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The Venture 17 Division Of Education





Taking Great Photographs, Not Snapshots

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 4:54 PM

You have a very nice camera and some decent accessory equipment to go along with it. You can take a good picture but somehow, your images never come out looking like professional shots. Here’s a short discussion on getting the most out of your camera and becoming a photograph taker, not a snap-shot shooter.
If you are planning on making photography your career or avocation as I have, be sure that you have a camera with as many features as possible. The best way to get clear photographs is to have the camera with the best technology. If you are unsure which cameras are best, you can check reviews online.
An easy place to start is with a Nikon 3000, an excellent Single Lens Reflex Digital Camera comparatively inexpensive compared to its competition. Almost all of us at The Searchlight own one.
The Searchlight Studios also use Canon, Olympus, and Vivitar equipment, depending upon the work which is intended to be rendered, however, we all agree that the basic Nikon 3000 is a good field camera, and an excellent choice to build from.

When you are looking to get tack sharp shots by using a tripod, you need to get a remote so that you can eliminate camera shake. If you don’t have a remote, you can use the timer on the camera. Even if you don't have a tripod, this can work great, but you'll need a stable surface to set up the camera.

If you are ever in a situation where you think you shouldn't bother taking a photograph because everyone and his uncle have already taken the same shot, take it anyway. Put your own unique spin on it and enjoy your photograph. Use different framing angles and lighting. One of Dr. Counce’s tricks is to use trees, buildings, roads and streams for framing and perspective. He then utilizes styrofoam boards, you can get at any hardware store, for light reflection and diffusion. Styrofoam is cheap and an excellent tool in the studio or outdoors. 
Photographers generally do not like having to think about using regular flash photography. The reason is, most people can’t stand not knowing what the flash is going to do with the picture. Flash is sudden and a huge burst of light, and it is hard to tell what effect it will have. Adequately monitored, however, it can make for beautiful work. Keep in mind that digital photography allows for images without lighting that film photography cannot achieve. In addition, you can manipulate the image at your computer. And that’s the cool thing. The computer has replaced the darkroom in many ways.

An important tip to consider with photography is to always shoot with the lowest ISO possible. ISO comes from the International Organization for Standardization. I know! We say “ISO”, but it’s actually from “IOS”. The ISO is essentially the same thing as ASA from film cameras.

The lower ASA or ISO setting, the cleaner and finer the grain of light sensitivity the image gathers in the camera. Hence, you have a more detailed and less grainy result. This is important because it assures that you get the most out of your shots. Increased ISO levels will cause distracting image noise, poor contrasts, and an overall loss in dynamic range when depth and perspective are wanted.

Trying to learn a new visual artistic skill can often be frustrating and takes practice, photography is no exception. It is important, however, to enjoy the learning process. Do not stress over missed shots, blurry photos or technically imperfect pictures. You learn by trying, so relax, and enjoy the process of becoming a better photographer.The ability to render "with light" and even tease with it, will come with experience.

In conclusion, you want to be able to maximize your camera's potential, especially, because of the amount of money you have already put into it. There is a lot more you can do right than you can do wrong with constant practice. Follow the tips provided and you should be happy with your results.
Julie Chase, Venture 17 model and photographer is an original member of The Searchlight Six 
Julienne Chase

Julie Chase, is a model and photographer for The Venture 17 Trinity. An original member of The Searchlight Six, Julie is currently completing work on her Masters Degree in Molecular Biology at The University of Colorado.


Categories: Arts and Photography