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Damien Franco PRO 5:48am, 20 July 2008
In one sentence, what's your best tip for new photographers?
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(1 to 100 of 276 replies)
Champloo 10 years ago
Assuming they are very new It would be "fill the frame with your subject".
Obviously a tip that is often broken as you become more experienced but I find new photographers often leave lots of dead space in their photos.
See the shadows.
energetic button [deleted] 10 years ago
Focus Focus.
gigantic rock [deleted] 10 years ago
Start with a 50mm on film, and learn to walk before you zoom.
F a b i o 10 years ago
Set the white balance manually and learn the rule of thirds :-)
matt_cinque 10 years ago
dont listen to me or anyone else
pass_lake PRO 10 years ago
f8 and be there
poppaJ 10 years ago
read The Camera ~ Ansel Adams!
MOD
Surely Not Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Surely Not (moderator) 10 years ago
Don't trust the LCD screen - learn to read the histogram
NetDep PRO 10 years ago
To paraphrase Rihanna, "Shut up and shoot!"
cuulblu 10 years ago
Unless you are in a situation where speed is of the essence, think about each shot for at least 30 seconds before you shoot. Consider your subject, how do you want to frame it, is your camera set to the best of your understanding for the shot, is it properly focused.

Read, magazines, library books, the internet. Learn all you can about photography.
MOD
When framing a shot get close, then when you think your close enough, get closer.
delirious bird [deleted] 10 years ago
Take many many pictures, and don't delete anything until uploaded on computer.
sweltering hour [deleted] 10 years ago
Discover depth of field - has more power than you realize.
ted @ndes PRO Posted 10 years ago. Edited by ted @ndes (member) 10 years ago
Someday, when you least expect it, your hard drive will crash, so make sure your digital photos are always saved in more than one place.
MOD
Bill Konway 10 years ago
Shoot until you're out of card space.
JohnMilleker.com 10 years ago
I feel the opposite Bill - I feel I became a much better shooter when I learned not to shoot until I ran out of space. Being selective helped me hone my eye, save my shutter and post processing a few hundred images instead of a few thousand is much nicer!

Of course, I moved from film so it wasn't that hard. I did fall into the 'Zeroes and Ones are free' thought but when you're spending time weeding out bad images because you shot just because you could, that time adds up.

Just my thought.
vt335 Posted 10 years ago. Edited by vt335 (member) 10 years ago
Shoot what interests you. :-)
Shelly Tee PRO 10 years ago
practice makes perfect.
MOD
SincereImagePhoto 10 years ago
Never leave your camera at home, you never know when the perfect shot will be there.

vt335 - That is my favorite bit of advice but you nailed it first.
Black English 10 years ago
practice, practice, and practice.
+?+ 10 years ago
Take pictures in a Flower Farm.
OZinOH PRO 10 years ago
Make mistakes. (Both accidentally and deliberately). In other words, don't be afraid to break the rules. Sometimes they are made to be broken, and you may only know when you see the result. It's not like film photography, where every shot cost significant money for film and processing). This picture of mine breaks several rules:
Chicago IMG_7535
(I'm shooting almost directly towards the Sun, the subject is mostly hidden by clouds, and the subject doesn't fill the picture), but it's the picture of mine that has the most faves by a long way.
Ben Ivory 10 years ago
As a beginner myself, joining a group like this has been invaluable. In terms of photoshop, most of the photo magazines have DVD's on the covers. Do the tutorials even if you think you won't use the technique - just playing with the program will make it so more familiar to you.
Ben Ivory 10 years ago
Oops. Missed the one sentence bit! Sorry Damien!
agnisflugen 10 years ago
i'm still new to photography, so i feel self conscious about giving advise...but one thing i learned right away was to get some rechargeable batteries.....
CA Steel PRO 10 years ago
Shoot, shoot, shoot, then shoot some more.
Th'Owdhamer 10 years ago
Marry a bank manager???? 'cause it's gonna cost you a fortune lol
joshua black wilkins PRO 10 years ago
learn the fundamentals of photography on a film camera.
Firefox G9 10 years ago
Keep shooting until you run of space on card... or battery drains...
kickass_studio PRO 10 years ago
Read the camera manual, know how to use your camera!!
pe.bigg 10 years ago
When shooting digital-learn how to use good software to edit RAW.
Clive Rowland 10 years ago
yup, agree with KickA_at_Flickr

