Learn to photograph XXL: Accessories and technology for your camera

Photography is more than just a camera. If you want to take good photos, you need the right accessories. As a photographer you have to think of many extras. You need a good lens and you need to be able to capture all your subjects the way you want them. In the studio, you need equipment such as tripods to set up your camera, flashes, and knowledge of backlighting and how it affects your photos when you’re shooting outdoors. To help you get a good overview and know all the basics you need to be a good photographer, here’s our free checklist for photographers: Everything about accessories and technology.

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Mirror reflex, digital, smartphone: Technology and accessories

There are several setting options on the display of an SLR camera. These are hardly understandable for strangers and very difficult to assign. You could almost say it looks like mathematics. As soon as you have understood the individual settings, it is even more fun and professional to use your camera. A photographer does not just press a button and have the perfect photo. It’s much more about analysing the scene how you want to take a picture and getting some points worth mentioning. The photographer pays attention to light and shadow, sharpness of the image and many other points that we want to explain to you here. If you buy a reflex camera, you should assume that the extra accessories are huge. 

Autofocus for sharp photos

Autofocus – it’s a small technical wonder in a camera and most people are grateful for it as it ensures sharp images. So it is a great help for hobby photographers and professionals. But if you want more than just sharp pictures, you should turn off the autofocus every now and then and take care of the depth of field yourself. There are different situations in which the autofocus is a disadvantage and an ambitious photographer is best to switch it off.

Beauty retouching makes beautiful skin

Beauty retouching – it is also called photo manipulation of faces and bodies, according to the ideal of beauty. In this process, mistakes in the picture are corrected or even further elaborated, beautified.  Wrinkles are softened, spots are removed, skin is smoothed and colours are adjusted. The aim is the natural implementation of the retouching, for a more beautiful, not too artificial-looking overall impression. This can be very successful and perfect the picture. It can also destroy the image. Therefore you should pay attention to how you retouch pictures.

  • Removal of disturbing particles
  • Edit and perfect images: Beauty Retouch

Exposure time also called shutter speed

Exposure time – some claim to learn the camera is like pure mathematics. It is not that difficult, but you have to be able to handle numbers and shapes. Every camera has an automatic function, but as a good photographer you should prefer the manual setting. As soon as you have mastered the camera settings, the best pictures can be taken. An important point for the image display and exposure is the exposure time or also called shutter speed. It determines the extent to which light affects the sensor of the image capture device or the duration of the open aperture. Do you know what is called a short or long shutter speed?

  • Automatically and manually adjustable
  • Read more about the exposure time

Data backup on travel

You like to travel? And do you take a lot of pictures to show your family and friends what a great experience you had? For travellers, camera memory space is a problem. Hobby photographers and travelling used to mean lots of rolls of film to develop and today a memory card is overflowing, because nothing inspires a photographer more than a new environment. To discover them through a lens is something unique and should really be captured in pictures. However, not really every photo taken is a work of art for eternity and a mass of pictures does not mean that the quality is correspondingly high. We have an article for you where it is all about sorting out photos properly and backing up data.

  • Save data while travelling
  • More about memory cards and backup

One- & tripod for stabilizing the camera

A 0or tripod – no ambitious photographer can do without a good camera tripod. Especially for longer exposure times, such as for fireworks, or for star photography, tripods are indispensable tools. Tripods are used outdoors as well as in closed rooms. Many situations when taking pictures require longer exposure times. If you are looking for a safe position for your camera, a good tripod is a useful tool. But tripods are available for different purposes and in all possible shapes, sizes and weights. It is not only important to use a suitable tripod for taking pictures, one also has to know how to use a camera tripod properly. Here are some basic information that you should keep in mind when buying and using a tripod.

Setting sizes between camera and object

Adjustment sizes – photographs look more vibrant with the right adjustment size. The mood that the image is intended to create is created by choosing the right distance between the camera and the subject. Especially those setting sizes with close-ups of people can be very expressive. The settings are often divided into two main groups: The total settings and the close-ups.

  • Panorama, long shot, half close up and close-up
  • If you want to know more about the setting groups & sizes

Photo drone: the technology in the air

Photo drone – modern and the trend among photographers. They help to take pictures from exciting perspectives. The drone technology is a fun side factor when taking pictures. Hobby, as well as professional photographers can let off steam here.

Apply backlight for contrasts

Backlighting – Beginners in photography are advised not to shoot in the direction of backlighting. Nevertheless, the attraction of this direction of photography lies precisely in the special contrasts created by the sun or another light source on the object and its immediate surroundings. Careful alignment and a few technical tricks make snapshots taken against the light appear as if taken directly from life.

gray gradient filter as color and brightness adjustment

Gray graduated filters – they help with the problem of dynamic range. These filters have their limits in color fastness and odd horizon line (for example in mountains). An alternative is to digitally superimpose different exposures of the same scene. This requires that there are no moving objects in the scene and that the camera does not change its position (tripod).

High Key & Low Key: bright and dark light

High key and low key photography – an overexposed image, with astonishingly many details, probably shows a high key photography. The counterpart is the low key photography. In this mode, the photographer plays with brightness and darkness, creating elaborate black and white stretches.

