Photography tips for amateurs
You don’t need years of training and a fancy camera to take great shots, all you need is a little smart thinking. Brush up on your photography skills and try out a few of our top tips to start taking better pictures right away.
Understand the basics of composition
The composition of your photograph is the way that all of the elements are arranged within the frame. Every time you pick up your camera and take a shot, you are consciously (or unconsciously!) choosing your composition – and some compositions are more pleasing to the eye than others.
The best way to pick good compositions is to remember the rule of thirds. Imagine that your frame is broken into nine equal squares then try and align your photo so that the major elements run along the lines these squares make. That way, rather than always putting your subject dead centre, you can find more imaginative ways to frame your shot.
Pay attention to the light (and the flash)
Your camera will try and work hard to help you get the right kind of lighting in your shot but sometimes, you’re better off taking the matter into your own hands. If you’re shooting in low lighting, your camera might automatically add a flash – but this can remove the nuances you’re trying to capture.
Conversely, if you’re taking a picture of a monument in the day light, your camera will probably turn your flash off but by using it, you might be able to include some great details. Be prepared to manually turn your flash on and off and experiment with which options works best in different lights. Watch out for standing too close to your subject when you’re using a flash too, or you might end up bleaching out features.
Use a tripod and steady your shot
If lots of your photos are coming out as a bit of a blur, it might be time to invest in a tripod. From large tripods great for landscape shots to pocket-sized versions you can pop down on any flat surface, there’s an option for every photographer. This will help you keep your camera level and help you produce a smoother result.
It’s also worth checking whether your digital camera has a ‘steady hands’ mode. This helps to compensate for any shaking your hands might be doing, allowing you to concentrate on taking your pictures rather than worrying about tremors.
The best way to improve your photography skills is to simply get a lot of practice and happily, in the days of digital cameras, you can view the results quickly and easily without having to pay to print all of them!
What are your top photography tips?
Silversurfers Features Editor
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