"read the manual"

or to make it even simpler and broader

"read"
peaveydude 10 years ago
Don't be afraid to experiment.
Sheree Altobelle 10 years ago
Read, practice, listen and enjoy the process.
reekon 10 years ago
Rules are made to be broken, if we all followed the "RULES OF PHOTOGRAPHY" every flower would look the same. Don't step cross the line, run and jump over it.
Sion Fullana PRO 10 years ago
If they're on a big city, such as New York City, start paying attention a bit more to what's right next to you. Sometimes we look all over the place for something or someone worth-capturing, when we have it sitting / walking right next to us or across...
wolf_from_wv 10 years ago
- carry more than one set of charged batteries

- always bring your camera
Gar Luc 10 years ago
Ask lots of questions, read, take many pictures, experiment, don't be scared to use the manual modes of your camera!
scalespeeder PRO 10 years ago
Put down that camera and look at some great photographs first!
Tony McKay 10 years ago
Be patient.
NATEPERRO 10 years ago
I will echo a few others, take pictures, more pictures and more. Sit down look through them and see what you like and don't. Head back out and repeat the entire process!
Eric Hamilton 10 years ago
I made a blog post called "Ten Commandments of Photography":

The first one is my official answer, but the others are important.

1. Shoot what you love
2. Use light to communicate.
3. Capture or provoke emotions.
4. Tell a story.
5. Master technique.
6. Show old things in new ways.
7. Be true to your own style and your own voice.
8. Always seek to improve your craft.
9. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
10. Shoot to kill!
ambitious sweater [deleted] 10 years ago
Don't forget to bring your camera during photo shoots =)
need2cummore2 10 years ago
Master the art of lighting.
cunningba PRO 10 years ago
Lots of good advice here. I agree with KickA_at_Flickr and CivRow: RTFM. To Firefox_G9 I would suggest to do as I do: carry 4 (or more) cards (16G+) and 4 (or more) fully charged batteries.
MOD
Be willing to take criticism from others.
Looks like i'm a bit late to the topic, I just joined the group. Heres my take. The day i brought home my first SLR I quickly read through the manual then put the camera in Manual mode. I played around with the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO for about a week before i allowed myself to even think about auto. That first week forced me to understand the relationship between all three in different environments. Now 8 months, and just about 10 000 shots later I feel right at home in manual land.

Shoot lots, bring your camera every where, you cant practice if its not with you! and don't be afraid to keep shooting when you feel things are rolling downhill, you might surprise yourself with an amazing shot like i did!
www.flickr.com/photos/dr_g/2476976009/
level cherries [deleted] 10 years ago
even if ive only been doing photography for a few months :)

be prepeared to take critisicm

rule of thirds - a few of my photos have the rule of thirds applied

dont imagine the perfect photo - take shots of anything, chances are youll never find the perfect photo, but the more u take the bigger the chances get
The Pixel Hoarder 10 years ago
Make sure the image is right in the camera first.
The Pixel Hoarder 10 years ago
The eyes have it… Eyes should always be tack sharp. The eyes in the image can tell the whole story.
Rhodesphoto PRO 10 years ago
Make every inch of the frame say something to the viewer.
herosipet Posted 10 years ago. Edited by herosipet (member) 10 years ago
Master your camera, master your fingers, master to think quick, master most of the photography lesson, trust your feelings and apply all with arts in mind.

From a newbie to another newbie.
jeffegg2 PRO 10 years ago
Don't get hung up on which camera, its just a tool.
ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser Posted 10 years ago. Edited by ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser (member) 10 years ago
Dont compare your work to others.
Gimel Vav PRO 10 years ago
Take lots of pictures.
Don't follow any rules. I've been taking pictures for a long time, it's my job and I'm just now really getting into the technical aspects of it. I shoot what I find interesting and edit in ways that i find appealing. if there is soul and passion in what you do others will recognize that
afterhoursproduction 10 years ago
Its not the Equipment! Its YOU!
Go manual and shoot and dont stop 'till you've had or seen enough! :)
CSD_Images 10 years ago
Know your gear, practice until your eyes bleed and you know where your controls are blindfolded.

