Like many things in life I find it best to get opinions from many different sources. Vanilla Extinction does breathtaking photography. She focuses mainly on nature subject. Her photos are absolutely exquisite. She shares some of her photography tips here:
"One thing I learned if you are taking photos indoors and the only decent window has very harsh light coming through it you can buy a white frosted shower curtain and tack it over the window you will have beautiful diffused light.
When shooting certain things, like flowers for instance have the light come from the side. Light head on will make some things look flat where side lighting gives dimension.
|Purple Delphinium by Vanilla Extinction|
To enrich your lighting I have a piece of cardboard that I wrapped in aluminum foil. Hold it on the opposite side of where your lighting is coming from. It will bounce the light back onto your subject. You can have one side with the reflective side out and the other side with the dull side out. That will give different variations to your lighting.
Outside light is actually the best light. If it is very sunny than take your shots in a shady spot just a few feet from the bright sun. It will keep you from getting really harsh shadows.
|In His Eyes by Vanilla Extinction|
When I needed a black background I bought some black velour fabric. You can drape it over whatever is handy but make sure to keep your subject a foot or two away from the backgound. That will make the black look really black. Fabric makes great, inexpensive backdrops. I have used velour, satin, burlap for a little texture. Make sure the fabric drapes well.
Another tip is use a tripod whenever possible and when you do, disable your image stabilization. You don't need it then and it may cause some blur . These things work by looking for vibration and if they don't find any they could actually cause vibration.
I hope you can use some of these tips. One thing that is obvious but some people miss is to get down to the subject's level. Shooting straight down on a subject just doesn't give any special look. Using different angles gives interest."
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