vertically and horizontally. With a well balanced shot, the points of interest should line up directly with the intersections of the grid. This method can be used with a variety of different scenes.

    2. Your background needs to be simple

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      The purpose of a simple background is to keep your viewer’s eye on the subject of your photo. If there isn’t a simple background available, there is another way. It is a little more technical, but you can accomplish it. You will need to understand aperture. Aperture is a hole or opening in the lens. It is measured by or in “f-stops” and if you can get the right measurement, it will affect your cameras focus. With the right measurement, the location will not matter because you can blur the background to keep it simple.

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      3. Natural Light

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        Light is an important factor when it comes to outdoor photography. It can create shadows, glares and excellent shots. It can also bring out the features like someone’s eyes, skin, and hair. For example, you can take a photo in the middle of the day of a landscape and the same photo at sunrise, and both will look different. Be aware of the light around you, it’s okay to be a “light snob”.

        4. Leading Lines

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          This method will basically walk your viewers though the different parts of the photo to main focus. You can start off by using a road or a paved trail. It will be fairly easy to take these shots since our world is filled with lines, roads, and trails.

          5. Natural Frames

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            Finding natural frames for your photos is a very easy process. This is basically, finding a tree, doorway, window, or cave to frame our main focus point.

            6. Take an eye level shot

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              Getting on eye level with the subject of your photo can create an excellent shot. It is a good way to make sure your shadow isn’t in the way.

              7. Timing

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                You can try to take some photos on sports mode. This gives you several shots of the same photo so that way you can chose the best one. I have personally used this in candid shots and captured a perfect moment of laughter between a couple. Most people however, use this setting when capturing animals in motion or as athletes take their winning shot.

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                8. Center the dominant eye

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                  This trick is to simply place the dominant eye in the center of the photograph, and snap a photo.

                  9. Symmetry

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                    Though this is a self-explanatory hack, it is an important one. Different subjects can cause different feelings for your viewers when you use symmetry. With architecture, it gives off a sense of structure and with landscape it creates a sense of calm.

                    10. Fill the Frame

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                      This is probably one of the most straightforward techniques to use in photography. Zooming in completely fills the frame and allows viewers to focus on the small details in your photo.

                      11. Diagonal

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                        This has the same goal as using leading lines, except there is a sense of action or movement. This method will still lead your eyes to the subject of your photo.

                        Featured photo credit: Flickr Account Hells7 via flickr.com

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                        Margielyn Musser

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                        Last Updated on September 20, 2018

                        How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                        How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                        Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                        If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                        1. Breathe

                        The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                        • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                        • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                        • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                        Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                        2. Loosen up

                        After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                        Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                        3. Chew slowly

                        Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                        Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                        Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                        4. Let go

                        Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                        The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                        It’s not. Promise.

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                        Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                        Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                        21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                        5. Enjoy the journey

                        Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                        Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                        6. Look at the big picture

                        The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                        Will this matter to me…

                        • Next week?
                        • Next month?
                        • Next year?
                        • In 10 years?

                        Hint: No, it won’t.

                        I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                        Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                        7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                        You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                        Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                        8. Practice patience every day

                        Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                        • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                        • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                        • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                        Final thoughts

                        Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                        Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                        Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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