Introductory: Basic Photography Tips for Beginners

Discussion in 'Tutorials and How Tos' started by StarFire_MK2, Oct 20, 2009.

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  1. StarFire_MK2

    StarFire_MK2 'Till All are One!

    Jan 19, 2004
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    Photography tips

    This isn’t a tutorial per se, but rather just a few basic tips for people just starting out with photography.

    1) Invest in an inexpensive tripod. I use a small table-top tripod I got for about $20.00 at London Drugs. The table-top ones are perfect, since they only extend about 30 cm. Keeping the camera stable and low to the surface you’re shooting on will impart a sense of scale to your robots, making them look larger than life.

    2) DON’T USE THE AUTOMATIC SETTINGS ON YOUR CAMERA. It took me a long time to appreciate the fact that the camera software doesn’t know what’s best. Most of the time, you’ll want to manually set your ISO to 100. You’ll get better image quality this way, even with cheap cameras like mine, since the aperture stays open longer. The trick to ISO 100 is that the camera must stay stationary, or you’ll end up with a blurry image (see tip #1).

    3) Most camera have a shooting mode menu, with options like “Night” or “Landscape”. Select “macro” from that menu. It will bring out the fine detail on your bots. It also tends to blur the background a little, which I’ve found is great for subtly forcing the reader’s attention to the subject of the shot. You may not want that all the time, but “macro” should be your default setting for most of your shoots. Using ISO 100 in conjunction with macro will give you rich, vibrant shots that can really bring your comic to life.

    4) Look at the three images I’ve attached. All were shot in identical lighting conditions using a flash. All were shot from a tripod and from the same angle, and demonstrate the concepts I’ve just talked about.

    Image #1 has the best quality: look at the fine details, such as the tire treads.

    Image #2 is almost as good as #1, but some fine detail is lost, and the lighting does not look as good.

    Image #3 (all auto settings) is clearly the worst: fine details are lost, and the image itself is washed out.

    Play around with your camera settings, and you'll find you can shoot much better images than by trusting the automatic settings. Have fun!

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