Without wanting to duplicate tip and tricks that you will find in photography magazines here are some of my findings that you may find useful.

Camera Type

Do not attempt to use a single camera for all kinds of shooting. A lot of people find a big lens intimidating and it will impact their behavior. Armed with a big DSLR you are also immediately spotted as a photographer which basically prevents you from wandering around in a crowd. For this reason, besides DSLRs, I love using a Leica M or Q as well as my iPhone.

Nighttime Photography

Although tripods are essential to enable a steady shot, they are cumbersome. To address this I use a small, but very rugged, tripod that fits in my camera bag. In this way I always have it with me. A “beans bag” is also useful. You can often find an object to place the camera on and with it you create a more stable foundation. Pressing the shutter can already cause the camera to move, so the timer function comes in handy here. My recommendation is also to shoot in “M” mode. When you use automatic modes, the places where the light comes from tend to get overexposed and as a result the pixels “bleed”. A picture that looks good on the display of your camera, most likely is not going to look great on a computer. I typically shoot RAW and underexpose. I then later correct the brightness and exposure as necessary and end up with an image that is exactly what I wanted.

Auto-Focus versus Manual Focus

Obviously it depends upon the application, but manual focus is definitely preferred especially if your objective is to minimize depth of field. The biggest problem with auto-focus is that it typically focuses on the think right next to whatever you wanted it to focus on. To address this I typically choose the centered focus mode. In fast changing scenes this may result however in capturing a composition which is sub-optimal. Great tool to help you precisely focus in manual mode is LifeView used in zoom mode.

Shooting Angle

This is where creativity comes in, shoot from lower angles than usual or shoot through a mirror, it can lead to some really surprising compilations.

Use Flash photography not just under dark conditions

Actually I do not really like using a flash in the dark, most of the time you end up with a somewhat artificial ‘look and feel’. I do however regularly use a flash, especially outdoors. It’s a great way to deal with undesired shadows. Keep in mind that when using a flash during a photoshoot it may overheat causing it to shut down. I experienced an extreme example of this while shooting outdoors in Bali where due to the high outside temperatures there, even after only a single shot, the flash needed considerable time to cool down.