5 Non-technical photography tips.
The internet is rife with photography tutorials covering everything from aperture to zoom lenses. I thought it'd be a good idea to list a few of the non-technical tips i've picked up throughout my time as a photographer.
1) Steadying your camera on the fly
There are many times when carrying a tripod or monopod isn't practical, I carry my camera almost all the time but I don't take my tripod on my daily trips such as to work or shopping etc. Sods law states a shot requiring a steady camera usually arises on such trips therefore it's a good idea to carry something small to steady your camera with. A small bean bag fits in most camera bags and is great for resting your camera as you can place it almost anywhere and push the camera down into it for a steady base. I've also rested my camera on my bag, on fence posts etc, just be careful, obviously! You can also buy the bendy, gripping tripods for DSLR cameras now, these usually fold up small and fit in most camera bags.
I always carry a small note book and a pen to jot down ideas, locations etc. Over time this has morphed into a wish list of shots, some planned for warmer seasons due to the required conditions of the shot, others are places I've not been to yet. Obviously it's not always possible to take a shot even when you're stood right in front of it. Conditions may dictate a return visit or you may simply have forgotten your camera - jot it down so you remember it and can come back at a time when the conditions are more suitable. This is also helpful for projects like 365 etc.
3) Smart Phones
If you have one make good use of it. They're remarkable tools for planning your shots. I use google maps to tag locations i'd like to return to, Photographer's Ephemeris is great for when the position of the sun or moon is seminal to the shot and there are many other tools and apps available for download.
4) Don't by shy
You've seen something you want to shoot but there are many people around and it's an extremely public place. Pffft, get you're camera out and shoot. Providing you're not breaking any laws you'll be fine. Be confident with what you're doing and you won't stick out too much. If you're taking photos with people in just look over your camera and beyond them as if you're taking a picture of something beyond them. Nine times out of ten they'll duck their heads and try to get out of your way. Remember you'll need a model release forms if you intend to sell shots of people or enter competitions. Occasionally you'll get a bit of hassle but it's all part and parcel of street photography.
5) Be wise with your bag
Camera bags get very busy. I went from a shoulder bag with a DLSR and lens to a slingshot with several lenses. It soon built up to infrared remotes, cleaners, brushes, filters, lens cups and allot more. All of this stuff seems to have a habit of rolling, bouncing and generally tinkering their way under tables, into long grass and many other places you wouldn't think to look until you've realised something is missing. Make sure you count your equipment out of your bag when you're out shooting, that way you can count it back in again and make sure when you leave you're not shy of a lens pen or worse still (and in my case) the pointlessly separate bit of wire to your infrared remote (luckily replaced later!). It may also help to have a full list of your equipment and a total count of all bits and bobs as a mental note.