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.
Don’t rely on your camera’s zoom. Get a close as possible before you start to use your zoom. Zooming in can be helpful, but after a while the picture can get distorted. You’re better off getting as close to the subject as you can before you try to zoom in on it.
Use a tripod for maximum camera stability. For random shots of your kids or buildings, a bit of camera shake isn’t a big deal, but for once-in-a-lifetime shots that really matter, a bit of camera shake can ruin a perfect memory. If a tripod is not available, try setting the camera on a flat surface.
Get closer when you are taking photos. Especially when you are taking a series of shots, from which you will chose the best, get in there. The better your scene fills the frame, the better the overall picture will be. Take several shots, so you can get the nicest shot possible.
Play with the idea of depth of field and aperture. Most photograph place their object in the center of their composition and have their background look blurry. Reverse this convention and blur your object to focus on your background. You can also play with the placement of your object in the picture.
The most important thing to remember about lighting when taking photographs is this: the less light you have to create from artificial resources, the better. By all means, use a flash if you need to, but always strive to use natural light if at all possible. Even when shooting indoors, open the windows, and let mother nature’s light stream in.
For a gripping photo, experiment with depth of field. Changing the depth of field, or the f-stop, will put all of the focus on the subject of your shot, and blur the background. This technique works well for portraiture-style shots or any setting in which the subject is in close proximity to the camera. Bigger f-stops will make the depth of field greater resulting in the entire photo being in focus. This will work well for photographs of landscapes.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to choosing settings on your camera is to choose the higher quality settings that take up more space on your memory card. The lower settings will not allow for quality printing, especially if you want to enlarge them. When shooting at a high resolution, you can always lower it later for sending via email or displaying online.
If you have to use your flash, then keep your subject away from walls, especially those that are light colored. Having a busy background or one that is dark will minimize the dark or harsh shadow that comes with using a flash. The best option though is to have enough light that you don’t need a flash.
Don’t worry about taking too many pictures. It is helpful in being selective while taking pictures, but by taking too many you can capture surprising and unexpected images. With digital photography you can always delete any of the pictures that you do not like. You can also set the camera on burst mode and delete the pictures you don’t like and keep the ones you do like.
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.