10 Quick And Easy Tips To Improve Your Photography :: Digital Photo Secrets

10 Quick And Easy Tips To Improve Your Photography

by David Peterson 8 comments

Is your photography in need of a little extra oomph? Here are ten quick tips help you get better photos right away. You don’t need any extra equipment, and you’ll notice the results as soon as you apply the techniques. Give these a try, and you won’t be disappointed.

Tip #1: Get In Close

Most people are too far away from their subjects when they take pictures. When you get up close and personal, your main subject fills the frame and becomes the most important element in the shot. Don’t be afraid to get within a few feet of your subject. Some point-and-shoot cameras don’t have the best lenses, so you’ll need to do this in order to completely fill the frame with your subject.

Tip #2: Take More Pictures Outside

There’s nothing better than natural light to illuminate your subjects. When you shoot outside, you don’t have to use a flash, and it makes your subjects much more colorful. Just make sure the sun is behind you so it is lighting up your subjects from the front. If the sun is behind your subject, you’ll have to use a flash.

Tip #3: Take Pictures At Sunrise And Sunset

Every photographer will tell you that these are the best hours to take pictures. Why? Because the light comes in from an angle, and it isn’t nearly as direct or harsh. This gives your subjects a nice and natural orange glow. If you catch early enough, you can see some amazing pink and purple colors in the sky. The angle of the sun also emphasizes shadows, creating more drama in your images.

Tip #4: Don’t Place Your Subject In The Center Of The Photograph

The most interesting pictures are those with the subject just slightly off of center. Divide the frame into thirds and place your subject in one of the upper, lower, left, or right thirds. This creates movement in the image, making it much more visually interesting.

Tip #5: Try Unusual Angles

You don’t always have to be directly facing your subjects. Some of the most interesting photos happen when you’re willing to experiment a little. Get down low, up high, move to the side, or try placing something in front of your camera. I admit that you’ll look a little strange doing this, but your photos will be much more creative.

Tip #6: Never Use Your Camera’s Digital Zoom

The digital zoom is what happens when you keep zooming in past your camera’s optical zoom limit. When you use this, you aren’t really zooming in, you’re actually cropping your image. The next time you’re out shooting, avoid using your digital zoom and just walk right up to your subject instead. You’ll notice a dramatic improvement in the resolution and quality of your images.

Tip #7: Shoot In Continuous Mode

Many cameras, both digital SLRs and point-and-shoot models, have a continuous fire mode that allows you to keep taking pictures while you hold down the shutter button. This is truly handy when you’re trying to capture action sequences. You can activate this mode from your main menu.

Tip #8: Take As Many Shots As You Can, And Then Delete The Bad Ones Later On

You’re not fully taking advantage of your digital camera is you aren’t taking as many pictures as possible in one sitting. Go ahead and keep snapping away. You can always delete the bad ones later on, and you’ll have many more pictures to choose the good ones from. Just to give you some reference, I’ll shoot as many as 100 images and only pick 4 pictures I like from that entire set.

Tip #9: When Taking Portraits, Get Your Subjects To Reveal Their True Emotions

The last thing you want are dull and bland portraits. Don’t let it happen! When you’re taking portraits, have fun and try to get your subject to laugh. Tell them to act like they’ve just won an all expenses paid trip to Monaco where they’ll sip wine and eat caviar with foreign dignitaries. Anything you can say to get a reaction is a very good thing.

Tip #10: Keep Your Camera At Your Hip To Take Interesting Candid Photos

Having a hard time getting your subjects to act natural? Just zoom out and learn to take pictures from your hips. Nobody will know you’re photographing them, and you’ll see their true emotions. Here’s another tip. Avoid using your camera’s flash when you do this. Even though you aren’t pointing the camera directly at your subjects, the fact that you’re using a flash will get noticed very quickly.

So there you have it. With these quick and easy tips, you’ll become a better photographer within a matter of mere hours. If you have any images you’ve created by using these techniques, I’d love to see them.

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Comments

  1. Elsie says:

    oops.... sorry, "angles", not "angels"...lol

  2. Elsie says:

    Me again, I love tip 5- "try unusual angels"... some of my best photos are a result of this technique - you can use it for buildings, nature, people, animals... but I prefer to use this technique when I photograph buildings. A great tip!

  3. Elsie says:

    Hi David

    A question about Tip 2 and I quote - "Just make sure the sun is behind you so it is lighting up your subjects from the front."

    I found that when you photograph people and using this method, in most times the sun is so harsh that they have to squint and then the photos are not good at all.

    If you let them stand with their backs to the sun, they are still "clear", but then you have the problem that the sun is in your lens and too harsh and their faces are now shadowed.

    How do you fix this problem?

    Elsie from SA

  4. Glenn says:

    @ Sylvine
    Optical zoom is the one that moves your lens, and is fine (with some restrictions) but never use Digital zoom.
    Digital Zoom is not true zoom, it, as stated above, just crops the image so you only have part of the picture. Quality is not improved and there is less room for manual cropping or detail enhancement later.

    Cheers and good shooting. :)

  5. David Peterson says:

    Sylvine,

    I explain the differences between Optical and Digital zoom in my tip on the Optical vs Digital zoom. Optical zoom is the one that moves the lens and is the good one.

    I hope that helps!

    David.

  6. Pakcik G says:

    thanks for tips..

  7. Uris says:

    Your comments are very helpful in having me improve my photography. I'm sure that my scores will get higher as I compete in my camera clubs following your advice. Thank you very much.

  8. Sylvine says:

    What is the dirrerence between optical and digital zoom. Which is the one that makes the lens go back and forth, the good one or the bad one?
    Thanks for your tips

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