Anyone can snap shots with a camera and be lucky enough to get a few decent pictures. There is much more of a process to taking a good picture than most people realize. If you are looking to take your photographic skills up a notch, see the following tips on how to improve.
Make sure you have a focal point for your photograph. This should be the first thing that the viewer’s eye is drawn to. Whether it’s a flower, a person, or a bird, every shot you take should have a specific focal point. Don’t only think about what the focal point is, but figure out the best spot for it in the shot.
Shoot during the “golden hours,” especially if you are shooting human subjects. The time around dawn and dusk are named “golden hours” because the hue of the light makes objects look like they are glowing. This light also complements human skin, making human subjects appear to look better than they would in photos taken at other times of day.
Only select the best shots that you have if you are planning on showing your pictures to someone. This will help them form the highest possible opinion of you and your work, which is desirable if you are trying to land a job. Always present your best work to others.
Many cameras allow you to set the white balance. This setting tells the camera which colors to see as highlights. When shooting in artificial light (indoors) set the while balance setting to the “artificial light” mode. It will make your photos look as if they were shot in natural light.
Natural light will always provide you with the highest quality photos. Cloudy days are actually better for shooting than sunny ones, because the clouds act as a natural diffuser, spreading the light out and eliminating shadows and harsh contrasts. Opt for your next photo shoot outside on an overcast day.
When photographing young children, time and patience is your best friend. Children are taught to “say cheese” whenever a camera is focused on them, inevitably creating artificial, fake smiles – or worse. Ideally, a child will become comfortable being photographed when the pressure to “perform” is removed. Simply encourage them to go about their normal activities and then follow them around with your camera, clicking when they naturally smile or are obviously enjoying their surroundings.
An important part of photography is making sure the viewer of the photo focuses in on the subject. An easy way to make your subject really stand out is the use of leading lines. Leading lines draw the viewer’s eye towards the subject of photo and emphasize depth. Examples of objects used to form leading lines include roads, fences, rivers and many others.
While talent can be an important factor in taking excellent photographs, there is quite a bit of learned technique that goes into it as well. Learning the latest techniques on a decent camera and practicing them again and again, should bring up your confidence level. Understanding how to take great pictures can become much more rewarding.