The title of this article may sound simplistic and if you put
these few tips into practise you’ll be taking fantastic photos
in no time. In a sense this is true. But, the factor of time
and the diligence you put into it is what will determine the
success of your efforts. If you take the time the tips will
make the difference in your photography journey.
So here are the tips. The question is, how do you incorporate
them into your photography? The most important factor is
structure. Don’t try to do it all at once. Learn to master each
step and implement it gradually into your photography. The key
is mastering it. Don’t move on to the next one until you are
competent with the previous.
Here are the steps, look at them carefully and start learning.
1. Look your subject in the eye
This means getting down to the level of the subject if
necessary and getting your camera level with the subject’s
eyes. This is especially so if you are photographing a child.
The whole dynamic of the photo changes as this makes it more
personal and draws the eye in to the photo.
2. Get in closer
Your goal is to fill your image with as much of the subject as
possible. Use your feet before you zoom and exclude any
unnecessary clutter. Don’t get in too close as this will result
in blurred images.
3. Use a plain background
This will lift your subject off the background. When looking
through the viewfinder take note of what is in the background
before focusing on the subject. No chimneys growing out of
heads or bushes growing out of ears.
4. Move the subject from the centre
The centre of an image is not the best place for your subject.
Imagine a grid across your image dividing it into thirds. Two
lines horizontally and two vertically. Where the lines
intersect is where you place your subject. This will bring your
photo to life.
5. Be aware of the light
After the subject the most important aspect of a photo is the
light. Know where it comes from and place your subject relative
to it. Strong light from the side will bring out the texture of
an old building. Soft light on a cloudy day will soften the
wrinkles of an old person. Shooting landscapes early or late in
the day will give a golden light.
6. Turn your camera
We all tend to take photos holding the camera level in a
horizontal format. That’s the way cameras are made. Change the
format. Take photos using the vertical format. Many subjects
look better in this format. Lighthouses, the Eiffel tower or a
portrait of a child all look better shot vertically.
7. Direct your images
Take charge of people in your images. Tell them clearly where
to stand and what to do. Choose the location and the setting.
Get them to face the direction you want or closer or further
away from the camera.
8. Use your flash outdoors
Natural light can cause harsh shadows to fall across faces. You
can eliminate these shadows by lightening the face with flash.
We call this fill in flash. You’ll find a setting on your
camera for this. If you are further than 5 feet use the flash
on full power. On cloudy days fill in flash will brighten
9. Put the sun behind you
The best place to shoot from is when the sun is behind you and
slightly to the side. The full frontal lighting will bring out
the colour and lighting from the slight side angle will produce
a little shadow and bring out the texture and form.
10. Hold steady
Many photographers have the problem of blurry images because
they don’t hold or support their cameras properly. Use both
hands resting your elbows on your chest or holding them tightly
to your side. Relax and don’t tense. Take a deep breath, exhale
and press the shutter. Use a support like a wall or pole to
steady yourself and if the situation allows use a tripod.
These are just a few tips that will immediately improve your
images as you apply them one step at a time to your
photography. Plan your time to shoot and structure your
learning to get optimum growth in your photography
Do you want to learn more about photography in a digital
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