Photography tips - What would it take to click a good picture

Beginning Photography Tip #1:
Move in Closer

Each time you spot a subject, snap a shot and then move in closer for a better shot. Having your subject almost fill the frame helps your viewer understand and appreciate your photo. Also, details are often more interesting than an overall view.

Keep moving in closer until you are sure the photo will successfully represent your subject.

Beginning Photography Tip #2:
Be Quick

If it is at all possible that your subject may move, bolt, fly away, stop smiling, or just get tired of waiting for you to take the picture, shoot once right away.

Practice getting quicker and quicker to the draw.

Do not worry about taking too many pictures and do not wait until you're absolutely certain all the knobs and buttons are in their correct position.

As the motto of one of Better Photo old t-shirts states, "Shoot First, Ask Questions Later."

Beginning Photography Tip #3:
Compose Your Picture with Care

Even if you don't plan on selling your photo to the Smithsonian, make every effort to keep it balanced and beautiful. On one level or another, everyone responds better to a picture that has all elements in balance.

Strive to lead the eye along an interesting path through the photo, with the use of strong lines or patterns.

  • Keep the horizon level;
  • Crop out extra elements that you are not interested in (more on this is the next tip);
  • Consciously place your subject where you think it most belongs rather than just accepting it wherever it happens to land in the photo;
  • Play with perspective so that all lines show a pattern or lead the eye to your main subject;
  • Work with the Rule of Thirds.

Beginning Photography Tip #4:
Be Selective

Discern what you are really interested in and center your efforts on getting the best photo of this subject, whether it a still life, your funny cat, your doggy, a friend, a family matter, a mood, a place or culture.

Then be sure to keep anything that would distract out of the picture. Go as far as Ansel Adams did to remove unwanted elements.

The easiest way to do this is to watch your borders - the edges of the view you see through the camera's viewfinder. Then recompose if anything - such as an unattractive telephone wire, an old soda can, a distracting sign, your finger, or your camera strap - hangs into your picture.

It can become more difficult if you want to, say, shoot a San Francisco cable car without a single distracting telephone line. But even in such a difficult case, you have many options.

You can:

  • Focus in on a close-up that tells the whole story;
  • Move around until you arrange the telephone lines into a neat pattern that leads to the subject; or
  • Take a panning shot that makes the cable car remain in focus while the background goes blurry.

Beginning Photography Tip #5:
Focus on Your Subject

Practice shooting with different apertures and monitor the results afterwards to learn how depth-of-field affects your photo.

You will find that a smaller depth-of-field (and smaller f-stop #) focuses all the attention upon your subject. This is great for taking a picture of your child, your dog, or your husband - subjects stand out against a blurry background.

Likewise, you will find that a greater depth-of-field (bigger f-stop number) will make everything from here to eternity appear in focus. This will help make those landscapes fascinating and lovely.

You will also want to become familiar with the way your camera focuses. If it is a simple point and shoot camera, you will likely indicate which part of the picture to focus on by following these steps:

  1. Aim so the object you want in sharp focus is in the center of the viewfinder.
  2. Press the shutter button down half-way and hold it.
  3. Move your camera until you have the composition you like best (see tip #3).
  4. Press the button down the rest of the way to take the picture.

Beginning Photography Tip #6:
Experiment with Shutter Speed

One of the most basic, overlooked, and fun aspects of photography is that you have the power to slow time down or catch a split second.

One image happens so slowly that we could never see it and the other happens so quickly in real time that we would never notice it. Play with shutter speed!

Use a slow shutter speed and a tripod to make a pretty picture of any creek or stream. On the oth er hand, you can use a fast shutter speed (1/500 and up) to capture an object in motion.

Combining a fast shutter speed with a long lens, you sports buffs can get a trophy of your own when you are able to catch the expression on your favorite runningback's face as he slips past the final defense toward a winning touchdown. Remember, catching the moment in fast-paced action photography may take a little more practice so hang in there.

Beginning Photography Tip #7:
Look at the Light

By this, I don't mean look into the sun - no, that won't do at all. But it is good to see what kind of light you are working with. Which way are the shadows falling? Unless you want a silhouette effect, where your subject is black against an interesting background, it's generally best to shoot with
the sun behind you.

How is the light affecting your subject? Is the subject squinting?

Is the light blazing directly and brightly upon your whole subject? This works well if you are in love with the bold colors of your subject.

Side lighting, on the other hand, can add drama but can also cause extreme, hard-to-print contrasts.

Lastly, indirect light can be used to make your subject glow soft and pretty.

