Image Shanghai Photography Be professional on your photography

11Apr/16Off

Setting Up Your Canon Rebel T6 or EOS 1300D

p10Once you have purchased your Canon Rebel T6 or 1300D (depending on where in the world you are), you will need to go through some basic set-up procedures. The very first thing you should do is to charge the battery. this could at up to four hours, but it is recommended to charge it fully to begin with as it helps maintain the battery life over the long term. The battery fits in through a door on the bottom of the camera and, as is often the case, it will only fit in one way. The Canon logo needs to be facing upwards if the camera is on its back. There is a clip that will keep it in place. Then insert the memory card. The camera does not come with a memory card, so you will need to buy one. Many professionals use Sandisk cards. They are a little more expensive, but are preferred because they offer a lifetime guarantee on many of their cards. Remember, this only refers to the card itself, not the information on it, so always download your pictures or videos onto something more secure, like an external hard drive or a computer. The memory card slips into a slot next to the battery and, again, it will only fit in one way.

Then you need to fix the lens. If you have bought the standard kit lens, the 18-55mm EF-S II, then you will see a small white square on the rim. Take the cap off the camera and you will see a corresponding white square on the camera. Line the two up and then turn the lens clockwise until it clicks. When changing lenses on a digital camera, always try to keep the camera body facing down so that dust doesn't get into the camera itself.

Then we can look at changing some of the settings inside the camera. When you switch the camera on for the first time, the option to set the time and date will pop up. These values can be changed easily using the cross keys on the back of the camera. Then you will be asked if you want to save the date in the UK style (day, month, year) or the USA style (month, day, year). After setting these, goto the menu tabs. With this Canon camera, it is a good idea to have the camera switched to the manual setting on the mode dial. This is because all the tabs will then be visible on the LCD screen on the back. If you have it set on some of the automatic modes, the number of available tabs will be reduced. The first thing to look at now is the preferred language. That is in Shooting Tab 2. Use the cross keys to navigate and change it to the best language for you. There are plenty to choose from.

It is recommended to format the memory card regularly. This is because they can malfunction if the are written and over-written too often without being reset. The option here is in Shooting Tab 1. When selecting this, there will be a warning saying that all the data will be lost. This includes any images or videos that you may have protected, so you really should only format after you have downloaded everything you want from the card.

The viewfinder has a small wheel next to it which can help you see better if you wear glasses or have poor eyesight. This is the dioptric adjuster. Basically it changes the focal length of the viewfinder to match your eyesight. Remember, however, that this only changes what you see through the viewfinder. It does not affect the way the camera will focus or take pictures.

Sometimes, when you are working, the LCD screen will automatically switch off. This helps to save your battery life, but it can be annoying. To switch it back on press the menu button. to change it got to auto power off, which is in Set-Up Tab 1. You can extend it up to 15 minutes or disable it altogether, but I suggest extending it to 1 minute.

Finally, set the image size. This option is in Shooting Tab 1. There are various options, but I would recommend High quality Jpeg, as this allows you to save high quality images without taking up too much space on your memory card.

1Feb/16Off

12 Inspiring Ways To Fast

p11. Print your images

Are your photographs destined to remain hidden on a hard drive forever, unseen by the world? Remember the buzz you once had in the pre-digital days, when you saw your photographs the first time in print?
Why not peruse your recent holiday snaps, and select your best work to be immortalised with ink on paper. Frame them; hang them in your home; give them away as gifts.

2. Update your camera gear

There comes a time when your digital camera doesn't do your skills justice. While point-and-shoot cameras are convenient and cheaper, they are restricted by their simplicity and their smaller sensor size.

Unfortunately, the old adage 'you get what you pay for' is still the truth. Even an entry-level DSLR and kit lens will produce sharper and bigger images, and allow you to play with a wider aperture range, from at least f/4 to f/22.

If you're into landscape photography, a sturdy tripod is a must, as is a polarising filter to darken blue skies. A cable release will prevent camera shake during longer exposures. A decent kit bag will protect your expensive gear, and enable more efficient access to it.

3. Subscribe to a photography magazine

The racks of most bookshops are stacked with numerous photography magazines. My favourite is Digital SLR Photography*, which boasts a higher standard of writing than found in other titles from the UK. Of course, these days you can subscribe to the digital version of magazines, and download them to your mobile device of choice.

