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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 September 18, 2020

              7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

              7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

              Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

              Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

              1. Exercise Daily

              It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

              If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

              Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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              If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

              2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

              Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

              One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

              This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

              3. Acknowledge Your Limits

              Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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              Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

              Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

              4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

              Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

              The basic nutritional advice includes:

              • Eat unprocessed foods
              • Eat more veggies
              • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
              • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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              Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                5. Watch Out for Travel

                Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                6. Start Slow

                Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                Final Thoughts

                Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                More Tips on Getting in Shape

                Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                Reference

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