We all want to take better photos. Whether you take pictures with your phone, a DSLR or an analog camera, there are things you can do to take better pictures. You can take a look at this article if you are interested specifically in taking portraits. If you are looking for specific tips for digital photography take a look at this article.
And if you want to get into analog/film photography, you can find tips and tricks in this video and this video. This article is going to focus on general tips that will help you take better photos regardless of your equipment.
Lighting is crucial to taking better photos. You will want to take a look at where the light is coming from. Is the sone behind or in front of you? Is it bright enough? Do you have anything to use for extra lighting?
If you are using a phone camera and shooting in low-light conditions, you will want to use as much natural light as possible, because the flash is really not your friend when it comes to phone cameras. You may want to try and use it when it’s light out, it could help you get better results.
Look for interesting shadows or reflections of the light. Use it to your advantage in order to create the most stunning and unique pictures. If you learn how to utilise light to the fullest, you will definitely take better photos.
2. Close Up
“If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” This is a quote by photojournalist Roberta Capa. He was talking about being amongst the action. This is a tip which you can utilise to take better photos.
You will get more of people’s expressions, details that the camera can’t capture. you might find that your photos become more interesting if you focus on the small details of a landscape, rather than taking a more conventional approach.
3. Framing and Negative Space
Framing is essential to take better photos. When we talk about framing that usually refers to a technique used to draw attention. When you frame a scene you want to think about where your focal point is, where you want to lead the attention of the people looking at the photograph.
For example, you can use a window to frame a subject, or a mirror, trees or buildings. Here are some things you can use to frame your photo:
- Negative space: this refers to the empty space in your picture. The area around your subject. When you include more negative space in your photo, you make your subject stand out. Yous can use a large wall, empty field, sky, water.
- Leading Lines: these are naturally occurring framing devices that can help you take better photos. Leading lines can be staircases, train tracks (you’ve seen these pictures), buildings, roads, paths in the wood, etc. They can help you create depth and make your photo look more stylised.
- Reflection: use a body of water, a mirror or a window to create better photos, which look more designed.
- Symmetry: we are naturally drawn to symmetry, so utilising it for your pictures can be a step towards taking better photos.
If you have wondered why photographers are often crouching down, or even laying down, it’s because they are focusing on the perspective. Taking a picture from a different angle can lead to a more engaging photograph. It can make photos more dynamic. It’s a great thing to try if you feel your photographs are a bit stunted.
Try taking photos from unique and unexpected angles. Take photos straight up or move your device around to see if any angle catches your eye. Play around with perspective and you will definitely take better photos.
5. Variety and Patterns
Variation is very important when it comes to taking better pictures. Not only will it keep others interested in your photographs but it will help you engage with them, as well. Don’t take a picture from only one perspective, try different angles and various framing.
Something else that will definitely help you take better photos is patterns. We love patterns whether they are fabric, shapes, colours, lines… patterns have a strong visual impact that will help you create more interesting photos.
6. Passion and Practice
The best way to be sure you’ll improve and take better photos is passion. If you want to take a great picture, you’ll take a great picture. You’ll keep trying. You won’t just take one picture of your friend in that perfect light and frame, you’ll take a few, from different angles. If you truly want to take better photos and are passionate about that (even if it’s not in a professional way), you’ll start noticing more potential.
And if you are passionate and keep practicing, you’ll improve. Try going outside with the intention of taking interesting pictures. You will get better and better with time and practice.
What do you do to take better photos? Share in the comments.
Feature image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/eTL5gUK1mt4
Currently going into her final year of English and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. Gery has been writing in a personal blog since 2014 and has been published in publications StudentVoices and FictionHub on Medium. She debuted her first play 'Liminality' at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is already planning her next project.