If you ask two expert photographers how to take great pictures, their answers will often conflict with each other. The tips that follow will give you general advice on how to take photos that are not only good in a practical sense, but also an artistic sense.
Take your pictures quickly. If you delay your shot, you might miss the perfect moment or lose your subject entirely. The quicker you can take photos, the better.
Choose how much of your subject you would like to view in your photo. A quality picture should capture a significant aspect of the object your are photographing. Do not try to show too much. If you want to give a more general impression of something, take a series of pictures, rather than a single photograph with no real focus or details.
Keep things as simple as possible when you are trying to capture a picture. More often than not, you can capture wonderful images without messing with different settings.
Don’t allow the overcast skies to sneak into your pictures. Too much gray sky showing in a photo makes it appear washed-out and muted. If you still want to take pictures of an overcast sky, try a black and white feature. If the sky is blue and beautiful, include it as much as you want, but pay attention to the light.
Make sure you have a good sense of depth when shooting landscapes. If you have an object or person in the foreground of the picture, it can help you deduce the scale of the photograph. When you set your camera with a small aperture, no more than f/8 and no more than f/16, you will get a clearer picture.
It’s a common misconception that sun-splashed days are the best for pictures, but you can ruin photos if you take them out in the sun. This can result in sun glare, distracting shadows, odd highlighting and squinting subjects. If you want to take photographs outdoors, it’s far better to do so just before sunrise or near sunset so that the sun’s light won’t interfere with your photograph.
Most importantly, photography should be fun. Your photos should be a capsule of a particular time and place in your life. You should be able to look at these photos and instantly remember where you were and what you were thinking when you shot them. Have fun when actually taking the pictures and will will soon fall in love with photography.
When traveling, photograph your souvenirs. You could photograph the store you bought the item from, or you can place it somewhere with a unique background. This will help you keep the narrative of your souvenirs alive well after you have returned from your vacation.
Centering your camera on your subject will bring it into focus, but try moving the camera to change the shot’s framing after focus is established. Centering has come to be expected, and can seem rather boring to many. Off-centering your subjects can create an interesting element for the viewer.
There is no special formula that automatically produces a skilled photographer. Practice and learn from your mistakes. With today’s digital format there is no need to keep all of your pictures or get them developed. Compare your pictures with what you did the week before and you will see a progress.
If possible, you want the photo subject to be directly looking at the camera. To give the photo a twist, have the subject look away from the camera. Have them concentrate on something in the distance. Alternatively, you can have the subject look at something just off center of the camera.
Red eye is a minor detail but it can really ruin an otherwise noteworthy picture. Red eye can be prevented by avoiding using flash when you can. If you cannot avoid using the flash, be sure that you request that the subject does not look into the camera lens. Many cameras have a special setting that prevents red eye.
Experiment with your camera’s shutter speeds. Using fast shutter speeds is common practice to prevent blur, but think about how you can use slow shutter speeds to intentionally blur your photos for creative reasons. Do you see that cyclist zooming along the road? The bike will be clear and the background will be streaked, this will show movement.
Before you start snapping pictures, come up with a concept. Give yourself time to think about what you are trying to capture and convey, then make notes about the creative ideas that can make your photographs even better. Like art, photography is best expressed in the details. When you take the time to plan out your photo, it shows. You’ll find that your work is more successful if you undertake such an approach.
The key to a great picture is knowing what scenes and environments require flash or not. A flash is not appropriate for all shooting conditions. Sometimes an excess of light will totally ruin a wonderful snapshot. Learn when your flash is best used and also be conscious of the angle at which you use it.
Get up close and personal. When you want to frame a shot, either zoom into the subject or get closer to it. Make sure the subject fills the frame. Too much background, no matter how scenic, can detract from the focus of the image. Details are more apparent and inviting when subjects are close.
As you can see, there are some simple considerations that you must keep in mind when taking each photograph. From reading these tips, you are now more equipped to get out there and shoot higher-quality photos that will make you proud.
Chris Fisher Photography