Avoid stacking up too many filters
It is tempting to add multiple filters to the end of each lens to achieve different results, but bear in mind that although they may look perfectly clear to you, each one reduces the amount of light passing through by a small amount. For the best results, use the smallest number of filters possible.
Invest in a cheap pair of lights
If you are doing any kind of indoor photography, invest in a cheap pair of lights. Buy at least a pair, complete with tripod stands and reflectors to direct the light. Opt for continuous light rather than flash units, as they are cheaper, easy to use and great for beginners, as you do not have to take test shots to see how the shadows fall during setup.
Most photographers buy a flash with their new camera, but most beginners just aim the flash head right at the subject and shoot. If you point the flash at the ceiling or a side wall and bounce the flash onto the model, you will get significantly softer and more flattering light. It is incredibly easy to learn, but many photographers are afraid to try it for the first time.
Embrace the grey day
Do not let an overcast day put you off heading out with your camera. The softer light you get on an overcast day is perfect for shooting plants, flowers and foliage as it dampens the contrasts we were championing in our previous step. This allows the camera to achieve a more balanced exposure and really bring out the colours in petals.
Replace your cards every couple of years
Memory cards might not have any moving parts, but that does not mean they do not wear out. On the contrary they each have a finite life, and every time you write to, delete from or read the card you are bringing it another step closer to the end of that life. If you do not want to risk corrupting your pictures far from home, replace heavily used cards every couple of years.
By Koos Fourie