10 DSLR Tips & Tricks to Improve Photography

Photographic portraits are often more captivating than other photography genres because they often tell a story with a simple glance.

Even if I prefer nature or landscape photography, I often photograph people and I realize that it is extremely difficult to “capture” the true story behind a subject in one shot.

For this reason, I have written this article where I will try to give you several tips, applicable to most situations, which will put you on the right path to obtaining excellent photographic portraits. Let’s see them together. For those who are looking for the best DSLR camera for vlogging, this is a great place to start. We’re going to discuss the different types of DSLR cameras and what you should consider before deciding on a camera. If you are a beginner, you may shoot videos just for fun or if you are a professional cameraman, you have to make your videos beautiful and shiny.

dslr photography tips

1: The Light

Light is everything and it is the most important thing in a photograph. The perfect location, the pose, or an interesting composition are nothing without the light! There is always a need for light to be able to photograph and one of the most difficult things in photography is finding good light, an interesting light, not too strong but not too dim, warm but not too much. A good photo always starts with good light.

When you begin to understand the differences between “normal” light and a “good light” your photographs and your photographic portraits will improve significantly. Don’t worry if they’ll make fun of you when they hear you say “Here, this is the light I was looking for! Let’s shoot… ”or similar phrases, it is the normal behavior of every photographer to look for the“ perfect ”light.

2: Time of Day

One way to capture good light and obtain excellent photographic portraits is to shoot when the sun is low on the horizon, i.e. from 1 hour before sunset or up to 1 hour after sunrise. Photographers love to call this hour the “golden hour”, the golden hour. The sun is low, the light isn’t as strong as during the day, and the light temperature is warm and perfect for portraits.

You will hardly do photo sessions at dawn, 99% of the time you will shoot at sunset but I guarantee you that dawn is perfect for photographing. First of all, you will not have to run because the sun rises and does not set so you will not be in a hurry to shoot, at most the light will become clearer and stronger but you will certainly not remain in the dark. Another advantage of dawn is that at certain times of the year you can find a light mist (in my part also fog) that will give a kind of magic to your portraits. Seeing is believing!

3: Taken After the Rain

Another very interesting situation for taking excellent photographic portraits and finding a unique light is after the rain. When the clouds begin to clear you will find a diffused and soft light, perfect for capturing your subject. If there is a storm forecast, do not cancel your photo session. Wait for the storm to end and at the first rays of the sun go out to shoot, it will definitely be worth it. Obviously, if the weather announces rain for a week it is better to stay at home and drink a cup of hot chocolate!

4: Stay “Tight”

I often take photographic portraits that have too much space around the subject and I am forced in post-production to cut the image to remove unnecessary space. My advice is to stay close to the subject to capture more details of his gaze and to create a much more intimate and seductive portrait. Resist the temptation to step back and capture only the interesting subject as much as possible.

5: Let “Breath” Beyond the Gaze

If you are photographing your subject in profile or slightly to the side, do not position your face exactly in the center of the frame, put it slightly to one side trying to follow the rule of thirds. Furthermore, Eduardo must go towards the part of the image that remains empty so as not to “suffocate” the image. Leave “breath” beyond the gaze to give a sense of depth to the image.

6: Help Yourself With Natural Frames and Guidelines

To help the observer focus his vision on your subject, help yourself with the elements you find in the environment in order to create a sort of natural “frame” in which you will position the subject. Use basic elements such as doors or windows to direct the viewer’s gaze inside where your subject will be.

In the middle of nature, you can use an opening between bushes or a branch at the end of which we will find the subject. They are called guidelines precisely because they guide the observer’s gaze on what really matters in the image. You can use streets, sidewalks, branches, or anything else that brings your gaze directly to the subject.

7: Use a Long Focal Length Lens

Photographic portraits usually suggest the use of a lens with a long focal length, at least 85mm, preferably 100mm or more. Many fashion photographers use the 70-200 telephoto lens zoomed to 200mm almost always. Unlike the wide-angle lens, a telephoto lens does not deform the facial features, which is certainly not appreciated by our subject.

The lenses with a long focal length also make the background of the image more blurred, giving more importance to your subject. Even with an inexpensive KIT lens, with an aperture of F / 5.6 at 200mm you can achieve this effect, you don’t necessarily need an expensive lens. But be careful to always keep your subject in focus otherwise the out-of-focus in the background would no longer matter.

8: Or Even a Lens With a Short Focal Length but Not Too Much!

If you find yourself in a situation where you have to photograph people inside a house or an office, the telephoto lens is obviously not usable. For this reason, you can also use shorter focal lengths such as 50mm or at most 35mm. Do not go below this value and in any case, try not to get too close to the subject. These lenses tend to flatten the subject and make it chubby, which is not pleasant to see.

9: Use the Aperture Wide Open

In photographic portraits, using a very wide aperture with an aperture of f / 1.2 or f / 1.4 (if your lens allows it) will not only let a lot of light into the camera reducing shutter speeds and consequently the blur effect, but it will limit the depth of field to a minimum, also creating a pleasant “bokeh” effect in which you will see the background completely out of focus, highlighting the subject.

Pay attention only to what you focus on because with a very open aperture the depth of field is limited to a few centimeters! Always focus on the eye closest to you.

10: Look for a Large Window

Photographers love windows! The windows diffuse the sunlight wonderfully. If you have a window that faces north or south it is even better because you will have more light throughout the day. Keep the subject not too close to the window so that the shadows are not too sharp and the light is not too harsh, possibly you can use a light white curtain to create a natural diffuser. Natural light from windows is a photographer’s best friend!