Imagery can be quite powerful. It can exude emotion, invoke reactions and can make you dream of possibilities. Photography is a powerful medium that enables artists to capture a world seen through varying lenses (whether physical or ideological) by etching a concrete display of the flitting images of life, such as when a butterfly springs out of its cocoon or when a seed starts to sprout. In order to help you capture these special moments, here are 25 tips for improving your photography.
Daydream (pre-visualize) what your shot is going to look like in your mind and walk through the steps you’ll need in order to get it.
Try making use of wide lenses for landscape shots. Vistas come alive when you shoot with the widest lens possible
Keep the main subject sharp. Details draw the viewers’ eyes to the subject. To do so, use a tripod in low light situations or a fast shutter speed when light is available.
Keep backgrounds clean, simple and free of clutter. Backgrounds make or break shots.
Familiarize yourself with the effects of the sky. Fluffy white clouds can produce some dramatic effects. On the other hand, overcast skies acts as a giant soft box perfect for motion blur effects.
Stand with the sun at your back and the sunlight falling on your subject
Enhance dawn and night urban shots with light trails. Make use of vehicles or any other moving lights in order to add interest, mood and drama.
Fiddle with placement and angles in order to make great silhouettes. The key here is having an uncluttered, lit background. Just place your subject in the foreground so you’ll get clean, sharp lines.
Look up. Look down. Now, examine everything that’s in between. There are excellent shots from each vantage point, don’t miss them by focusing on only one angle.
Shoot with purpose. Think, move and adjust your framing before clicking the shutter. You’ll develop better instincts and save hours of editing dozens of careless images
If you can, approach your subject and get close. By getting close, your primary subject fills the frame and becomes the shot’s most important element. You are also able to get more details in a shot.
There’s just nothing like natural light to light up your subjects. When shooting outside avoid the use of flash as much as possible.
Due to the angle, color and quality of light, some of the best times for outdoor photography are right before/as the sun rises and right before/as the sun sets. These transitional light periods help to create some dramatic effects.
The most interesting photos are the ones where the subject is just a bit off the center. Divide the frame into thirds and then place your subject in one of the upper, lower, left or even right thirds. This creates movement in your images, making them more dynamic.
You don’t always need to be directly facing your subjects when photographing them. Get low, get up, or move to the side. Experiment with different angles and different positions.
Avoid making use of your camera’s digital zoom. In using it, you’re not really zooming in but actually cropping images. Simply walk right up to your subject. You’re going to notice a dramatic improvement in the resolution and the quality of the images.
Many cameras (DSLRs and point-and-shoot models) have a continuous fire mode which allow you to keep taking photos as you hold down the shutter button. This comes in handy when capturing action sequences.
Shoot in bursts. It only takes a microsecond for a shot to be made or broken. By shooting in bursts, you eliminate some of the possibility of missing that microsecond.
In taking portraits, get your subjects to show their true emotions. Have fun and try to get them to laugh. For example, tell them to act like they’ve just won the lottery.
Learn to take photos by muscle memory. Using the view finder is nice but sometimes; if you take time to bring the camera up to your face, you’ll miss the shot. It’s also less conspicuous to shoot from lower angles allowing you to capture shots without weirding people out.
Choose an interesting subject and take pictures of it. You can find one anywhere. Your subject can be butterflies fluttering in your garden or even that nice elderly neighbor.
The light’s quality has a huge effect on how your photos look like. Pay attention to color temperature, likewise, pay attention to how diffused or harsh the light is. Diffused light creates soft shadows and is ideal for creating portraits.
Check light exposure and make sure your shots are not over or under exposed.
Blurry pictures can prove problematic. This is especially the case if you’re shooting handheld in the dark. You can reduce the blur caused by camera shake by either making use of fast shutter speeds or using a solid support, i.e. a tripod.
Let your photos tell a story. Ask yourself if any element in your photos help in telling a story. If it helps, keep it in the frame and if it doesn’t, keep it out.
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