Beginning Photography Tip #8:
Watch the Weather, Too

Look outside and decide whether or not you are going to want to have the sky in your picture.

If it's overcast, simply keep the sky out of your pictures as much as possible. This is usually the best way to avoid both muted tones in your subject and washed-out skies in your background. You might also find black and white pictures of an overcast day more pleasing than color.

When the day is beautiful, go ahead and make the most of it.

If your camera allows for the use of filters, purchase a polarizer. This will help you render deep blue skies against bright white clouds, richly contrasting colors, and other wonderful effects with a simple twist of the wrist.

Beginning Photography Tip #9:
Keep Your Camera Settings Simple

While you may wish to have "all the bells and whistles" available just in case, you will probably get the best results if you do not try to use them all the time and instead learn a simple set up that works best for you in most situations.

This doesn't necessarily mean keeping your camera set on "Program" - while this mode may be perfect in its simplicity, it may be frustrating in its tyrannical control.

Instead of relying on a fully automatic program, pick a simple, semi-automatic program such as aperture-priority and master shooting in that mode. Then, you'll be able to control certain basics without letting the other basics control you, and thus keep that 150 page manual where it belongs - in your camera bag.

Tip: if you want one accessory, bring a tripod. This one item can solve camera shake
issues and help you get beautiful evening shots.

Beginning Photography Tip #10:
Be Bold

Don't allow yourself to be paralyzed by fears of using the wrong settings, or an non-politically-correct social policy.

If you are afraid of upsetting someone by taking their picture, just go up and ask if it's okay. Ask them to sign a release and offer a print in return.

With wildlife, adopt a low-impact method when you go places where few photographers have gone before. For the above photos, I put my camera and telephoto in a waterproof bag and kayaked out into Monterey Bay. (Lawyer-talk: This can be dangerous - so be careful.)

Be wise... but be bold.

List of Things to Pack for U.S.

Suitcase [2 x 23 Kgs + 8 Kgs]

I have created list of items to carry for students and professionals who are traveling for first time.

I will be updating this list frequently for next few days. Its not complete yet, but it will give you an idea of what to buy and what not to buy when coming here for First time.

US Travel - List of Items to Pack








Shirt - Casual



Shirt - Formal






Coat and Suit are expensive in U.S. compared to India

Shorts/ 3/4ths






I don't like to wear pantsJ. I will go with Jeans




Leather is expensive in U.S.

Formal Shoe

1 Pair


Winter Wear


Don't buy lots of sweater, wind fleece, wind cheater,. Other winter wear from India. It's better to get it from here.

Leather Jacket

I usually don't recommend anyone to buy leather jacket. Its expensive here, but you can find good winter jacket depending on where you live from $100 to $200.

Sports Shoes

1 Pair


Nike, Adidas, .. are cheap here


1 Pair


Its cheap here, but you will need it when you reach here.




Get new one before you come

Personal Care




Don't water your suitcase weight carrying hangers. You will get 13 Hangers for $4 form Walmart




Shaving Kit



Bring what you are using now

After Shave



Bring what you are using now.




One soap to use first few days

Wash Detergent


Please don't carry detergents from India. You are wasting your space/weight.


1 or 2


Hair Oil

50 to 200ml


Pack it well, so it doesn't leak.

Nail cutter



Small scissors



Safety pin bunch. Mini-sewing kit with some buttons


Every List you see will ask you to get these items, I have never used it nor my friends in last 5 years. So, don't get it.



Get it here.




Turkey Towels will be heavy, so get 1 of that and 2 towels light in weight.

Napkin/Hand Kerchiefs






You can get it here, but try to avoid spending for first 3-6 months. You will get same Axe that you get in India.

Tooth Paste



Get small one, it will save you weight and you can get it here. Same Colgate, Close-up is available, but it will taste different.




You can carry small mirror

Razor Blades



Its bit expensive here.




Get weightless bed spread. You can get Comforter (thick blankets) here in U.S for initial days. Its will cost around $30 in Walmart. After you get settled down you could search for full fledged mattresses.



Pillow costs $6 in Walmart

Songs CD


You can download it here, don't waster you weight.

Back Pack



Get a get back pack that is definitely needed to cry book to college. Don't forget to get one.

Alarm Clock


If you are bringing your cell phone, you will not need one.

Cell Phone


You can bring the handset you have, but make you get the pin converter. Usually, chargers will support 110 to 240v, so no need to buy new charger.

Pen, Pencil, Glue, Cello Tape..


Get some pen, pencil, highlighter, but you can find them in plenty here.


I got one, but never used it. Depending on your course of study, decide. If you coming for Computer Science, Biotechnology , its of no need.


