This installment of my photography tip is a very simple idea, however many don’t seem to realize this truth until its mentioned to them. It’s really about composition, but more so flexibility.

If you’re reading this you probably like to post-process your images and review them to achieve maximum impact. A lot of this has to do with framing, which can in most cases be a result of cropping.

Next time when capturing something, be sure to remember how you wan’t the framing to look like. Once you’ve got the idea pictured in your head, de-zoom, or take a step back so as to expand the overall capture/subject by 10 or even 20%. I often do this in order to have flexibility during post-processing.

The main reason for this tidbit is so once you’re in the post processing phase, you’re still able to tweak the framing of the final image, rather than being stuck on one perspective because you initially captured the subject with a tight framing. Of course, your capture should require minimal cropping, but, there can be error, and when this happens, it’s better to have a loose composition so you’ve got room to correct.

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You think your ready, you think you’ve got all of the necessary equipment, the right lens, your subject is there and waiting to be captured, the lighting is flawless… but there are a multitude of other factors that many people forget about when in the moment. So you take the shot, and something is wrong, its blurry, under/overexposed, etc.. and you think to yourself, why? Next time, always keep the following in back of your mind:

  • Only Darkness. The Lens cap – Yes, this is huge for everyone; of course you realize it’s on once you take a peek through the view finder, but from the time you notice your subject to the time you take the lens cap off is valuable time, and by the time it’s off, you may have lost the ideal opportunity.
  • Over/Underexposed? The Exposure Compensation You think everything is just right, the lighting, the composition, so you then take the photograph, but while reviewing it in the LCD, it doesn’t look like how you thought it would, even though you swore you had everything right. Many times, you have probably forgotten to reset the exposure compensation.
  • The Twitchy hands – This would have to be even more common than the lens cap being on, and the worst part is, many photographers don’t even know its their own hands that are the culprit. With most people, when they press the shutter, their whole hand tends to push the camera off of where it was originaly framed, some deviate moreso than others. Clearly, the longer the exposure time, the more prone your hands are to blur the image. Taking a breath and being in a comfortable position can help, a tripod is even better though.
  • Grain?! The ISO – Much like forgetting to reset the exposure compensation, just as many people forget about checking the ISO. For example if you were shooting in a dark setting the night before, and the next day you’re in a well lit scene, this should be the number one tweek you should remember.
  • Where’s my ____ ? Forgetting Gear – The avid photographer may have various gear, things like lenses, tripods, lighting equipment, etc. Specifically with lenses, it’s very easy to forget the only one that you actually need for. Be sure to predict the scene(s) you will run into throughout the day, so you can be prepared.
  • …Its Dead. The Battery – If this list was in order, this would definately be number one, if not close to the top. Always, always, and always check the battery life before you head out. Either check the life early, incase you need to have it charged, or always have a back up battery that is fully charged.