Freelance photographer Asra says photography is about painting with light.
Asra, whose full name is Muhammad Asranur, has shot for Rolling Stones Indonesia, Spin (USA), 7×7 Magazine, the Guardian and Your Music Magazine, and recently shared photography tips with a group of writers.
He urged the writers not to use the auto setting on their cameras, but rather to become comfortable with the program setting. “It’s like only using first or second gear of a Ferrari,” he told the group. By using the program setting, you have “creative control.”
Some tips he shared:
- The shorter the time the shutter is open, the sharper the photo will be.
- The closer you are to your subject, the more blurred your background will be.
- Use as low an ISO setting as possible because the higher the ISO, the more the quality of the photograph is degraded.
- Hold your hand under the lens to support it and keep it steady. Hold your breath when you shoot and, if possible, lean against a wall.
- Get as close to your subject as you can because it will give you more drama.
He also recommended investing in the camera lens more than the camera body because the lens is what makes the photograph. “And it makes your camera look better!” he said. He recommended purchasing a wide-angle lens over a telephoto lens “to get the various elements of your photo, including the foreground and background, to be sharp and in focus.”
He also recommended always carrying spare batteries or battery packs. When not using the camera for a while, Asra said to remove the batteries so as to not drain them.
Photography, Asra said, “is not just about grabbing your camera and firing away.”