Your DSLR’s auto capabilities usually yield well-exposed and clear shots. But there is so much more to a DSLR camera than full Auto mode and Scene modes. To not utilize and take advantage of its amazing tools would be like shooting with a very expensive point and shoot. Here’s a list of tips to help you get a bit more familiar and adventurous with your DSLR so you can shoot high quality DSLR photos.
- Shoot in RAW format
This format allows for maximum processing without compression. If there are differences in light-temperature, exposure, or anything else, all the photos look like a cohesive shoot. Once edited, you can export to a web/social friendly .jpg or .png format, which will capture all of the editing that you did to the RAW file.
- Use the rule of thirds
It’s all about the position of the subject and can make the same subject go from bland to awesome with one small tweak. When you look through the viewfinder on some cameras from Beachcamera.com, you may see a 3×3 grid. What you want to do is position your subject so that it falls within those thirds, or at the intersection of any of the 9 blocks in that grid. This can help create balance, white space, and general interest in the photo that may otherwise be lost if you just always position your camera so that everything’s in the middle.
- Use the polarizer filter
Think of the polarizer as sunglasses for your camera. It helps mitigate the reflections coming off equipment, screens, windows, or anything shiny, making them photograph better. It does reduce some of the light the camera’s sensor sees, but if you have your camera set to Auto it will adjust accordingly so that it still exposes correctly.
- Don’t be afraid of the flash
A lot of people avoid flash because of the harshness it can bring to a photo. However, using flash indoors can really help make a photo pop, and avoid the noise that often happens in low light. The trick is to soften the flash, so the light isn’t as harsh.
- Use a tripod
This might sound obvious, but it really does make a huge difference in the quality of the image. Even a .5mm movement of your hand while the shutter is closing can make a noticeable difference in image quality.
- Use a wide-angle adapter to make the image look larger
A wide-angle adapter can help make a space look larger, or get more in-frame if you need to shoot real close to a subject. This is what real-estate agents do in order to make rooms inside of small houses look like they’re the size of cathedrals.
- Try shooting in Aperture Priority mode
This may seem like a slightly advanced tactic. But if you’re brave enough to venture into Aperture Priority mode your patience will be rewarded. This makes your camera from Beachcamera.com automatically control shutter movement time, and you just set the aperture. This allows you to control the depth of field and light.
- Aim the on-camera flash upwards at a 45° angle
This only applies if you have a hot-shoe mountable flash. If you do, it will help soften the light even further since the main part of the light beam isn’t straight on the subject. This will also get you some soft light reflections off of other objects or walls so that you can even get a backlight effect on the subject without having multiple flashes.
With these tricks, your photos can go from bland to grand.