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Photography Tips

Recently Bill Davis, my nephew who is an accomplished photographer, gave me several pointers on improving the pictures I take.  Like many artists I try to get reference photos of subjects for drawings and also photograph my finished art pieces for record keeping.
Since I was thinking about buying a new camera he began there with his suggestions. First consider the subject to be photographed.  Would the camera be used to photograph wildlife, scenery, pets, people, still life or etc..?  Next consider our budget.  The gist of that discussion was to buy the best equipment the budget would allow remembering that tripods, filters and lenses could always be added later if I have the proper camera body for my needs. (Note I said needs not wants.) He reminded me I should do research on a variety of makes and models by checking the internet and talking with people who have camera knowledge.
The next topic discussed was an emphasis on learning about the camera.  He encouraged reading anything that came with the camera,  talking to anyone I know that uses the same camera, finding an internet forum to follow that had threads that might apply, and finding a photo club where there would be sharing of information.
He then moved on to some pointers on photography. Selection of the subject was the first point he emphasized.  The photograph would be most useful if it tells a story, sets a mood, or records information that would be useful for background drawing.  Since light is extremely important pictures taken in the middle of the day would appear flat.  Morning or mid afternoon into the evening would provide light that creates strong shadows thus a more interesting  reference for a future drawing or painting.  Bill stressed that numerous shots of the subject should be taken from different angles.  With the digital camera mediocre photos or multiple copies can easily be weeded out. Finally and perhaps most important, develop patience.  Spend time setting up that “just so” still life, sit quietly while the sun moves just a bit more,  allow just one more day for that blossom to open, and remember to breath while watching that butterfly land in the best ever pose.  Wait for the shot!!
                                                               SUCCESS = T A D A    Think, Ask, Decide, Act
By following Bill’s suggestions we now have a new camera that meets our needs.  We are learning something new about its use almost daily.  We are becoming more selective in subjects we photograph. Occasionally we get a few pictures we are truly proud to have taken.  After “waiting for the shot” not so very patiently I did catch this butterfly in a fairly good pose.