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Do you have some art/writing/photography advice you'd like to share, maybe in a guest journal entry? (I'd offer a feature in exchange!) 

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Two things you need to take good photos

Journal Entry: Mon May 11, 2015, 9:05 PM
This post could also be called "Things I wish I knew that I needed when first starting photography".

If you're just getting into photography, you might be a little overwhelmed by all the stuff that's on the market for photographers. Because, let's face it, there's a TON of stuff out there, from all kinds of kits to different kinds of tripods and monopods and mini-tripods, to neutral density filters in several different "stops", graduated neutral density filters, UV protectors, colored filters, graduated colored filters, to flashes, slave flashes, ring flashes, reflectors, lens tubes/extenders...

So if you're a beginning photographer, what do you really need to immediately start taking better pictures? The answer is two things, and (fortunately) they are not the most expensive gear.

1. Tripod

Camera On A Tripod by do7slash

If you don't know the tricks to taking sharp photos in most situations, chances are your photography would really benefit from using a tripod. It holds the camera for you while you change settings and set up the composition you want. It doesn't have to breath, so it's almost always steady (especially the more heavy-duty ones that can stand up to a strong breeze). In really low-light situations, you can't get by without it -- especially when attempting night photography. And for sharp macro photos where the focus can be thrown off by even the slightest shift, the tripod can't be beat. And when you want to make several exposures of the exact same shot, maybe to merge as with HDR, the tripod is your very best friend because you can leave the camera focused while changing the settings.


- When trying to take photos of the moon or stars, or even doing macro photography, use your self-timer so that you can hit the shutter button and step away, reducing the risk of camera shake.

- If your camera or lens has image stabilization, make sure to turn this feature off when using the tripod for night or macro photography; image stabilization works by shifting little machinations inside the camera to counter the movement of your hands while taking a photo. Since the tripod won't move by itself, you don't need the stabilizer; and if you leave it on, the camera or lens will actually move, causing image blurring.

2. Polarizer

My first year and a half or so with my camera, I kept wondering why my skies always turned out paper-white or a washed-out blue. I also wondered why my photos of water were very lacklustre most of the time. If only I had understood light direction and had a circular polarizer!

There is no excuse to not teach yourself about the effects of the sun at different times of day; there are many websites and resources out there in the world to help you with that, just do a quick Google search. But the polarizer is a piece of equipment that can also help. It allows you to deepen the blue of the sky and remove or emphasize reflections with the turn of the filter. It also cuts down on atmospheric haze, cutting down that faded blue look of distant mountains, for example, or the light halo around lighter colored objects on an overcast day. You can even use the polarizer to reduce the foggy whiteness around the moon for a more crisp shot.

Circular polarizer 2 by TheBrassGlass

Circular polarizer 3 by TheBrassGlass

Circular polarizer by TheBrassGlass


- If your camera has a live-view feature on a little screen, enable it and turn the polarizer while fixing the lens on the scene in front of you, and look at how turning the polarizer changes what the camera "sees".

- If you have to shoot something that is behind glass, such as through a window, or a tank at an aquarium, animals at a zoo, or a case at a museum, the polarizer could help cut down the reflections.

- Remember to adjust your aperture and shutter speed, as the polarizer will slightly reduce your exposure.

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the storm by Smooshkin
Someone's Always Shooting at My House by BrettAZimmerman Interior Abstract I by krasblak Marie von Eggenberg of Kaiserthum Oesterreich by Gambargin Lucid by Toyona
Sea of Tulips by dashakern
Washington | Lafayette by MByak

Css and Coding done by BrightenYourSmile Journal Commission Info
Art by TheBrassGlass
For TheBrassGlass only
  • Mood: Helpful
  • Listening to: my fiance's electronica
  • Reading: "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson
  • Watching: 1950s Zorro
  • Playing: at getting stuff done
  • Eating: tortilla chips, salsa and guacamole
  • Drinking: Mike's strawberry hard lemonade


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SadisticIceCream Featured By Owner 3 days ago   Writer
So sorry! I only saw your note about that pesto recipe today. Here it is:…

Sometimes I use frozen spinach to save money, in which case it's 2 cups of spinach instead of 4. Enjoy! :)
CapriceSilvea Featured By Owner May 2, 2015  Professional Writer
Thanks for mentioning my poem! ;-)
AshleyxBrooke Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Welcome to 


We are looking to revive this fun game! Right now we're hosting games all day on Saturdays :eager:
We hope you swing by the #PhotoHunt Chatroom soon for a game or two. or 5 :iconteheplz:

:bulletpink: Also "like" us on Facebook to keep up with when we are 
hosting games!

krasblak Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2015  Professional Artist
thank you :)
justsomedude86 Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2015  Professional General Artist
Awwww thanks so much for the subscription! huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuug :)
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