On a hot summer day I went to the attic, where I discovered a tiny dead fly on our folded table tennis table. It looked like it was ready to fly at any moment. An excellent opportunity. I ran to get my gear, so I could photograph it in all its frozen glory before my wife would dispose of it. The conditions were ideal. Sunlight coming through a big window, reflecting on a white ceiling and white walls. One giant light box.
The fly couldn’t have died in a better place. I started shooting, resulting in one of my best macro pictures but without using a macro lens. I shot this with the use of extension tubes
I'm often jealous of photographers who visit exiting new places or witness spectacular events, because they can afford to travel to far exotic locations or happen to live in a big metropolitan city (like New York or Tokyo). I live in a small Dutch town, which has nothing spectacular about it. Sure it has quite a lot of green, such as the nearby woods, parks, gardens and waterways. But that's more or less it. I can't afford to travel a lot. Even if I could afford it, I wouldn't have the time. Most of my photography takes place walking the dogs, or riding on my bike to work, seeing mostly the same environment time and time and time again. So, having photography as hobby forced me to look at my environment in new and different ways, so I wouldn't make the same old boring photos over and over again. I got closer to the subject, made photos on different times of the day, used a variety of lenses and played with the light. To give an example. The picture below shows that even a boring, sad looking, stretch of grass at the side of the road (top picture), can result in quite a nice picture when shot at the right time of day, up close and shooting into the light (bottom picture). Until now I haven't ran out of ideas and the "unspectacular" surroundings I live in made me a better photographer.
Shooting with RAW files (in stead of jpeg) means that the photos are not processed by the camera, and contain a lot more information compared to a jpeg. Working with RAW, gives a lot more flexibility in processing your pictures. Mistakes made (although they should be avoided, if possible) while taking your pictures, are often easily corrected in Lightroom or Photoshop when shooting in RAW. RAW also gives a lot more leeway in your creativity, giving you the opportunity to go crazy with colors with (sometimes) incredible results. See for example the following pictures:
A disadvantage is that you have to proces each photo individually. This takes a lot more time, but the results are worth it, is far as I'm concerned. I only shoot in RAW, because editing the photo is just as imported (and fun!) for me as shooting is.
For some tips and tricks I can recommend the youtube videos of Serge Ramelli: