More and more, when I’m on my weekly photo hike, I try to frame the images I wanted directly in my camera. That may mean changing lenses so I can get in tight, or changing my orientation to change the photo’s perspective. I also shoot in very high resolution, which seems to allow me more flexibility if I want to further crop an image.
Using different manual settings – Aperture or Shutter – I can manipulate the depth of field or give the image a feeling of motion. I sometimes like to highlight my topic with a shallow DoF, and can do this by using a wide aperture (a lower number like f2.8), or I can heighten the blur of a waterfall with a slower shutter (1/15s or 1/8s).
For low light situations, like when I’m trying to capture the perfect sunset, I use a tripod. No matter how steady your hand, or how effective the Vibration Reduction in you lenses/camera, you can still get blur. I like to set up my camera, and use my remote to take the photo, eliminating even more chance of shaking.
I can shoot in black and white in-camera , but what I can’t do is all those cool special effects like color saturation, spot color or focus, and HDR. For that I rely on post editing software.
There are a few simple modifications I can do within iPhoto on my Mac. I can straighten a landscape, or fix smudges, but for more involved edits, I use the free program, PicMonkey. The basic editor offers everything I need as an amateur hobbyist.
The top photo was tightly cropped, rotated, color saturation increased, clarity heightened, and polarization applied to create a more abstract image.
The smaller photo is the original image straight out of camera, resized to fit the post.