Wichita, Kansas

Jeff Breault | 3 Essential Photography Tips

Jeff Breault believes that photography is an extremely gratifying hobby. Not only can you experience an interesting and even exciting event, you get to capture it on film and possibly create a work of art that you can continue to enjoy for years to come. Now that photographic equipment and resources are more affordable than ever, taking great snapshots isn’t really beyond anyone’s reach. But photography is both an art and a craft, and the more you know about the craft, the better your art will ultimately be.

“I’ve been a travel photographer for nearly as long as I can remember, and I’m always learning new things,” says Jeff Breault. “That’s the great thing about photography – the more knowledge and experience you gain, the more you’re able to learn new things, and evolve creatively. It can be very exciting.”

Here are a few techniques that will help you continue to hone your craft, whether you’ve been a casual photographer for four or 40 years.

Know how to keep the camera steady.

“A trembly camera can spoil and otherwise glorious shot,” says Jeff Breault. “It can happen to anyone, so there’s no shame in having tools ready to combat camera shake.”

Knowing how to hold a camera properly is critical to avoiding camera shake. If you’re using a standard DSLR camera, make sure you cradle the lens with one hand, and hold the body of the camera (as though you are putting a book on a shelf) with the other. Keep the camera fairly close to your body.

Make sure you also always use a sufficiently high shutter speed. If your shutter speed is too slow for the subject, it will lead to the shutter remaining open while your subject (or camera) is in motion, and a fuzzy result.

Lastly – invest in a tripod. A tripod is essential for ensuring a steady camera and clear photograph.

Study the exposure triangle.

“One of my greatest photographic triumphs was learning the exposure triangle,” says Jeff Breault. “It made an enormous difference in the quality of my shots.”

What is the exposure triangle? It’s a reference for ISO (light sensitivity rating), aperture, and shutter speed. Most cameras provide an auto setting where these features are modified based upon what the software detects. While it can be convenient, it may also result in mediocre photographs if the auto setting doesn’t know what you specifically want to achieve. For example, it will focus on the central figure instead of peripheral subjects, and it might use the flash when you don’t want it to.

By learning the exposure triangle and how to adjust your camera’s specifications to your environment, subject, and the aesthetic you’re trying to attain, you’ll be able to take great photos anywhere, and under any circumstances.

Learn as much as you can before spending money on equipment.

“A few years back I convinced myself that I needed a brand new, mirrorless full frame camera to do my travel photography justice,” says Jeff Breault. “You know what? It barely made a difference! A part of me really thought that the magic was all in the camera itself, not the man behind it. I still had a lot to learn.”

Practice as much as you can on whatever equipment you currently own before you attempt to upgrade your tools. You may be surprised at what you can accomplish with your trusty camera once you master (or at lease improve upon) your fundamentals!

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