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Here's a list of tips, advice, rules and just things to know about photography from Eric Kim

(, a street photographer who also holds photography workshop

classes. I think the gist of it is to keep taking pictures always.
Here's the full list:
100 Tips from a Professional Photographer
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1. Just because someone has an expensive camera doesn't mean that they're a good photographer.
2. Always shoot in RAW. Always.
3. Prime lenses help you learn to be a better photographer.
4. Photo editing is an art in itself
5. The rule of thirds works 99% of the time.
6. Macro photography isn't for everybody.
7. UV filters work just as well as lens caps.
8. Go outside & shoot photos rather than spending hours a day on photography forums.
9. Capture the beauty in the mundane and you have a winning photograph.
10. Film isn't better than digital.
11. Digital isn't better than film.
12. There is no "magic" camera or lens.
13. Better lenses don't give you better photos.
14. Spend less time looking at other people's work and more time shooting your own.
15. Don't take your DSLR to parties.
16. Girls dig photographers.
17. Making your photos b/w doesn't automatically make them "artsy"
18. People will always discredit your work if you tell them you "photoshop" your images. Rather,
tell them that you process them in the "digital darkroom".
19. You don't need to take a photo of everything.
20. Have at least 2 backups of all your images. Like they say in war, two is one, one is none.
21. Ditch the neck strap and get a handstrap.
22. Get closer when taking your photos, they often turn out better.
23. Be a part of a scene while taking a photo; not a voyeur.
24. Taking a photo crouched often make your photos look more interesting.
25. Worry less about technical aspects and focus more on compositional aspects of photography.
26. Tape up any logos on your camera with black gaffers tape- it brings a lot less attention to you.
27. Always underexpose by 2/3rds of a stop when shooting in broad daylight.
28. The more photos you take, the better you get.
29. Don't be afraid to take several photos of the same scene at different exposures, angles, or
30. Only show your best photos.
31. A point-and-shoot is still a camera.
32. Join an online photography forum.
33. Critique the works of others.
34. Think before you shoot.
35. A good photo shouldn't require explanation (although background information often adds to an
image). *
36. Alcohol and photography do not mix well.
37. Draw inspiration from other photographers but never worship them.
38. Grain is beautiful.
39. Ditch the photo backpack and get a messenger bag. It makes getting your lenses and camera a
whole lot easier.
40. Simplicity is key.
100 Tips from a Professional Photographer
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41. The definition of photography is: "painting with light." Use light in your favor.
42. Find your style of photography and stick with it.
43. Having a second monitor is the best thing ever for photo processing.
44. Silver EFEX pro is the best b/w converter.
45. Carry your camera with you everywhere. Everywhere.
46. Never let photography get in the way of enjoying life.
47. Don't pamper your camera. Use and abuse it.
48. Take straight photos.
49. Shoot with confidence.
50. Photography and juxtaposition are best friends.
51. Print out your photos big. They will make you happy.
52. Give your photos to friends.
53. Give them to strangers.
54. Don't forget to frame them.
55. Costco prints are cheap and look great.
56. Go out and take photos with (a) friend(s).
57. Join a photo club or start one for yourself.
58. Photos make great presents.
59. Taking photos of strangers is thrilling.
60. Candid>Posed.
61. Natural light is the best light.
62. 35mm (on full frame) is the best "walk-around" focal length.
63. Don't be afraid to bump up your ISO when necessary.
64. You don't need to always bring a tripod with you everywhere you go (hell, I don't even own
65. It is always better to underexpose than overexpose.
66. Shooting photos of homeless people in an attempt to be "artsy" is exploitation.
67. You will find the best photo opportunities in the least likely situations.
68. Photos are always more interesting with the human element included.
69. You can't "photoshop" bad images into good ones.
70. Nowadays everybody is a photographer.
71. You don't need to fly to Paris to get good photos; the best photo opportunities are in your
72. People with DSLRS who shoot portraits with their grip pointed downwards look like morons.
73. Cameras as tools, not toys.
74. In terms of composition, photography and painting aren't much different.
75. Photography isn't a hobby- it's a lifestyle.
76. Make photos, not excuses.
77. Be original in your photography. Don't try to copy the style of others.
78. The best photographs tell stories that begs the viewer for more.
79. Any cameras but black ones draw too much attention.
80. The more gear you carry around with you the less you will enjoy photography.
81. Good self-portraits are harder to take than they seem.
82. Laughter always draws out peoples' true character in a photograph.
83. Don't look suspicious when taking photos- blend in with the environment.
100 Tips from a Professional Photographer
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84. Landscape photography can become dull after a while.
