Photography Tips for DSLR Users

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Here’s a quick video with 10 (+1) tips for DSLR users from photographer Thomas Hawk.

What would you add to his list?

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Darren Rowse

is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals.

He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • Know your rights when you’re being questioned or stopped.
    http://emonome.com/archives/696

  • Thanks for sharing this video, Darren.
    Actually just made my own top 5 list –
    http://www.shaicoggins.com/index.php/weblog/top-5-photography-lessons-ive-learned-so-far/

  • Ben

    I would add, more expensive camera does not = better photos. Start with reading, research, and learning.

  • Silverhalide

    Tip #11 – Don’t shoot reflective surfaces square on. Say for example, if you’re making a video of shooting tips in front of a window, place the camera so that it isn’t at right angles to the window, that way, you can avoid annoying reflections of the camera, and the back of the presenter’s head.

    (And seriously, if you’re using flash, this will prevent the ugly glare of the flash from showing up in the picture, or throwing your metering off.)

  • Odyn

    Tip #12 – Take your dSLR with you. If you tend to leave it at home you’d be better off buying an ultraportable compact camera and keep it in your pocket everywhere you go.

  • Take your camera with you everywhere! I even carry it in the car when I take my kids to school. Some shots are once in a lifetime and won’t wait for you to go home to get your camera!

  • I’ve been a fan of Thomas’ work for some time now and although almost exaggeratedly simple, these tips will improve, to some extent, anyone’s photography.

  • I liked the last statement. “The best pictures in the world are yet to be taken”. Thanks for sharing the video.

  • GREAT tips! Thanks for sharing!

  • “The best pictures in the world are yet to be taken.” – Thomas Hawk

    I don’t have a DSLR, but these tips can still come in handy. I’ve been wondering how I should go about buying a tripod for my new Nikon. So thanks for posting this. I’ll be sure to remember those great tips.

  • The video gave me a lot of tips and help. Now I can tell my purist friends to leave me alone because photoshop does help improve pictures!!

  • ***Keep your gear clean and well looked after, it will look after you right back*** [wanders off to clean gear]

  • Awesome tips!
    Thank you!

  • G

    I notice lots of people do indeed take A LOT of pictures,since it doesn’t really matter with digital. I often do this myself too, but just for the sake of your own photography, don’t just take a batch of pictures while adjusting your settings. Think about what you’re doing, TRY to get it right from the first time. There will be times you won’t get that many chances to get that shot, get to know your camera and what it does in certain light conditions.

  • These are nice basic tips, but I do disagree with his tip to use Photoshop. There are other photo processing programs that will accomplish the same processing for a LOT less money.

  • Bilka

    This video was like watching paint dry. I understand that we are all at different levels here and I respect that but this was all common sense stuff, even for first-timers. We all know that we should change ISO and use a tripod and take lots of pictures and… blah, blah, blah….. Read any instruction manual that comes with a camera and you’ll learn this stuff. This is just another rehash. I for one would like to see some more useful and advanced issues covered for a change?

    Bilka

  • Bilka

    This video was like watching paint dry. I understand that we are all at different levels here and I respect that but this was all common sense stuff, even for first-timers. We all know that we should change ISO and use a tripod and take lots of pictures and… blah, blah, blah….. Read any instruction manual that comes with a camera and you’ll learn this stuff. This is just another rehash. I for one would like to see some more useful and advanced issues covered for a change?

    Bilka

  • Bilka

    Sorry for the double post. I was trigger happy on the submit button.

    Bilka

  • Tom

    Totally agree with KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! As a street photographer, I am always nervous to shoot a random person on the street because I always think they will come up to me and get pissed (They actually have many times)…but it’s ok as long as you are on public property. Here is an AMAZING Lawyer who knows all of the photographer’s rights and put them in a pamphlet that I always keep in my bag (Just print, and fold!)

    http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm

  • JoPhoto

    Re: Tip #6 Know your rights
    Never assume you can photograph anyone you want to. In some European countries, for example, you cannot just take someone’s photograph without their permission, as each person is deemed the copyright owner of his or her image. If you take their photo and they object, they are within their rights to demand its deletion, or the film in your camera. This is a major difference with North America and Europe.

  • Good tips! I’ve also got my list of 10 tips for photography (film and digital):

    http://windycitycameraphile.blogspot.com/2007/12/10-photography-tips.html

    See what you think!

    Thanks

  • Maurice Prokaziuk

    I review every shot in Photoshop. Some need minor tweekeing and some need major work. It certainly dosen’t hurt to spend a few minutes to see if you can improve on the shot.

    Thanks for the great tips. I’m still looking for a good tripod and your tip will help narrow down the choices.

Some Older Comments

  • Maurice Prokaziuk January 8, 2008 12:09 am

    I review every shot in Photoshop. Some need minor tweekeing and some need major work. It certainly dosen't hurt to spend a few minutes to see if you can improve on the shot.

    Thanks for the great tips. I'm still looking for a good tripod and your tip will help narrow down the choices.

