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Easy Ways To Expand Your Photographic Skills

Everyone has a favorite genre (or two) of photography. After photographing subjects in that favorite genre for a period of time, you may think that you have exhausted all the possible ways of creating a unique image. However, there are always new ways of photographing an image if you open your mind to learning new techniques and seeing your subjects in a different way.

Open Gate, New Orleans, LA Red Window, Nassau, Bahamas

For instance, if you like photographing architecture, in addition to photographing the entire structure, pay attention to the details – on a building, photograph interesting windows, doors and patterns

Light Trails, Harpers Ferry, WV U.S. Capitol at Christmas time

If you like night photography, try a long exposure to capture light trails or during the long exposure, twist the barrel of the zoom lens to create light trails. The car trails image was created using a 30 second exposure at f/13, started as the car approached the intersection and made its turn. The Capitol image was made using a 10 second exposure at f/18 with a slow twist to the zoom lens barrel at 3 seconds.

Birch Trees in the Snow Strawberry Sunflower

If you like nature photography, in addition to capturing landscapes, use a long exposure and intentional camera movement (ICM) to create an impressionistic image. The same can be done when photographing flowers. Both of these images were taken with a 1 second exposure and a small f/stop such as f/18 or f/22, with movement that started as the shutter was pressed. In the case of the birch trees, the movement was a slight upward vertical movement; for the flower, the movement was from the lower left to the upper right.

None of these techniques are difficult to do – as with any photographic technique, it just takes knowledge of the process, then time, patience and practice to achieve the desired results. The beauty of digital photography is that you can see the results immediately and can adjust your technique – changing the exposure time or the position or movement of the camera until you capture that memorable image.

Happy Shooting!

Photos by Sherryl Belinsky

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