The key to capturing excellent photographs is always a combination of many factors, some of them being purely technical.
The right choice of gear is something that every photographer has to think about and this can be a confusing task especially for amateurs. After learning the basics of photography, it’s important to stay informed about additional gear that can improve your photos and allow you to grow as a visual artist.
Even though it’s hard to limit the selection of gear that can help amateurs hone their skills, the following three tips can be extremely helpful for any newbie photographer.
1. Use A Tripod
The role of a tripod is actually not that simple and predictable. While we all know that a tripod holds your camera steady and helps you get a sharper image, it also slows you down and forces you to take the time to compose your images.
This means that you have to adjust the tripod in order to frame your subject properly and just by doing this, you start to really think about your images, which can improve your compositions dramatically. Many amateur photographers don’t think about framing carefully and once they start using tripod their skills start to improve exponentially.
2. Try a Prime Lens
Kit, aka starter lenses, that are sold together with DSLR cameras are always zoom lenses. While these lenses are convenient and very versatile, they aren’t substitutes for top-quality prime lenses.
The prime forces a photographer to move around more and consequently think more about what’s the perfect way to capture a certain scene. In addition to this, prime lenses open up more possibilities for photographers because their wide aperture allows shooting in low light and making portraits with blurred backgrounds.
3. Consider A Polarizing Filter
A polarizing filter is actually a necessary tool for every landscape photographer and every portrait photographer who shoots mainly outdoors.
There are two commonly used effects of these filters. First, they are used to darken the blue in the sky and brighten the clouds, which improves the contrast in landcape photographs.
Another use of polarizing filters is removing reflections and glare from vegetation, water or various light-reflecting surfaces. The second effect can’t be easily achieved in Photoshop, so it’s one of the main reasons why this filter is considered indispensable by many photographers.
These simple tips are just the beginning of a long road of improving your photography. However, owning a good tripod, prime lenses and polarizing filters can be a big step forward for any curious amateur since these three tools strongly affect the overall quality of a photograph.
For More On Essential Gear
- Nine Essential Items For Your Camera Bag…Other Than Your Camera – see Jason Row's take on what you should be taking on your next shoot
- 5 Awesome Benefits Of Using a 50mm Lens – Jason Little on why you should grab a prime lens
- 15 Gifts For Photographers Under$50 – Because you can never have too much gear…maybe
I am always impressed with the short quips. Even for long term photogs they reinforce the basics