Photography Tips for Beginners

Meta Explains The Best Photography Tips and Techniques For Beginners

How To Shoot The Best Photography for Beginner Photographers

How To Shoot The Best Photography Composition – Ever wonder why do some Photographs look better than others? Better Photography often involves Better Photography Composition! So how can you improve your composition?

The Rule of 3rds – This is often used by most Professional Photographers, but there’s an even better way to get Better Photography Composition.

The Fibonacci Spiral or The Golden Rule (Diagram: Below) – This can be a better way of Composing or Cropping your Photographs. Try it next time!

Where To Buy The Best Photography Guides

Meta’s Best Photography Composition and Lighting Tips and Techniques

The Golden Ratio – The Fibonacci Spiral For Better Photography Composition

Using The Golden Ratio or Fibonacci Spiral for Better Photography Composition

The Golden Ratio or The Fibonacci Sequence or Phi is found everywhere in Nature; in Sea Shells, Sunflowers, even in Hurricanes. This is a series of numbers where a number is found by adding up the two numbers before it: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55... If you draw an arc in each square, they form The Fibonacci Spiral (Diagram: Below).

Use the Fibonacci Spiral for Better Composition

The Golden Ratio can also be used in Photography Composition and Cropping. The ratio of 1 to 1.618 is often hailed as “The Perfect Number” and can assist in creating Much Better Photography that has a strong composition, which naturally draws your viewer’s eye into your photographs. For Better Photography Composition, Meta uses a handy Golden Ratio Transparency that fits on her iPhone and the LCD Display of her Sony a77 II Digital Camera.

Renaissance Artists and Designers have used the Fibonacci Sequence and Fibonacci Curves in their work for centuries. You can see this in paintings of the Mona Lisa and in the Last Supper. Logo Designers for Apple and Twitter have used the Fibonacci Curve in their Corporate Logo Designs. The Traditional Banker’s Lamp uses the Fibonacci Curve in the shape of the Green Glass.

How To Use The Golden Ratio in Photography Composition – Meta remembers the Golden Ratio whenever shooting her Nature Photography (6 Photos: Below). Meta’s Sony a77 II Digital Camera shoots 1:1.5 Ratio Photos (6000x4000 Pixels), so there are sides of the Fibonacci Spiral’s 1:1.618 Ratio don’t line up exactly with the photos, but as you can see, it works most of the time.

Photography TipsPrint out the Fibonacci Spiral (Diagram: Above) on a small clear piece of overhead foil. Use this as an aid in your Photography Composition. This foil can be held up to your eye, rotated or flipped. It can also be resized and placed over the Rear LCD Screen of your Camera. Meta bought a Golden Ratio Transparency, designed to fit iPhone 6/7/8 which works very well.
Using The Fibonacci Spiral for Better Photography Composition Using The Fibonacci Spiral for Better Photography Composition Using The Fibonacci Spiral for Better Photography Composition
Example 1 – In Meta’s Red-Tailed Hawk (Photo: Top Left), she placed the Hawk’s Eye near the 1.6 Intersecting Lines on the Fibonacci Spiral, avoiding the Traditional Rule of Thirds.

Example 2 – In Meta’s Blue Ridge Parkway Viaduct (Photo: Top Center), she placed the bottom curve of the Blue Ridge Parkway Viaduct near the curve of the Fibonacci Spiral. The man on the bike is at the 1.6 Ratio Line. The mountain top is at the 1.6 Ratio Line. This photography flows naturally from curve of the bridge upwards into the trees.

Example 3 – In Meta’s Flaming Azalea (Photo: Top Right), she placed the bottom of the Leaf near the bottom of the Fibonacci Spiral. The Flower begins at the 1.6 Ratio top and bottom lines. The center of the Flower flows upwards with the Fibonacci Spiral.
Using The Fibonacci Spiral for Better Photography Composition Using The Fibonacci Spiral for Better Photography Composition Using The Fibonacci Spiral for Better Photography Composition
Example 4 – In Meta’s Bird of Paradise (Photo: Top Left), she placed the Baby Bird’s head near the of center of the Fibonacci Spiral. This photography flows naturally from the baby bird outwards and upwards to the top of the parent’s head.