85. Have fun while taking photos.
86. Never delete any of your photos.
87. Be respectful when taking photos of people or places.
88. When taking candid photos of people in the street, it is easier to use a wide-angle than a
telephoto lens.
89. Travel and photography are the perfect pair.
90. Learn how to read a histogram.
91. A noisy photo is better than a blurry one.
92. Don't be afraid to take photos in the rain.
93. Learn how to enjoy the moment, rather than relentlessly trying to capture the perfect picture of
94. Never take photos on an empty stomach.
95. You will discover a lot about yourself through your photography.
96. Never hoard your photographic insight- share it with the world.
97. Never stop taking photos
98. Photography is more than simply taking photos, it is a philosophy of life
99. Capture the decisive moment
100. Write your own list.
Not sure if I agree with number 36 though. [Eric Kim Photography (
via Apartment Therapy (
photography-169386), Image Credit: lightpoet (
/shutterstock (]
#72 ( made me lol, I see it all the time with all of the self proclaimed "pros"
That was, indeed awesome.
100 Tips from a Professional Photographer
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I still don't understand what's so great about raw.
That one caught my attention. I've never done any portrait photography. Why is that a rule?
right arm.
always hold the camera grip up.
That's like saying "I don't understand what's so great about the original album recording, my 128kbps MP3
sounds just fine"
Yeah, having multiple exposures and uncompressed files is so overrated.
I have just tested it on myself since I have never paid much attention how I hold the camera in "portrait
position". Shooting the "you look like a moron" way stabilises the image a bit since my body supports my
I think it's because you look awkward holding it with the grip down, i'm not sure. When i shoot portraits i
100 Tips from a Professional Photographer
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62. 35mm (on full frame) is the best "walk-around" focal length.
I am not sure that I agree with this one. My current "walk-around" lens is a 50mm f1.4. It's fast, has minimal
depth of field, relatively inexpensive, and well, I grew up using it. Maybe I should go shopping...
38 try telling that to people that don't understand the difference between grain and noise.
92 unless you camera body is not weather resistant.
I like this list, now off to make my own rules to live by.
[] (
Please educate us. I don't know the difference between grain and noise.
Grain in digital is "random" inconsistent luminance that shows up in images due to the small differences in
light sensitivity from one pixel to the next. The visual appearance of grain and the amount that shows up and
depends on the ISO selected and increases with the increase in sensitivity. Grain has no effect on image
Mostly I like that I can adjust exposure levels after the shot, rather than adjusting "brightness" on a jpeg, i.e.
you can make an underexposed photo brighter and recover some of the detail.
100 Tips from a Professional Photographer
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Eric Kim is the last person I would ever take photo advice from.
If you want to learn how to be a rude prudish snob about photography, listen to him. Otherwise, listen to
everything Bruce Gilden has to say. He can be kinda a jerk, but he makes people laugh. Not just insulting in a
jackass tone like Kim does.
detail itself though using a noise filter to remove grain will remove detail.
Noise has two indicators for Luminance one as a pattern and another as banding both of which are not
desirable. Pattern noise is as the name suggests noise created in a pattern. For luminance this causes a
further separation from one pixel to the next creating an obvious pattern that is repeated over the entire
image. Banding can also occur in a pattern but what this refers to is an increase in Luminance in what
appears to be bands across the entire image again causing a further separation from one pixel to the next
creating a wave of increased luminance.
Noise also occurs in color which is the most offensive of all. Just as Luminance has pattern and banding,
color noise also occurs in patches on the image. The issue with color noise is that in the area where this
occurs there is usually a noticeable loss of detail in that area whereas Luminance noise does not affect detail
in the image.
grain = noise
Make that Zack Arias and you've got a deal. Genius - Asshole = Zack.
True. Zacks street stuff is amazing.
