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Learn & Explore Tip of the Day
If you’re taking pictures to sell something on an auction site like eBay, find a way to isolate the object from the background. Lay out a solid colored sheet or blanket, bring over some lights and try to make it into a still life by focusing on the details of the item.
Give yourself a photographic assignment—a photo topic if you will—and spend a day or a weekend working on it. Shoot old cars or street signs. By focusing your creative mind on a single topic you’ll be forced to think of different ways to capture that subject.
Take a step back. No, farther back. See what the scene looks like from far away to get perspective. Walk around it, to see it from different angles. There’s a tendency to rush up to something and take a photo, but if you look at it from different angles you’re more likely to find something you would otherwise have missed.
When shooting macros or close-ups of flowers, try setting your lens to as wide open an f/stop as possible to blur the background. Because flowers clump together they often create distracting backgrounds if everything is in focus.
Most cameras with built-in flashes have a red-eye reduction setting that fire several quick pre-flashes before the main burst of light. Turn this off if you’re not photographing people because it drains the battery and doesn’t help light up your scene.
Buy a shutter release cable or remote (depending on your camera). This will enable you to take long exposure shots without moving or shaking your camera. A long enough shutter-release or a remote will also let you make self-portraits easily.
There’s no rule that says you have to take a photo. That doesn’t sound like a great tip, but it’s actually very freeing. If you don’t feel compelled to take a photo of everything, you can take your time to pick and choose your compositions.
Take a self-portrait each day for a week or month (or a year). It’s harder than you think to take an attractive photo of yourself, and if you do it for long enough you’ll have an interesting series that shows how you’ve changed over time.
Look on photo sharing sites for inspiration for your next photo shoot. Pick a subject you want to photograph or a location and search for photos of that. You’ll see a wide array of different techniques and styles that will inspire you.
Look around you when you’re shooting at sunset. The objects that look boring during the day magically come to life when the rays of the sun hit them. Buildings, cars and anything reflective take on a special quality at sunset.