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11 Gear-Free Photography Hacks

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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 January 13, 2022

                        10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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                        10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

                        A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

                        To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

                        1. Camping

                        A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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                        2. Staycation

                        You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

                        3. Island Getaway

                        People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

                        4. Fancy Resort

                        Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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                        5. Road Trip

                        The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

                        6. Charter a Boat

                        If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

                        7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

                        If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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                        8. Themed Retreats

                        There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

                        9. Working Honeymoon

                        Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

                        10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

                        Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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                        Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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