Example 5 – In Meta’s Golden Sunrise (Photo: Top Center), she placed the Sun near the center of the Fibonacci Spiral. This photography flows naturally from the sun outwards and downwards to the bottom.

Example 6 – In Meta’s Parkway Pine Tree (Photo: Top Right), she placed the Pine Tree Base near the center of the Fibonacci Spiral. This photography flows naturally from the base of the tree outwards and upwards to the top of the pine tree.
The Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio

– Gary Meisner

The Golden Ratio book examines the presence of this divine number in art and architecture throughout history, as well as its ubiquity among plants, animals, and even the cosmos. This book – with layflat dimensions that closely approximate the golden ratio – features clear, enlightening, and entertaining commentary alongside full-color illustrations by Venezuelan artist and architect Rafael Araujo.

From the pyramids of Giza, to quasicrystals, to the proportions of the human face, the golden ratio has an infinite capacity to generate shapes with exquisite properties. This book invites you to take a new look at this timeless topic, with a compilation of research and information worthy of a text book, accompanied by over 200 beautiful color illustrations.

Meta Explains The Best Photography Tips and Techniques

How To Master Your Photography Trade

Plan Your Photo Shoots – “Always Bring the Right Gear!” Plan on what Camera Gear you’ll need before you arrive on site, including which Lenses and Filters you’ll need.

Simple items can be easily overlooked, like forgetting to bring a Variable ND Filter when shooting blurred Waterfalls.

View Meta’s Camera Bag Checklist

It’s All About The Light – The same shot will look dramatically different as the nature light changes throughout the day. Avoid shooting between 10 AM and 2 PM, where the sun is directly overhead. The best natural light is early in the morning and late in the evening.

Shoot at Golden Hour – Shoot at the Golden Hour, the 1/2 Hour Period Before Sunset and After Sunset. This is considered the time to shoot outdoor photography, when the sunlight is redder, softer, and parallel to the horizon.

Shoot at Blue Hour – Shoot at the Blue Hour, the 1/2 Hour Period Before Sunrise and After Sunrise. This is considered the time to shoot outdoor photography, when the sunlight is blueish, evenly diffused, and parallel to the horizon.

Adding Action To Your Photographs – Adding an action focal point to a photo can take some timing, luck and a lot of patience. Lets say you are shooting a reflection in a mountain lake, a focus point like a goose taking off can add dramatic action to your photo. This can turn a rather normal holiday type photo into an interesting photo.

For action shots, you should to be ready for any action, especially in nature, with your Shutter Speed set to about 1/500th of a second, just in case a Canada Goose decides take off in front of you.

Walk Slowly – “Walk Slowly and Carry a Big Monopod!” When Hiking out in Nature, walk around slowly and take in a wide variety of shots. On Remote Hiking Trails, many Hikers rush past many great Macro Photography Subjects, without ever noticing them.

Know When and Why to Use Camera Filters – If you’re just starting out in the world of Camera Filters, HOYA sells a Digital Filter Kit II, which contains one UV Filter, one CPL Filter and one NDX8, 3 stop ND Filter, in a Handy Filter Pouch. Buy one Filter Kit Size for each Lens Diameter Size, 49mm, 55mm, 72mm, and you’ll have every kind of filter you’ll need to get started.

UV Filters – These are most often used as Lens Protection Filters, and highly recommended. Installing a UV Filter is a lot cheaper than repairing or replacing an expensive Camera Lens.

CPL Filters – These dramatically deepen blue skies, reduce unwanted reflections on nonmetallic surfaces and saturate colors, especially when used outdoors. CPL Filters are rotated (always rotate clockwise as not to loosen it) to dial in the desired polarization effect.

