Photography 101

Oftentimes the smallest adjustment can make a huge impact on the quality of a photograph. The problem is, these adjustments aren’t always obvious in the moment that you’re taking the photo. In the hour and half long video below, Jeff Cable delivers an in depth primer on the essentials of photography. Don’t let the length of this video deter you, Cable is an exceptional presenter and offers some sound advice regardless of your skill level. Have a look:

A Few Pointers to Get You Started

  • Know what your subject is. Although it may seem like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised at how often novice photographers take photographs unaware of what the main attraction is.
  • Don’t shoot centered all the time. In fact, a majority of the time, photos in which the subject is off centered are more aesthetically pleasing.
  • Choose the backgrounds of your images selectively. Make sure there are no eyesores back there. If there are move your subject when possible. Otherwise, adjust your aperture down so the background blurs out.
  • In some cases the background can be essential to the photograph. If they contribute to the story the photograph is telling take advantage of them by allowing them to remain at least slightly in focus.
  • If you are still shooting in auto mode and want to break out of it, try aperture priority as a stepping stone.
  • If the subject of your photo is a person’s face, the eyes must be in focus if you want to a make a good image.
depth of field

In this case, the fisherman in the background help create context to the subject–the hungry birds are waiting for scraps.

Practice, Practice, Practice

The best way to improve your photography, of course, is to practice as often as you can. Always try to have a camera with you and when you cannot, continue to look at your surroundings as though you are trying to create a photograph. Pay attention to the light, compose hypothetical shots in your mind, and explore different angles to find the best one.

As Cable says in the video, he takes photographs for himself. Photography, like all forms of art, is highly subjective. What one person finds to be exceptional, another may disregard altogether. Find a style that you like and work on fine tuning it using the pointers you have learned in the video above.

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