10 Simple Ways to Shoot Better Photographs

  1. Offset your topic: In other words, don’t always put the main subject of your photo in the center of the image. Place it off to one side. Allow some empty or dead space around the subject matter. This will actually help the viewer to focus on the most important part of your image.
  2. Use different vantage points: Try taking photos on your knees, or even laying down on the ground. Try the opposite by standing on something while shooting the image, maybe even climb something if it’s readily available. Just remember, safety first. By using different vantage points, from above and below, you can add variety and texture to your images.
  3. Use your flash outdoors: Sound crazy? It’s not. The flash will help to illuminate dark spaces, especially those around people’s face, specifically under the eyes. When shooting a person or object on an overcast or dark day, the flash can help your subject matter to stand out from the background.
  4. Stop that camera shake: If you don’t have a tripod, there are still some easy ways to help stop your camera from shaking. Sit down on the ground and prop one of your elbows on one of your knees, using the knee as an impromptu tripod. Try laying all the way down on the ground, then place a steady hand or fist beneath your lens to steady it. Try other maneuvers to get your camera steady. You’ll soon find what works best for you.
  5. Keep it simple:Especially if you are a beginning photographer, you don’t need all those extra features on the latest cameras. You don’t need to go out and buy a bunch of different lenses and other equipment. Stick to the basics first. Once you feel like you’ve mastered your first camera and all it does, then it’s time to begin looking to add bells and whistles.
  6. Get quick on the draw:This one is important when shooting pictures of animals and children, but can come in handy in other situations, such as if a wind is blowing. What this mostly takes is practice, practice, practice. You’ll want to learn speed. Forget about focusing on all your camera’s settings. You should’ve had that taken care of before you’re ready to focus. And don’t worry so much about taking a lot of photos; get the ones you can while you can.
  7. Disguise the boring:This means if you are shooting something overly simple, like flat clouds or dull water, try to move around to where you can get something else into the image. Maybe a hanging tree limb in the foreground, or a duck flying along. Something to break up the monotony. The sun itself could help, or the moon if you’re shooting at night.
  8. Watch that flash range: It will take a little practice, but you need to learn the extents to which your flash will reach. If the subject matter of your photo is too far away, your flash won’t be able to help. A general rule to follow is that if the subject is more than ten feet away, that’s probably too far. But keep in mind there are a lot of factors here, such as what you are shooting, the weather, etc.
  9. Study your light sources: Always keep in mind your flash won’t be the only source of light in your photos. In fact, your flash is often going to be the least strong source of light in your photos. This is especially important when shooting outside on sunny days. Watch for those shadows, and try to move so the shadows don’t fall too heavily upon your image’s subject.
  10. Go vertical: Far too often, photographers forget to turn their camera on its side. Even professional photographers. Give it a try. It can bring new depth to your images, and it helps to combat staleness and boredom. This can be especially helpful when shooting something vertical, like a tall building or a ladder.

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