How to use a reflector or a substitute
A reflector is one of the cheapest bits of photography kit you can buy, but there are also lots of things you can use instead of a reflector if you either find yourself without one or don’t want to spend money buying more photography stuff.
At the most simple, wearing a white top can bounce light back on your subject if you are standing close enough to them, but you can also use those metallic backed reflectors you put on car windscreens in the summer, or a large bit of white cardboard.
Using a reflector doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult either, if you are taking a close up head and shoulders portrait you can get the person you are photographing to hold the reflector for you or you can support it between your two bodies.
The importance of straightening horizons
Sometimes a simple way of improving your images can be staring you right in the face and no one has told you yet. Reading the critiques of other people’s photos in photography magazines can sometimes help you grasp these obvious but basic things.
For me the hallelujah moment was about straightening horizons. All you need to do is spend a few seconds slightly adjusting the straightening tool in your editing software and instantly you have a more aesthetically pleasing image.
Sometimes the best photographers are amateurs
Most people dream of being a “pro” when they decide to get good at photography, but if you start flicking through the pages of a magazine like Practical Photography you will notice that many of the stunning images in their ‘Your Images’ section are actually submitted by amateur photographers.
Being really good at taking photos doesn’t automatically mean you do it for a living and in fact some of the most technically brilliant snappers out there are the ones who have dedicated all their spare time and money to their hobby, simply because they love it.
Kit envy will never go away
Photography magazines are always reviewing the latest equipment and most of the time it’s amazing and costs a fortune. There’s a lot of it, too — enough to fill the whole review section month after month.
Even if you had a lottery win you’d never be able to keep up with buying it all. Research what you want, buy it and stick with it for a few years. Someone will always have better kit than you, but they might not produce better photos.
There’s always more to learn
I think when I bought my first SLR I thought that just by owning one and taking photos with it I’d be a great photograph. I was so wrong.
Not only do you have to master the rules of photography, but you have to learn what your camera is capable of and how to process the images it takes. From reading through tutorials in magazines you start to realise that it’s a process that never really ends. Thankfully, it’s a really enjoyable one too!
Get your photography fix delivered straight to your door with one (or more) of our many photography magazines.