ND Filters – These are used to eliminate overly bright and washed out images and to control Long Exposures and Depth of Field, such as Waterfall Photography, when shooting 1/2 to 2 second Long Exposures.

Use Bracketing For HDR Photography – Shooting HDR Photography or High Dynamic Range Photography, using Bracketing requires shooting 3 or 5 Bracketed Images, at different EV Levels, using a Constant Aperture but Different Shutter Speeds, then combining them using Aurora HDR into one final HDR Photograph!

Explore Prime Lenses – Prime Lenses are often sharper and lighter than Zoom Lenses – They just don’t zoom. If you need to get closer – walk a little closer! Prime Lenses are light enough if you’re walking around all day. Meta often uses her super sharp Minolta AF 50mm f/1.4 Lens (Photo: Left) for shooting Low Light HDR Landscapes, Sunrises and Sunsets. Every photographer should own a Super Sharp Nifty Fifty 50mm Prime Lens!

Keep Your Sony Digital Camera Clean – Get into a regular routine of cleaning your Camera and Camera Accessories before and after every photo shoot, especially if you are shooting outdoors or in dirty or dusty locations. Microscopic dust, sand and dirt gets into everything, and slowly builds up over time! Meta uses Alcohol Camera Cleaning Wipess to remove any dirt, makup, grease and oils, then wipes it with a MicroFiber Cleaning Cloth. Meta keeps one MicroFiber Cleaning Cloth in her Photographer’s Vest, Filter Pouch and Camera Bag. Blow out your Camera Sensor whenever changing lenses, then use the Camera’s Vibratiing Sensor Cleaner. Avoid changing lenses outdoors if possible! Store your Camera Gear in Protective Camera Bags and Camera Pouches.

Master Your Sony Digital Camera – Sony Digital Camera Manuals – Get to know your Sony Digital Camera in and out. Study your Sony Digital Camera Manual! Know where all the Buttons and Knobs are located, and what they do – Practice using the Camera Buttons in the dark! Put these PDF Sony Digital Camera Manuals on your iPhone in iBooks for Handy Field Reference!

Download Your Sony Digital Camera Manual:
Sony a65 Digital Camera Manual
Sony a77 Digital Camera Manual
Sony a77 II Digital Camera Manual
Sony a99 Digital Camera Manual
Sony a99 II Digital Camera Manual

Know The Minimum Focusing Distance of Your Lenses – MFD is the minimum distance between a camera sensor and the subject, at which a lens is able to focus. Knowing the MFD of your lens will prevent you from getting too close to your subject, and not knowing why the lens won’t focus. The MFD of a lens can very from about 20cm to over a meter.

The Lens Reciprocal Rule – For a 100mm Lens: 1/100 = 1/100th of a second. Never Shoot Hand Held below 1/60th of a second! The Built-in Sony Image Stablilizer is rated for 2–3 Stops, but Meta tries to keep her lowest hand held shutter speed using the Lens Reciprocal Rule.

Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses – Getting started in Photography doesn’t have to cost a small fortune when it comes to purchasing multiple Camera Lenses! Many Photographers don’t know that you can purchase and use many inexpensive Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses for all Sony Digital Cameras – At about 10% of the cost of a brand new Sony Lens – That’s $70 instead of $700!

Find Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses – The Famous “Beer Can Lens” (Photo: Left), has a Constant Aperture of f/4.0, with a Macro Mode at 210mm. In 1985, this popular Zoom Lens sold new for $245. Today, you can still find a “Beer Can Lens” in Excellent Condition for under $90! Minolta made over 16 Million Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses between 1985 and 2006. Minolta Maxxum AF Lenses will Auto Focus on today’s Sony Digital Cameras!