4. Start a personal project

A popular pastime is to shoot a photo every day for 365 days. The idea is to force yourself into the habit of getting your camera out regularly, not just for holidays, or special occasions. Shoot ordinary events or items.

Dedicated 365 websites give tips and ideas.

You could photograph a 'selfie' in the mirror to record your beard growth for 12 months, and then create a time lapse.

Another worthwhile project is to choose a numeral (e.g. 8) or a colour (e.g. red). Walk around town for a day, only shooting this topic. You will be amazed at how such a focussed assignment will hone your observation skills.

5. Enter a photography competition

Success in a local, national or even international competition is not only a huge boost to your confidence, and reputation - you may collect some fantastic prizes too. Competitions range from promotional gimmicks at local events (think A&P shows or radio stations), non-profit organisations (think camera clubs) to magazines which run these on an annual basis.

This is a great way to expose your work to a wider audience, and broaden your skill set. The more prestigious competitions will charge entry fees, particularly the umbrella organisations for professionals, where winners are highly acclaimed.

6. Get your work published

If you love to photograph in a narrow niche (e.g. animals, gardens, fashion, children, or sports), and believe your images will withstand an editor's scrutiny, why not send a sample CD off to your favourite publication? Magazine editors are forever on the lookout for fresh takes on old topics. Follow up with a phone call, or better, a personal visit.

If you're a competent wordsmith, even better, as you'll get paid more for quality writing than for a handful of photos. However, be warned: editors are notorious for not replying, so you will need to be tenacious. Don't give up.

7. Learn how to post-process your pics

This is what often separates amateurish photos from professional-looking images: taking a few minutes in Photoshop, adjusting a few basic things. Stuff like colour correction, sharpness, and exposure curves are easily done. So is straightening a wonky horizon, or cropping your picture into a more pleasing frame.

Photoshop Elements or Lightroom are popular with hobbyists as they are cheaper, stripped-down versions of Adobe's flagship software. Beginners may find Faststone Image Viewer a simple yet powerful program - and best of all, it's free.

8. Push yourself

Very rarely do great images come easy. Persistence pays off, and sometimes it's just a matter of staying around longer on location, waiting for the right light. Or getting out of bed earlier for that stunning sunrise shot.

Go the extra mile this year. Don't settle for second best, even if it means embarking on solo missions when the family is sleeping or watching TV. The sacrifice will be worth it.

9. Make money from your hobby

There are numerous ways to earn a living from photography - it all depends on your skill level, personality type, and passions. While the market for more landscape calendars or greeting cards is saturated, there's still room for tasteful stock images, particularly shots of people.

On-line micro-stock libraries such as iStockphoto.com will no longer provide a decent full-time income, but you could make some pocket money. Fortunately, local stock libraries value their contributor's images more highly. If your images are accepted and sell regularly, you can expect to earn several thousand dollars every year, once you have built up a considerable body of quality work.

Of course, if you have the people skills and can think on your feet, wedding photography is where the real money is. As this competitive genre is seasonal, it can be supplemented by studio shoots, or baby portraiture.

10. Join the club

Photo albums have now been replaced with on-line galleries. Host sites include Google Photos or Yahoo's Flickr, but if you're serious, why not build your own personal website? This is no longer such a daunting task, as it was a few years ago. Cloud-based hosts include clikpic.com and wix.com where beautiful templates make DIY web design a breeze.

However, if you and computers don't mix, you can always find a like-minded community of real humans in a local camera club. These not-for-profits offer advice, training, competitions, trips, conventions and printed publications.

11. Take a photography course

Most folks will benefit from attending at least one photography course, especially when they're starting out. This needn't be a four-year university degree. Check out your local high school - many offer night classes for adults, and are great value for money.

Alternatively, many pro photographers run seasonal workshops on portraiture, wildlife or landscapes.

12. Go on tour

To really improve your photography, you need to grab your camera, and practise, practise, practise.

Perhaps the best way to fast-track your camera skills is on an intense weekend shooting on location, with an experienced guide. He or she will transport you to the best hot spots at the best time of day, to ensure you get great imag