So Now You’re in Manual: What’s Next?

You thought we were done at 4 lessons, (and, honestly, so did I) but even with a perfect exposure every shot there are still a few more things you can be doing to take your images to the next level. 

Rule of Thirds 

Perhaps the easiest “rule” of photography… This rule just means if you were to take a grid and lay it over your photo, the subject should be in one of the thirds of the image. Top third. Bottom third. Left third. Right third. Easy. 

Rule of Odds

When photographing items, try and have an odd amount of items rather than an even amount. For example, when shooting a flat lay typically 3 items will be much more pleasing to the eye than just 2 items. 

Keep Your Horizon Straight

This is especially noticeable in landscape shots when the skyline is just a little bit crooked. Try and hold your camera completely straight so that the horizon is a totally straight line. This can also be fixed in post in basically any software using the crop tool. (Instagram, iPhone, lightroom) 

Use Your Feet

I say this a lot when talking about photography, but that’s because it’s so important. I shoot with prime lenses, which requires even more walking than a lens that zooms, but even with zoom lenses you’ll have to move around. Sometimes you will have the smallest distraction in your background and all it would take is a step to the left or right or slightly changing your angle to get rid of it. If you have an element that you don’t particularly love about your image take a few steps to the side, tilt your camera differently, stand on top of something, do what you have to do to get rid of it. 

Focus on Your Gear

Yes. The gear does not make the photographer. I agree to that 100%. However, you won’t find me just buying any lens, because I know what I prefer and I know what I will use. That being said, I encourage you to take a look into your bag and ask yourself what you -actually- use. If there are lenses/filters/flashes that you never use, snap a pic of them and sell them on eBay. With the money, buy a lens that you will use a lot more often! (Perhaps the 50mm?! ;)) 

You know that phrase, “rules are meant to be broken”?? Well, it definitely applies to photography. Don’t think you always have to shoot in the thirds of the frame or in odd amounts. You have eyes. You can tell what looks good. And if you want to break a rule, you go ahead and you just break it. That’s called art. :)