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Tip 1: Carry a Model Release
If you photograph people carry around a tablet or smart phone with a model release app installed.
Before photographing the talent be sure to ask if you can use the photos commercially. It’s also recommended you pay the talent a fee for their participation.
Most of these apps can be customised to include a unique contract which will suit your local laws and language. Some release apps I would recommend are:
Release Me App
Tip 2: Include a Shutter Release Cable in Your Kit
Do you want to capture awesome time lapse videos like this one?
It’s recommend you carry at least a timer remote or cable release so you can take some epic long time exposures. Being a time lord means you will be able to slow down water, create a start trail or ever capture lighting. To find out what remote might be best for you, take a look at the following article, “What Remote Should I Use?”
Tip 3: Pack The Right Gear for Your Shoot
Are you heading out to the snow or the desert for your next shoot? What gear should you pack?
Packing the right gear will ensure you’ll be out on location for a longer period of time, meaning you will maximise the opportunity to capture more of the best shots. For a great example on what a professional should carry around take a look at what wilderness photographer Varina Patel includes in her bag.
Tip 4: Shoot RAW not Jpeg
What’s that? You want to be a professional and you don’t want to utilise your camera’s full potential??….
Turning your camera to RAW mode will ensure you capture the good stuff. Doing this means you will be utilising the entire pixel count on the sensor, full colour gamut and all. I’ve even heard when you shoot Jpegs the camera keeps only one out of three pixels, that’s because it compresses the image. It’s sort of like making juice, when you squeeze fruit most of the good stuff is thrown out as pulp. Fair comparison…hmmm maybe?
If you want a better explanation then check out the great blog post by Darren Rowse – “Raw Vs JPEG” as it explains everything in much greater detail.
Tip 5: Carry a Tripod
So what’s it going to be, burry photos or sharp ones? A true professional will always use a tripod. Period.
What should you look for in a tripod I hear you ask? Well firstly take a look at your biggest piece of gear like your telephoto lens and calculate the total weight with it attached to your camera body. Next look for a tripod and tripod head which will handle the total weight (found in the tripod specs).
If you shoot a lot of landscapes be sure your tripod doesn’t have a spreader bar attaching the legs to the centre column, like this Manfrotto one:
Here’s a couple of other things you will need to look out for when purchasing your first tripod:
– Are you rich? Get a carbon fibre tripod. It will be much lighter and will give you less of a work out.
– Look for a tripod with multiple legs sections. This will mean you can get to different heights with ease.
– Make sure the legs move independently of each other.
– Does the tripod have a spirit. If it does it will guide you making sure you have level shots.
– If you are shooting in the snow or on ice see if you can get spike attachments for the tripod feet. They’ll double up as a tripod spear if you run across a bear in the woods…hey you’ll thank me later!
– Oh and another thing, have a hook on your tripod to add some extra weight so it doesn’t blow over in strong winds, otherwise this will happen….
- You may also like: The Most Informative Tripod, Monopod & Tripod Head Buying Guide
Tip 6: Look After Your Gear
Be good to your gear and it will reward you with longevity and awesome images…well not so much the latter, that’s up to you.
Here’s a funny video which demonstrates how to look after your gear…
Tip 7: Do a Photography Course
Learning has always been a great way to excel in your craft, that’s why most of us went to school right?
There are plenty of online photography courses out there so which one should you do? Well doing a quick Google search will bring up plenty but why do that when I can point you in the right direction?
Here’s the best one…well to be a matter of fact it’s the Ultimate one…it says so in the title..
Tip 8: Become A Boss At Post Processing
Most of us will already have Lightroom or Photoshop at your disposal so it makes sense to learn these programs so you can unleash your full photography potential. Taking the photo is only part of the process. Back in the day it used to be the same case, a photographer would capture an image and then have to take the negative back to the darkroom for post processing. These day’s you don’t need to mess around with chemicals and counting exposure times to develop a masterpiece. All that’s required is a computer, software and some know how.
So where should you get started learning these programs? Well there are a number of different places I can recommend, each has their own unique way of learning so be sure to check out which one bests suits you.
“Visual Wilderness is an exclusive community of dedicated photographers who are learning in a dynamic and exciting online environment. No matter where you are in your photographic journey – from beginner to professional – this is your opportunity to build your skills, develop your own unique photographic style, and learn from the pros and from your peers!”
“KelbyOne is more than just training. It’s a place where creative people come to learn, grow and inspire. Being a member means you get exclusive access to the world’s best instructors, thousands of self-paced classes and an inspiring community of creatives just like you.”
“CreativeLive empowers you to unleash your potential by bringing the world’s greatest experts directly to you, live. Featuring workshops in photography, video, design, business, audio, music, and software training, CreativeLive unlocks previously closed doors by making dynamic education accessible to everyone.”
“A very old… ancient, in fact… way of learning and growing your Art through a Master & Apprentice relationship, powered by a NEW kind of academy. Imagine a type of Hogwarts, online in Augmented Reality, where you always have a connection to your Master and your fellow Apprentices. Get your head around that, and you’ll see where this is going…”
Tip 9: Understand How Your Camera Meters
What the hell are all those symbols with brackets and dots? What do they even do?
Most cameras will have three metering modes on them which can best be described as, spot metering, centre weighted and multi metering (matrix metering). Here’s the well spoken SnapChick to explain them further…
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