  • High and Low Key are the counterpart of each other
  • More on the subject High Key & Low Key Photography

Camera tripod for a stable position of the camera

Camera tripod – whoever wants to buy a camera tripod faces an almost unmanageable offer. While in the past camera tripods were made mainly of wood, high-quality tripods are now made of aluminium or carbon, and anyone who travels a lot with their photographic equipment will always pay particular attention to the weight. Tripods should be large enough so that you can look through the camera comfortably at maximum height without bending your back. Nothing is worse than taking pictures all day long with a bent back. But the bigger a tripod is, the higher the weight is usually. As a photographer you will usually have to make a compromise between size and weight.

Macro lenses: interchangeable lens for shootings

Macro Lenses – this lens refers to a special interchangeable lens that allows you to achieve an image scale. One also speaks of macro photography. Macro lenses are also very suitable as beauty and portrait lenses. Apart from an affordable price, the focal length is roughly equivalent to a light telephoto lens, which is ideal for facial proportions.

Monitor calibration: Adjustment for color & brightness

Monitor Calibration – Once you decide to work with photos and bring them into the desired format on the screen, edit them in color or post-expose them, you can’t avoid professional monitor calibration.

  • Exact adjustment of the color and brightness display of a screen, especially with the help of color management
  • More information about monitor calibration

Polfilter: Tool of product photography

Polarizing filter – this filter is a useful tool especially in product photography, where reflections are most if not all unwanted. But it can also be used in landscape photography, for example to make a rainbow more striking or to make the leaf green appear more saturated. It is a special tool, the handling of which one must have tried and practiced many times.

Memory card: volume, types and tips

Memory card – the question of the type of memory card usually does not arise because it is predetermined by the camera. CF cards are usually much faster than SD cards. Fast cards are preferable, so that in extreme cases (for example, series shot) really all data is written. The larger the storage volume, the greater the risk of losing many pictures at once if the card breaks down. On the other hand, smaller storage volumes must be changed more often.

Sensor contamination: Cleaning the camera

Sensor contamination – as a photographer who travels a lot and shoots in different locations, you can assume that sensor cleaning is a necessary and easily manageable evil. Depending on the degree of soiling, dry cleaning with a bellows is sufficient or wet cleaning with special cleaning agent or isopropanol is necessary. In the latter case it is recommended to work with a special cleaning pad, which is available in stores.

  • dry cleaning with a bellows
  • More information about sensor contamination and sensor cleaning

Depth of field & aperture

Depth of field – at a small depth of field only the foreground is sharp, as the depth of field increases the photo becomes sharper and sharper in depth until finally the whole background is sharp. The means by which the depth of field is controlled is the aperture. A small aperture number provides a small depth of field (only the foreground is in focus), a large aperture number provides a large depth of field (everything up to the background is in focus).

ISO value as light sensitivity of the sensor

ISO Value – the abbreviation for International Organization for Standardization. So the ISO value of your camera is an internationally standardized value. The higher the ISO value, the higher the light sensitivity of the sensor. This includes vocabulary like aperture and shutter speed. To get better at this topic in practice, you should practice on your own camera and turn the ISO values up and down.

White balance avoids color errors

White balance – this balance prevents a color error during a shot. Semi or fully automatic white balance is quick and easy, even for beginners. However, it has a high error potential depending on the environment. Photography with manual white balance is particularly natural. However, this takes considerably more time. If, despite both methods, color errors remain in the image, they can be at least partially corrected by subsequent white balancing on the PC.

  • white-balance sensitizes the color temperature of the light at the shooting location
  • More information about the topic white balance

Tips for photographers: avoid beginner’s mistakes

Beginners often make many mistakes. They lack the experience of practice, theory and practice. In order to avoid these mistakes, one should allow help and take up tips from experts, experienced and train with this information. Especially the field of photography is broadly diversified and often underestimated. There are many techniques and settings that vary from camera to camera and always differ from the photographic genre.

Book tips

But how do I photograph correctly? What are the tricks? How do I expose correctly and how do I adjust my camera according to the environment? How do I work with apertures and how do I retouch my pictures naturally? These and more questions are answered in the best possible way in the following books. A photo workshop is not absolutely necessary, you can simply teach yourself photography with the help of these books. We have compiled the top 10 book recommendations for learning photography. We also have more book recommendations for Fashion & Beauty, Fashion Photography, Models & Style Icons and for Health, Nutrition & Fitness.

Fashion photography is a branch of photography that focuses on clothing presented by models. Often such photographs are used for advertising purposes, but some are taken for purely aesthetic reasons. Fashion photographye fascinates fashion enthusiasts as much as aesthetics lovers. The eye is spoiled with beautiful fashion, special settings and extraordinary & beautiful models. Fashion photography has established itself as an art form in its own right.

Basics of photography

Learning to photograph takes time. Most of them start with portraits, then photograph not only at home, but more and more outside and discover more and more motives in the studio as well as outside. But how do you photograph landscapes perfectly? What do you have to pay attention to when you photograph animals in the wild or moving people in the city? In our free guide for photographers you will find all the important and first tips you need to know as a beginner in photography.

Get to know important topics, as well as how to take portraits, people, outfits, sports motifs or even night photography.

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