How to Take Substantially Better Photos Than What You’re Doing Now | 10 Simple Photography Tips
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.
When you first buy your camera it can be an exciting and nervous time. Exciting due to you finally being able to capture the images that you have envisioned, but nervous in the sense that it is the beginning of a long journey of constantly improving and getting to know your camera.
The following 1o tips will help lessen the learning curve for those new to the hobby of photography in order to be taking the best photos sooner rather than later.
1) Know Your Camera
This is important so you can become well adjusted to certain situations.
Get to know the shutter speeds, when there is any lag to when you press to take a photo and the time the photo is actually taken differs.The distance and limits of your flash, or at least how strong your flash is.
Understand the zoom capabilities of your camera, all cameras are limited by the equipment of the camera or lens attached at a current moment, but this is more so for digital compact cameras. As the zoom is fixed on certain lenses or compact cameras and cannot be changed it’s good to understand the limits of the zoom of the camera.
2) Make It Raw
Jpeg or Raw? When shooting, you’ll want to make it Raw. Raw saves the photographic information of the image of when it was taken. This means by shooting in Raw it provides you greater ability when it comes to editing.
Jpeg on the other hand compresses the data of an image immediately when it is shot, which means you loose data, and therefore loose colour and quality of your image.
3) Center Of Attention is Not Always Good
An old trick to give a photo a bit more character is to move the subject to the side of the photo, instead of having it in the center of attention.
This concept works particularly well for landscape photos. This allows the viewer to get a bit more of an understanding of the scenery, and feeling of the environment at the time if the picture is taken well. Good photos transport you to another place, or at least make you want to be transported to the place of where the photo was taken.
Know when it’s best to use a flash.
For this you will need practice, but a general rule is that in normal lightning if the subject is too dark, you will need to use a flash. However in dim lightning if the subject is too washed out from the flash, this can happen more so with persons than landscapes and buildings, you may want to move slightly back to allow the strength of the flash to dissipate over a larger distance.
5) Going Against the Grain
Graininess in photos is what you want to avoid. Most of the time this is caused by shooting in low light situations, and as a result the camera pumps up the ISO as high as possible to compensate for the lack of light. To take the best photos possible you’ll want to lower you ISO as much as can.
6) Lower The Shutter Speed and Use a Tripod
This depends on the photo that you’re taking.
If you are taking a photo of a fast moving object, you will want to do the opposite and increase your shutter speed. However if you are taking a photo of a stationary object and have time, it’s best to lower the speed the of your shutter. By doing so it allows more light into the camera, and takes a more detailed picture. Though lowering your shutter speed does increase camera shake, so it’s best to use a tripod when available.
7) Don’t Be Afraid To Go Vertical
In some circumstances you will not be able to capture the subject correctly by using the camera in the traditional horizontal position, in this case flipping the camera around and going vertical will be your best bet. This applies more to taller objects, like the Washington Monument or a Lighthouse.
8) Become Adventurous and Learn From Mistakes
Part of the fun of taking photos is being adventurous and taking photos from unique angles which allow you to show your character.
By using different angles you may be able to create a different feel or context to a seemingly simply subject. In extension to this try and learn from the mistakes that you make. Work out why a certain angle didn’t work, and what you could have done to fix the problem if you aren’t happy with the final outcome. But ultimately don’t be afraid to think outside the box and do things your way.
9) No Need to Go Full Manual
This may seem counter intuitive as you want to be able to have as much control over the camera, but cameras have advanced significantly over the last 20 – 30 years. It is best to place your camera on a setting that achieves a happy medium from full automatic and manual, so use the automatic, programmed or P setting until you’re ready to advance.
10) The Golden Hours of Your Photography Life
Taking photos in the middle of the day is perhaps the worst time possible to take photos. Yes the sun is directly over you, and more or less has the same level of lighting, but it’s far too bright. If you’re wanting those amazing landscape photos which will make your friends envious, you will want to take your photos either at sunrise or sunset. By doing this it gives the sky more character and an orange/reddish hue, and in some instances even a purple.This is how those jaw dropping photos are created, by choosing the best times for light.