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Don't forget the basics!

Everyone is a photographer these days.  And with digital photography it's all too easy to be complacent and think that everything can be fixed in the edit.  But who wants to spend loads of time sat in front of Lightroom or Photoshop adjusting photographs?  Not me!  I want to be out there TAKING lovely images not editing OK ones to make them look lovely.  Which is why I think it's important to remember the basics.  Not aperture, shutter speed, ISO ..... I'm talking absolute basics.  My Mum, who I absolutely adore, is one of the most creative people I know.  So creative that she didn't go to regular high school. Oh no, she is so creative that she was hand-picked to go to Art School in the big city!  But can she take a decent photograph?  Nope!  I tease her all the time:  "Make sure you get our heads in!" is the most regular comment she hears if she's taking a pic of me and my family.  I wonder why this is?  She can pencil draw an AMAZING likeness of someone (I'm so jealous) but often can't frame.  And that, I think, is the problem.  (I will add that she's got a lot better since me nagging her!).

 

FRAMING IS SO IMPORTANT.  If you don't get the frame right, you're in a pickle.  Think about the final image you want to achieve and how you'd like it to feel.  Sometimes the rule of thirds isn't relevant. Sometimes you want to do something a little different and kooky and throw the rule book out of the window.  Think about your final image, have it firmly in your mind and to try use the view finder!  Using the screen on the back of the camera is great for videography.  However, to keep your shot steady, it's important to use the viewfinder as then the camera is held close to your body and there is less room for movement.  Try it.

 

I had a big birthday relatively recently.  My husband struggled with what to buy for me because I'm lucky enough to have a lot of camera equipment already.  Then he came up with the genius idea of buying a Fujifilm Instax8 camera for me.  I'd seen one and cooed over it when we were on holiday in America.  I was so excited!  And I have to say it has become a really good piece of revision kit.  This is where I add that anyone who claims that they aren't still learning on their photography journey is just lying.  We're all learning everyday and I think it's imperative to revisit the basics every now and again.  Normally when I go out on a shoot I have an enormous backpack full of camera bodies and lenses.  Not with the Instax.  It's me and a spare cartridge!  

 

I have to say, because it's literally down to the dial to adjust the conditions it's easy to think and concentrate on the framing.  When you're shooting a family or wedding, you're constantly thinking about available light, how fast they are moving, depth of field.  Not with this baby.  You just think about the framing.  It's really freeing.  It's a really good exercise in remembering the importance of getting the shot in camera.  And whilst I freely admit that Lightroom and Photoshop are an absolute integral part of my final product, without the framing and basic image, I'd have no business.

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