Pressure Cooker

1( 3 Liters to 7 liters)


Don't forget to bring pressure cooker, also get extra weight, valve.

Indian Masala/Spices


Try to get as much as possible. Masala items are expensive for student's lifestyle.

Rice, Dhal, ..


Don't carry any rice or other dhal items. It's available here in Indian store.

Frying Pans..

You can get one ore 2 pans that are light in weight.

Serrated Knife


One small and one large.

Spoon, Fork


Spoons, forks are cheap

Vegetable Cutting Board


Its additional weight.

Cups and Bowls


Get one or 2 small bowls, but not many.



Plates will be used in Microwave. You can bring 1 plate, but don't bring more than one.




Instant Food Packets



Carry few packets of Instant food items, that will come in handy for first few days, till you get settled in the apartment.

Elachi, Clove, Cinnamon,



Garam Masala

200gm or more


Chilli Powder

1-2 kgs


Medical Files/Medicines

Paracetamol, Crocin

20 to 30 Tablets

Spectacles/ Power Glass/ Contact Lens

2 Pairs


Eye Glasses are very very expensive here. With Eye Insurance I paid $225 for one eye glass here last month. Same would have cost Rs4,000 in India. So, if you wearing glasses make sure you get atleast 2 additional pair.

Please don't not bring the following items. You are wasting your luggage space.

  • Tamarind Paste
  • Glass (Mirror)
  • Dal and Flour's
  • Heavy Winter Jackets
  • Plain Rice

Gift Ideas for Mother's Day

What are you planning to gift your mother on the occasion of Mother's day? Giving special gifts will help to make the occasion of Mother's day memorable for you and your mother. Here are some great gift ideas for Mother's day.

Are you unable to decide what gift you should give your dearest mother on Mother's day? Do not worry; nothing can be as special as your hug, kiss and your best wishes for her. However, if you want to make Mother's day more special and memorable, giving a gift is a must. Read on to know about some gifts which you can give your mother on the occasion of Mother's day.

Gifts for Mother's day

It is a fact that mother's unconditional love cannot be compared to any costliest gift of the world. However, giving gifts is regarded as one of the ways of expressing love and gratitude. Here is a list of simple gift items which can make the Mother's day celebration unique.

Mother's day greeting cards

Cards are the best way of expressing feelings. Get a good card with nice wordings and keep it near your mother's bed. Let her receive it early in the morning and start her day with Mother's day greetings. If you are staying away from your mother your can send a greeting card through post or courier, but make sure to call her and ask at the end of the day whether she has received it or not.

Flowers and bouquets

Giving flowers and bouquets are also one of the good ways of greeting a mother. Like greeting cards, flowers and bouquets also express lot of things and are capable of bringing smile on one's face. At the same time women are very fond of flowers so giving flowers and bouquets on the occasion of Mother's day are not a bad idea.


Give a sweet gift to your mother in form of chocolates. There is a wide variety of chocolates available in market especially for such occasions. These chocolates are also packed in special packs which look very pretty.


Ornaments are all-time favourite items of women. If you have a good budget, you can buy ornaments like finger-rings, earrings, pendants for your mother. If your mother is very fond of jewellery and ornaments you could research on the latest styles and patterns available in market.

A saree or any favourite outfit

An ideal gift for an Indian mother can be nothing better than a sari. If your mother does not wear sari you can gift her any of her favourite outfits.

Coffee mugs

Gifting coffee mugs is very much in fashion. You can get a coffee mug with good quotes written on it. During these days you may also find coffee mugs with special Mother's day quotes.

Go out for lunch or dinner

If you are thinking of spending some time with your mother on Mother's day you can take her out for lunch or dinner at her favourite place. Spending some time with your mother out on lunch can prove to be a good gift for her and help to build special memories.

Gift a trip

Gift a trip to your mother to her favourite place or to the place where she has never been before. Book a trip for her with the entire family or with you father.

Cook her favorite food

If you have given all the above mentioned gifts during the previous Mother's days, you can try something new this time. You can cook specially for your mother on the occasion of Mother's day. You can note down all her favourite items including deserts and have a special feast on the occasion of Mother's day. She will be more than happier as she will get a leave for a day from kitchen chores.

Taking out a special time for your mother on the occasion of Mother's day is most important thing which you can do apart from giving a gift. Recall all the memories of childhood with your mother. Remember all the rhymes sung by her for you and stories which she told you. Remember all the hardships that she had to face while giving birth to you and upbringing you. What other better gift can you give your mother on the occasion of Mother's day?

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