September 23, 2011

Bonus – How to take a better photo faster

I’m a lazy photographer.

I’d much rather spend my time taking my shots than setting than up – which can be a problem in my professional life. But it’s great for my personal photos. Who wants to spend time whizzing through menus and adjusting settings when mom’s standing there holding the baby? You could miss the moment.

Good thing you don’t have to.

Do a little planning ahead and you’ll find ways to shoot better photos a whole lot faster.

Look around.
Is it dark? Bright? Fluorescent lights? Messy kids faces? Think about your photo before you pick up your camera and you’ll know what settings you need to adjust.

Have a process.
Create a mental checklist for taking and editing your picture. The more times you follow the exact same process (look around, dial in your settings, talk to your subject, click), the faster and more confident you’ll get with the camera.

Use P, Av or TV.
You might not have time to calculate ISO, shutter speed or aperture – so let your camera do part (or all) of the work. Think about what your shooting and pick the mode that’s right for your situation. Shooting your daughter’s volleyball game? Use “Tv” and dial in a high shutter speed to freeze the action. Want to blur out that background? Go for a high aperture (lower number). Nighttime? Throw up your hands and let “P” do the driving.

Make a shortcut menu.
Some cameras let you put your favourite settings into a custom on screen menu. Use this feature. Love this feature. Mine is filled with “Erase All” photos, “Adjust Flash” and a few other custom settings. I use it every time I take a picture to customize my needs.

Practice the harder stuff.
Can you adjust your white balance without looking at your screen? How about changing the size of your photos (small, medium, large or RAW). Get good at these when you’re not taking photos and the next time you need the setting, you’ll be able to find and adjust the settings without thinking about them.

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