  • Mike January 7, 2008 04:42 pm

    Good tips! I've also got my list of 10 tips for photography (film and digital):

    http://windycitycameraphile.blogspot.com/2007/12/10-photography-tips.html

    See what you think!

    Thanks

  • JoPhoto January 7, 2008 10:00 am

    Re: Tip #6 Know your rights
    Never assume you can photograph anyone you want to. In some European countries, for example, you cannot just take someone's photograph without their permission, as each person is deemed the copyright owner of his or her image. If you take their photo and they object, they are within their rights to demand its deletion, or the film in your camera. This is a major difference with North America and Europe.

  • Tom January 6, 2008 05:32 pm

    Totally agree with KNOW YOUR RIGHTS! As a street photographer, I am always nervous to shoot a random person on the street because I always think they will come up to me and get pissed (They actually have many times)...but it's ok as long as you are on public property. Here is an AMAZING Lawyer who knows all of the photographer's rights and put them in a pamphlet that I always keep in my bag (Just print, and fold!)

    http://www.krages.com/phoright.htm

  • Bilka January 6, 2008 02:32 pm

    Sorry for the double post. I was trigger happy on the submit button.

    Bilka

  • Bilka January 6, 2008 02:30 pm

    This video was like watching paint dry. I understand that we are all at different levels here and I respect that but this was all common sense stuff, even for first-timers. We all know that we should change ISO and use a tripod and take lots of pictures and… blah, blah, blah….. Read any instruction manual that comes with a camera and you’ll learn this stuff. This is just another rehash. I for one would like to see some more useful and advanced issues covered for a change?

    Bilka

  • Bilka January 6, 2008 02:30 pm

    This video was like watching paint dry. I understand that we are all at different levels here and I respect that but this was all common sense stuff, even for first-timers. We all know that we should change ISO and use a tripod and take lots of pictures and… blah, blah, blah….. Read any instruction manual that comes with a camera and you’ll learn this stuff. This is just another rehash. I for one would like to see some more useful and advanced issues covered for a change?

    Bilka

  • Terry January 6, 2008 01:57 pm

    These are nice basic tips, but I do disagree with his tip to use Photoshop. There are other photo processing programs that will accomplish the same processing for a LOT less money.

  • G January 6, 2008 12:05 pm

    I notice lots of people do indeed take A LOT of pictures,since it doesn't really matter with digital. I often do this myself too, but just for the sake of your own photography, don't just take a batch of pictures while adjusting your settings. Think about what you're doing, TRY to get it right from the first time. There will be times you won't get that many chances to get that shot, get to know your camera and what it does in certain light conditions.

  • Bonita in Pink January 6, 2008 06:49 am

    Awesome tips!
    Thank you!

  • sime January 6, 2008 05:40 am

    ***Keep your gear clean and well looked after, it will look after you right back*** [wanders off to clean gear]

  • JCSeamons January 6, 2008 04:47 am

    The video gave me a lot of tips and help. Now I can tell my purist friends to leave me alone because photoshop does help improve pictures!!

  • Angela January 6, 2008 03:54 am

    "The best pictures in the world are yet to be taken." - Thomas Hawk

    ---

    I don't have a DSLR, but these tips can still come in handy. I've been wondering how I should go about buying a tripod for my new Nikon. So thanks for posting this. I'll be sure to remember those great tips.

  • Michelle January 6, 2008 03:49 am

    GREAT tips! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sreejith K January 5, 2008 11:22 am

    I liked the last statement. "The best pictures in the world are yet to be taken". Thanks for sharing the video.

  • A. Marques January 5, 2008 08:47 am

    I've been a fan of Thomas' work for some time now and although almost exaggeratedly simple, these tips will improve, to some extent, anyone's photography.

  • Tracey January 5, 2008 05:58 am

    Take your camera with you everywhere! I even carry it in the car when I take my kids to school. Some shots are once in a lifetime and won't wait for you to go home to get your camera!

  • Odyn January 5, 2008 04:34 am

    Tip #12 - Take your dSLR with you. If you tend to leave it at home you'd be better off buying an ultraportable compact camera and keep it in your pocket everywhere you go.

  • Silverhalide January 5, 2008 04:19 am

    Tip #11 - Don't shoot reflective surfaces square on. Say for example, if you're making a video of shooting tips in front of a window, place the camera so that it isn't at right angles to the window, that way, you can avoid annoying reflections of the camera, and the back of the presenter's head.

    (And seriously, if you're using flash, this will prevent the ugly glare of the flash from showing up in the picture, or throwing your metering off.)

  • Ben January 5, 2008 03:09 am

    I would add, more expensive camera does not = better photos. Start with reading, research, and learning.

  • Shai Coggins January 5, 2008 02:33 am

    Thanks for sharing this video, Darren.
    Actually just made my own top 5 list -
    http://www.shaicoggins.com/index.php/weblog/top-5-photography-lessons-ive-learned-so-far/

  • Emon January 5, 2008 02:03 am

    Know your rights when you're being questioned or stopped.
    http://emonome.com/archives/696

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