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The Most Useful Photography Tips and Tricks that Make You Look Like a Pro

The Most Useful Photography Tips and Tricks that Make You Look Like a Pro

The simple act of taking a good picture seems like it should be pretty easy, but the truth is, there is a lot more to it than just pointing-and-shooting: the art of good photography takes quite a bit of practice. When you’re just starting out, it’s hard to sift through all of the  information on the web about what you should know. What we did here was pack together a bunch of the most popular tips and tricks for newbie photographers.

Photography Tips 2

    Exposure

    Exposure is one of the most important things to take into account when learning photography. The two main points when talking about exposure in photography are shutter speed and aperture: two things that have to do with light.

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    shutter

      Choosing the right shutter speed is super important: if the shutter is open for too long, the image can blur, or the light sources in the image can be streaky-looking (like little comets).

      aperture

        Aperture is the size of the opening that allows the light into the camera (the lens). By making adjustments to the aperture, you change the depth of focus, and can draw the focus of the observer to a particular part of photograph. A couple of good image examples can be found in this article on the basics of aperture.

        Learning the settings of your camera

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        ALL lenses

          Knowing what the heck your camera can actually do is a great place to start, so don’t be afraid to mess around with some of the settings to see what they do firsthand. However, if you are just starting out, you may have no idea what all those industry-specific words are. Having a good plain-language glossary of photography and camera terms can help you understand a bit better.

          Choosing the correct lens for the shot is also super important. When you are limited by the number of lenses you have, you might want to practice taking pictures that are best suited for the lens you currently have. But how do you know what works for the lens you have? Having a calculator to figure out the focal length will help you determine which lens you should use when setting up a particular shot.

          When you are in the market to buy a new lens, you will need to know a little more about what different types of lenses do and how to choose the right one.

          Rule of Thirds

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          rule-of-thirds

            A cool trick for getting the right balance in an image is to use what’s called the Rule of Thirds. Essentially you’ll want to divide the image up into three rows and three columns; basically a tic-tac-toe board. Then, decide where the important parts of the picture are and make adjustments so they are near where the places the lines intersect. What this does is makes the important part stand out, and shows just the right amount of background. If you are taking a more action-oriented image and can’t pause the situation to better position yourself or the target, this principle can also be applied when cropping the image afterward.

            Using negative space

            negative-space

              Using the Rule of Thirds can make it easier to use negative space. In addition, using different exposure techniques to focus on a particular part of an image can help you master using negative space in an image.

              Practice, practice, practice

              While you can know every single technical term and possible setting to get the optimal photograph, the only way to improve is to practice. One good way to get into the swing of things is to join a beginners’ photography group: Flickr is a good place to look for groups of beginner photographers that you can join.

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              Another great way to practice is to use photography challenges: having a weekly topic will give you something to focus on for the week (pun intended.) Many of these challenges will give you a an adjective describing something to capture in an image—the descriptive word might talk about something wet, or moving, or a view from a distance. No matter if the challenge is an old post or one that is currently happening, it’s a good idea to get a list of things to take pictures of. You can then compare your images with those taken by other people.

              Featured photo credit:  Man sitting on Lava rocks taking pictures in Hawaii via Shutterstock

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              Last Updated on December 2, 2019

              10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

              10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

              Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

              In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

              These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

              1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

              Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

              But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

              Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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              2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

              You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

              The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

              3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

              If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

              Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

              If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

              4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

              Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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              To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

              In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

              5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

              We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

              If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

              Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

              “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

              6. Give for the Joy of Giving

              When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

              One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

              So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

              7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

              Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

              Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

              8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

              When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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              So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

              9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

              Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

              It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

              It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

              10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

              There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

              But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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              Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

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              Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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