Make sure that before you start getting into taking pictures regularly that you totally understand how your camera works and what it is and is not capable of doing. Photography is all about timing and if you are fiddling with your camera from a lack of understanding how it works, you can miss a lot of photo opportunities.
You should think about getting a tripod. A good tripod offers you more stability and allows you to take your time composing your picture. Get a tripod that give you flexibility in height and positioning. Tripods are an useful tool for certain kinds of pictures only. Do not use a tripod if you are looking for an unusual angle.
Positioning of the subject can make the difference between a good photo and a great photo. The subject should rarely be dead center in the middle of the photo. When taking your photo, try to position the subject in the upper, or lower third of the image. This effect works best when there is a horizon in the distance.
If you do not have a tripod available to use for low lighting situations, try using your motor drive. Try to turn it up to high and then proceed to take a series of shots. Disregard the first shot and go ahead and keep the others that will always be sharper than the first.
When doing a photo shoot, take a lot of pictures. With digital cameras and computers, you can take near infinite pictures. You’ll have a better chance of getting good photos when you take more. And if you get bad ones, all you have to do is hit delete to get rid of them.
Improve your photography by paying attention to the light. Lighting should usually be behind the photographer rather than the subject. A subject being backlit will create a silhouette. Be careful when the light is behind the photographer though, if it is too bright it might cause the subject to squint.
A really good photography trick is to pay close attention to angles. Angles can be very helpful when you’re planning a composition. They can point towards certain things you want to focus on, creating a visual path for the viewer’s eye to travel. Make good use of them.
Try moving in closer to your subject when you’re taking pictures. If you take pictures from different distances, you’ll be able to get a few different perspectives and some may come out better than others. Try to get where the subject of your photo fills the entire viewfinder of your camera – this will give you a lot more details of the subject rather than just filler details.
Be selective when taking your photos. Find exactly what you want in that photo, and remove anything else from the shot. If you’re trying to take a picture of a flower, you don’t want a bunch of other flowers or trees in the shot. Get as close and focused on the subject as possible to get the best possible photo.
Create narrative with your photographs. They need to be able to express and tell a story to the viewer. This can be entirely dependent on what you decide to shoot, but do your best to express a story behind whatever it is. You need to especially make sure that this happens when you have people as subjects.
A great photography tip that can help you out is to learn as much as you can about your camera. Try to learn all of its functions so that you can easily select them on the fly. You don’t want to miss an opportunity by fiddling with your camera.
Many parents cannot resist the temptation to put a bow in the hair of a young girl when she is being photographed. If at all possible, discourage this practice. It creates an unnatural feeling to an image, while almost always contrasting with the fine texture of human hair. Bows dominate the image and detract from the young girl’s natural features.
Trying to learn a new skill can often be frustrating, and photography is no exception to that rule. It is important, however, to enjoy the learning process. Do not stress over missed shots, blurry photos or technically imperfect pictures. You learn by trying, so relax, and enjoy the process of becoming a better photographer.
Set up some basic programs for your DSLR camera. By setting some of the basic values ahead of time, you don’t have to mess with them in the event that you want to get a shot in, in a short amount of time. Instead, you just press the button and start shooting.
Pay attention to the symmetry in your pictures. A picture that is supposed to be symmetrical and isn’t will appear much worse than if it were and frustrate your viewers. Make sure you’re standing in the dead center of a symmetrical object if you are trying to create a symmetrical composition.
Invest in scarves of many colors. It is a cheap prop that you can use to add color and dimension to your subject. Have your subject wear a plain color that will work well with many colors. Add the different colored scarves to the different shots and find the one that works best with the background and the subject’s coloring.
Like any science or art form, photography is something you could study and read about for a good portion of your life. Or, you could just apply what you have read in this article and improve your photography immediately. Keep these tips in mind the next time your camera is in your hands and you’ll see better images quickly.
Karyn Brantz is known for a column about Best Underwater Camera