As an aside the best way to do this is with a cheap prime like a 50mm...
darling.sunshine 10 years ago
try both film and digital, they teach different lessons and make different images
cajohnsonphoto 10 years ago
RTFM !!
knowing rate [deleted] 10 years ago
mistakes are good!!

don't get bogged down with the race to have the perfect camera
Chatty Wacky Whims PRO 10 years ago
Have fun, learn to see/view the subject and the objects around it where is the light, the shadow how will it effect your photograph make adjustments accordingly, most of all have fun learn from your mistakes!
analogkid281 PRO 10 years ago
Take the shot even if it's going to be bad. Just take the shot.
[Adam Baker] 10 years ago
Have fun!
Airchinapilot PRO 10 years ago
My best tip? Look through the bloody viewfinder when you take the picture.
hjrosasq 10 years ago
Every time... start with taking the cap off the lens... ^^
grandmarocks7 10 years ago
always check all your setting before you shoot. Now if I can just remember this!!!!
BoldPuppy 10 years ago
look at the work of others that you admire, and ask yourself 'how did they do that?'
Bo Eder 10 years ago
Learn to see things to shoot before you bring the camera up to your face!
Victor W. 10 years ago
When you just feel like giving up - don't.
If you see nothing to photograph, look down or look up, there's something there.
Andy Morris (UK) 10 years ago
Shoot everything! Wildlife, Portraits, Landscapes- at night and in the day. Get out of your comfort zones!
dicktay2000 PRO 10 years ago
Be alert, very alert.......
Blaidd0905 PRO 10 years ago
Shoot often, experiment and have fun.
{Nelly Rodriguez} 10 years ago
As a very new newbie...THANKS!!! There is great, invaluable advice in this thread.
Tony Mantovani 10 years ago
Have fun experimenting with it, sometimes your best shots are unintended....
MOD
Shrink1061 10 years ago
plan ahead


and by that i mean, dont just go somwehere and be snap happy. perhaps think about what kind of shot you would like to take, and how you might go about it. Makes it far easier when the situation arrises to know what kind of kit/settings/composition you might like.
r♥biη elizabeth 10 years ago
don't think. just shoot.
CharlieBaker 10 years ago
Stop wishing you could do all the things you see other people doing and get off your ass to do them because you won't get better by reading articles and watching videos instead of taking photos and learning.
Tim Tuttle 10 years ago
Big number, little hole...small number, big hole...photographically speaking.
Bryen Ford 10 years ago
Monopod
Anders Madsen PRO 10 years ago
Don't count on luck!
waynemah 10 years ago
Practice by shooting lots.
Owen Martin 10 years ago
With digital, Never delete an image, some of the best images are mistakes. (I turn the LCD off so I'm not tempted to delete anything)
Shoot. Shoot. Shoot. And learn from your mistakes!
Sallyanne Morris 10 years ago
I just shoot shoot shoot.........look at all your photos......then decide what looks best to you. that way you learn how to frame your subjects and what type of light photographs best. and read all those great tips ABOVE from all these great photographers. Thanks to everyone for sharing. sally
artistgmg 10 years ago
RTFM!!! (Read The *Friendly* Manual) :)
jimbenttree 10 years ago
Learn to see.
Some nutter called Mark Grimwood Posted 10 years ago. Edited by Some nutter called Mark Grimwood (member) 10 years ago
Compose in the viewfinder, instead of cropping later, so that you plan the photo when it is taken. I prefer to use the viewfinder instead of the screen as it forces me to concentrate on just the photo.

When taking photos with a digital camera, don't delete photos that appear to be less than ideal when viewed on the camera screen. Photos look different on the computer, and you can make better judgements on a larger photo.

And don't be afraid to make mistakes, sometimes they can turn into "happy accidents", or give a pleasing result with a little manipulation.
Onno1970 10 years ago
I got 2 advices I still find the most usefull:

1. Use your eyes
2. Shoot everything manual (except AF)
Try something new! step out of your comfort zone,
Stripped Naked B&W

I did and loved it!
©DESYphotowerks 10 years ago
Be creative, and remember that in 50 years, they'll be looking at it and saying; "hey, remember when things were like this?"
Kristofer Allen 10 years ago
You are a slave to light. Learn to cope.
steven alejandro 10 years ago
Learn about and study the Masters:
Lee Friedlander
Elliott Erwitt
Henri Cartie-Bresson
Jacob Riis
Ansel Adams
Diane Arbus
Alfred Stiglietz
Margaret Bourke White
Robert Capa
And others that I may not like but you and others might love.
It is all subjective.
snapclicktripod PRO 10 years ago
From a very newbie - and given this advice from a lighting expert - always use manual focus for sharper images - trust your eyes. I have noticed a remarkable difference.
Big Skinny Boy PRO 10 years ago
take loads of pictures, look at loads of pictures, learn
apeashmore 10 years ago
Look at other pictures that you find interesting and ask your self why you find it interesting.
Flipper24. PRO 10 years ago
Don't be intimidated.
Get to know your camera.
Shoot what interest you.
Be patient and don't give up.
Don't be afraid to ask.
Above all, enjoy.
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