Faster and Tougher SD Cards – Sony .ARW RAW File Sizes are about 25 Megs each, so if you‘re shooting 5 Bracketed RAW Shots for HDR Photography, that’s 125 Megs per Photo! Meta’s Sony a77 II Digital Camera supports SDXC SD Cards (UHS-I). This Sony SD Card is backwards compatible with all UHS-1 Standards. Faster 300 MB/s SD Cards won’t speed up the Sony a77 II Digital Camera, but they will dramatically speed up your File Transfers to your Laptop or Desktop Computer!
Sony 32 GB Cards – Holds about 1241 Sony .ARW RAW Images
Sony 64 GB SD Cards – Holds about 2493 Sony .AWR RAW Images
Sony 128 GB SD Cards – Holds about 4998 Sony .ARW RAW Images
Sony 256 GB SD Cards – Holds about 9996 Sony .ARW RAW Images

Common Reasons Your Photos are Blurry

Common Reasons Your Photos are Blurry

Why Are My Photographs Blurry?

• Misfocused Eyes in Portraits – Always Focus on the Eyes. Use Eye Detection Focus.
• ISO Too High – Keep Your ISO as Low as Possible. Use Your Native ISO 100.
• Aperture Too Small – f/32 Can Cause Blurry Photos due to Aperture Blade Refraction.
• Shutter Speed Too Low – Keep Hand Held Shutter Speeds Above 1/60th of a Second.
• Cropping and Resizing – Shoot Closer to your Subject instead of Cropping In.
• Camera Shake – Turn On Image Stabliization, Use a Tripod or a Faster Shutter Speed.
• Motion Blur – Subject could be Moving. Use a Faster Shutter Speed.
• Mixing Flash and Ambient Light – Try using Only Flash at f/8 without Ambient Light.
• Too Slow Flash Duration – Lowing Your Flash Power Speeds Up Your Flash Speed.

Meta Explains The Best Photography Reference Guides – Master Your Sony Digital Camera

The Photographer's Guide to Luminar

The Photographer’s Guide to Luminar

– Jeff Carlson

For photographers looking for either an alternative to Adobe Lightroom or simply a fantastic photo-editing application at a great price, Luminar is increasingly the solution for both professional and amateur photographers. From a powerful RAW engine that includes real-time noise reduction and advanced color processing and sharpening tools to customizable workspaces, intelligent photo editing filters, and adaptive presets that streamline your photo editing, Luminar has everything you need to quickly create stunning photos.
The Complete Guide to Sony’s Alpha 77 II

The Complete Guide to Sony’s Alpha 77 II

– Gary Friedman

If you own a Sony a77 II Digital Camera, you must get this book! This very easy-to-understand yet thorough guide provides a complete Sony a77 II Digital Camera instruction manual which explains each setting in plain English and provides hundreds of visual examples as well. There is no better way to learn about and get the most out of the Sony a77 II Digital Camera. Legendary Minolta and Sony Digital Camera Expert, Gary Friedman, includes his Detailed Printable Reference Cards. This Reference Book and Reference Cards are Highly Recommended for all Sony Digital Camera Photographers!
The Complete Guide to Sony’s Alpha 77 II

The Complete Guide to Sony’s Alpha 99 II

– Gary Friedman

If you own a Sony a99 II Camera, you must get this book! This very easy-to-understand yet thorough guide provides a complete Sony a99 II Camera instruction manual which explains each setting in plain English and provides hundreds of visual examples as well. There is no better way to learn about and get the most out of the Sony a99 II Camera. Legendary Minolta and Sony Digital Camera Expert, Gary Friedman, includes his Detailed Printable Reference Cards. This Reference Book and Reference Cards are Highly Recommended for all Sony Digital Camera Photographers!

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Boone NC Commercial Photographers
Boone NC Commercial Photographers

Photos By Meta

Boone NC Commercial Photographers
PO Box 1571
Blowing Rock, NC 28605
1-828-265-2730
Monday – Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM (Eastern)

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