100 Tips from a Professional Photographer
7 of 14 5/6/2014 9:42 AM
buhahahahahahaaa... OMG this is funny. You should post this no April Fools Day... Seriously, half of the
things mentioned above are not true or false, because they are relative for each individual. The rule of thirds
works 99% of the time? Wrong! Taking time to compose an image will cause people to put the points of
interest all over the frame.
Prime lenses help you to become a better photographer? I do not own a single prime, and neither does the
numerous people I have taken workshops from, and we have all been published (including the guy in Texas
who owns his own magazine).
#65 ( is my favorite. It is better to underexpose, then over? Yeah, because instead
of learning to expose it correctly, your relying on your photoshop crutch later on to fix what you should have
done in the field. Your giving people the impression that using a crutch is the right thing to do, when
learning to expose the image correctly is the right thing to do. Too many of these "rules" are clearly just
relative to his style of relying on the camera and Photoshop, and are NOT rules everyone should follow!
Some of the best photogrphs I have ever seen were taken with either old film cameras or point and shoot 1
megapixel snapshot cameras. It is all about getting out there and shooting each and every day, and learning
to take the pictures CORRECTLY. Use your eye, your mind, and your feelings about what you are trying to
capture; not Photoshop.
You might want to re-read the title. It says tips. Dial down the "asshole" a little bit and you may have
something interesting to say in the future.
Not true=false. The list was his opinion, and your post above is yours. I agree with his views way more than
yours. You don't own a prime lens and neither do the people you take workshops from? Get better
instructors, because they really don't know what they are doing (owning a magazine does not make you a
good photographer, nor does getting published, especially when you own the magazine). I do agree with
much of your last paragraph though.
My favorite is: #6 ( Macro photography isn't for everybody.
Really? Don't shoot macro. Is that a tip?
100 Tips from a Professional Photographer
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what does #72 ( even mean? I am having trouble envisioning what this looks like.
grip pointed down? i have a d90 and am right handed, i am assuming the top of the hand grip would be the
"direction" - so does this mean shooting with the camera upside down?
Getting a good macro shot is more difficult and painstaking than a conventional image. In many cases you
need to get a special, expensive lens in order to get that close. So yea, it is a tip: it just isn't for everyone.
I think it means holding the camera sideways to get a tall photo, with the viewfinder on the right and the grip
and shutter button towards the ground. Does that make sense? I just realized that this is what I did all day
that makes sense - so kind of supporting the camera from underneath i guess. thats the "moron" way? i am
sure i occasionally hold it this way as well as overhand depending on the situation or how awkwardly i might
be positioned....
Lucifer is correct. Don't shoot with your camera sideways. I can testify, it makes you look like a moron.
Here. The first comments and their replies are
about the same.
100 Tips from a Professional Photographer
9 of 14 5/6/2014 9:42 AM
Professional photojoke here and I haven't shot RAW since I learned how to use my camera, when I needed to
be able to correct mistakes. It was great then, but it's not streamlined enough for my print work today. To
much time, to much space.
Why are you guys being elitist RAW fanatics? Many pros DON'T use it. We aren't idiots, we just shoot in
large volumes and don't have the time/space for it all. When you start nailing your shots every time, you
don't really need it. A word of advice, get 90% of your post done, before it's post.
This list might be great for someone learning photography. But in reality it just doesn't work for all fields of
Reasons to shoot in RAW, even if you don't need to "correct" images.
100 Tips from a Professional Photographer
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It is direct sensor data, and is uncompressed (or lossless anyways). It has a wider color gamut, higher
dynamic range, and doesn't have any in-camera processing applied, which means you can use software to
convert the RAW to whatever format you need with greater control and higher quality results.
In pre-digital technology, it's like shooting with negatives vs shooting with polaroids. Polaroids are "done"
straight out of the camera, and are faster. Negatives take longer, because they have to be processed, but gives
far more control and greater quality over the finished product.
I'd say at the very least shoot RAW + JPG, that way if the JPG is good enough, great, but if it needs tweaking,
you've got the RAW to work from. As for space, HDDs are cheap. If you are making a living from
photography, you've got no excuse. It's a standard operating expense.
When i work professionally for weddings, the person i work with always wants RAW. My feeling is:
If you shoot a large volume of images, especially at a high rate, JPG is better
If you want shots with the best potential, Raw is better.
