Be A Better Photographer I 9 Tips To Take Better Pictures

a man holding camera with a beach behind | Feature | Be A Better Photographer I 9 Tips To Take Better Pictures
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Taking a good picture really is like preserving a memory you can revisit anytime you want. That’s only if the picture itself is a good one, though. To help you learn how to take good pictures, we’ve put together this guide of 9 quick tips.

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1 Pick One Subject

a girl wearing coat and holding camera with 2 cars behind | Pick One Subject | Be A Better Photographer I 9 Tips To Take Better Pictures

Choose one subject for your photograph, and don’t let anything else in the photo distract from it. That “subject” doesn’t necessarily have to be one person or thing. For example, it could be the interaction between two things. But do not try to capture two unrelated objects.

When two interesting subjects can fit into one photo, it can be tempting to capture both of them at once. Two interesting things to look at is better than one, Right?!.

The thing is, having two different subjects actually confuses the eye and makes the brain confused as to what to pay attention to. Both subjects end up taking away from the other, and the photo ends up feeling muddled.

2 Don’t Center Your Subject

Putting your subject at the center of all your photographs is boring! Instead, position them to the side of the frame.

For best results, try and stick to the rule of thirds, which states you should keep the action to one of the four “midpoint corners” of the photo.

You can put your subject in the center SOMETIMES — you don’t want all your photos to look predictable and formulaic.

3 Understand Washout

All cameras have light meters. One of the main things the meters do is account for color relativity in the photos. Put simply that means that a really bright white color in a photograph will cause the camera to darken all the other colors in the picture, and the opposite goes for very dark blacks.

This means that, if you don’t want your subject to be darkened significantly, avoid capturing the sun, an illuminated street light, or any other glaring white object in the background of your photo. Keep the same consideration in mind for pitch-black objects.

4 Analyze the Background

People not familiar with how to take good pictures don’t generally pay attention to the background, only making sure to capture the subject entirely. Don’t fall into the same trap.

Once you have your shot lined up, take a look at the background in relation to the subject. Are there any background objects that will distract from the subject, especially things like streetlights that look like they’re growing out of the subject’s head? Is the background color neutral enough to provide a good “canvas” for your shot? If not, move to a new angle and ask your subject to do so.

5 Candid Shots are Best

If you can, get a photo of your subject where it does not look as if they are posing for a picture. Doing so will help you capture that “moment in time” feeling that you want when you are preserving a moment in time in a photo.

Note that this does not mean you actually need to take candid photos; there are ways to make photos look candid even though they’re not.

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6 Use Aperture

a camera lens with aperture ring and zoom ring | Use Aperture | Be A Better Photographer I 9 Tips To Take Better Pictures

“Aperture” is the setting on a camera that determines the depth of field. A low aperture (also called f-stop) will result in a shallow depth of field, which means your subject will be in focus and the background will be blurred. It’s an easy way to draw focus to your subject in the foreground and give your photos a professional feel.

A high aperture (f-stop) will put everything in focus. It’s often useful for landscape shots where the background is important, but it makes the photo look a bit busier.

7 Understand Flash and ISO

a man sitting in the middle of the studio and 2 flashes spotlight | Understand Flash and ISO | Be A Better Photographer I 9 Tips To Take Better Pictures

Make sure you’re not using flash when there’s enough natural light. Natural light looks much better, and pop-up flashes especially will make your photos look washed out.

It would be best if you also understood ISO, another camera setting that determines how sensitive the camera is to light. A high ISO will make it easier to capture light from even dark subjects in low-light settings. Still, it will also give the photo a grainier texture than a low ISO.

To learn how to take good pictures, you need to familiarize yourself with ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Get started learning about them at a photography-focused page like this one.

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8 Know When to Go Vertical

Some photos are much better when you turn your camera 90 degrees before taking them! There is no rule dictating what kind of pictures look best when taken vertically or horizontally, so you’ll have to use your judgment. You could also try both methods for each photo and see which version comes out better.

9 Minimize Blur

Blurry pictures just aren’t as visually pleasing. There are 3 main steps to take to avoid blur:

  1. Hold your camera correctly and if you have a lens on your camera. Hold the underside of your lens with one hand and use the other to press the shutter button.
  2. Lock focus when appropriate. Most cameras automatically focus on the object in the center of the viewfinder, so you’ll need to center your subject and lock the focus (how to do that differs on different cameras) and then move your subject to the side of the frame.
  3. Don’t get too close. Most cameras can only focus when they are 3 feet or more from the subject.

Knowing how to take good pictures will make you the envy of your social groups during photo-worthy trips and get-togethers. It will increase your social media following as well!


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