When it comes down to it. JPG is really just a raw file that the camera has processed for you. I personally
would rather chose the processing myself than what ever the camera has built in.
I fully understand the reasons for shooting RAW. No need to beat a dead horse by explaining it again. I'm
simply pointing that there are so many fanatics, that fail to understand that you don't HAVE to shoot raw. I
know that it's "better" in every way possible. However, I've been internationally published since 09, and have
not shot a single RAW file at an event. I know many photographers that shoot the same way I do.
I'm just letting people know that it's not required! I'm not saying that it isn't "better".
In my line of work, there are many nights when I shoot an event with 10+ other photographers. The first one
to post their files on their agency's site is usually the one who gets the bulk of the sales. Which means time is
just as important as your image quality. So the extra time it takes to get your RAW files on your HDD and
processed can cost you big bucks.
Also, as for HDD space, when you're running a business, every expense counts. That means that my 6TBs
worth of film + 2 backups for everything is NOT cheap. Not to mention my wife is a photo editor for Getty
Images, which takes up even more space!
100 Tips from a Professional Photographer
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I am a photographer, I have 1 rule. Take lots of pictures. One of them is bound to look good, photography is
all subjective, You may love it someone elce might hate it, or vice versa.
Couldn't agree more. Some nights I get sent to cover red carpet events. It's not uncommon to shoot 1000
frames in an hour on the carpet. If I was shooting these in RAW, I'd be waiting for my buffer half the time. In
which case, any shot is better than a shot not taken.
When I was in school, I took photography for a couple of years. My instructor was fond of your advice. Take
more pictures was her mantra. She liked to say that one day, maybe, you'd be able to take 1000 pics and get
one really great one.
My highschool Photo teacher was the same. She actually told the class that one of the biggest sins you could
commit was to come back with anything less than a full roll of film (All three years were primarily done with
Film Cameras...since the school didn't want to 'splurg' to get enough digital for it to be practical for a class.)
The only other rules I can remember from her class was "Don't go off school grounds" "Don't break the
cameras" and "Don't make out in the Dark room or the Loading Room"
This too is my mantra, I just went on a cruise to Ensenada and snapped over 1000 photos, I kept at least 800
of them. Not all 800 are super good or anything but acceptable and of those 800 theres some good ones. I
pretty much went around went snap happy, oh and all in RAW too ;) it was fun playing with them in
Lightroom, makes them look even better.
100 Tips from a Professional Photographer
12 of 14 5/6/2014 9:42 AM
Can anyone help me out and tell me why I should always shoot int RAW?
I will agree you should shoot in RAW if you can, since you can always compress the image later if needed,
but you can never uncompress it.
Because you can't undo compression? Because you can't get back what you throw away?
Okay - first, "ha ha, only serious" response (, and only
because I've heard that question many, many times.
Second: raw formats store a lot of sensor data which isn't available in JPEG. After you shoot, you will have
much more control over the exposure levels in post-processing, not to mention the lack of lossy compression
in your images.
Because Raw is not an image... Raw is the data acquired by your sensor, which when you load it with a
program that can handle Raw (adobe, aperture etc etc), that program interprets that data and turns it into an
image. This includes how you want it exposed, crops etc... When your camera takes a picture and saves it in
jpeg, the camera's computer takes the raw data, interprets it, then saves it into a jpeg file.
The advantage of this is that you always have the true original (Raw) data that your sensor captured. If you
want to crop, rotate, align, brighten or do any adjustments what so ever with a Jpeg that came out of your
camera, when you save, it goes through its compression settings again, splitting the image in to 8x8 pixel
blocks, determines what can be thrown away because it is less perceivable. So in that block, instead of seeing
8 pixels that are completely different in each row, you might only see 1-3 that are different. The rest "blends"
100 Tips from a Professional Photographer
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together. Remember, your camera allready did this with the raw file, so you lost a lot allready, now that
you've resized it, you're going through that whole "throwing away shit" cycle again... Your quality
deteriorates exponentially when you save jpegs.
I hope this made sense... Jpeg can be used on your camera, but just understand what that means and if thats
not acceptable for the quality of work you want to put out, shoot in raw.
Aweome! thanks!
100 Tips from a Professional Photographer
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