I am by no means a photography expert but I love taking photos and playing around with different types of camera so I thought I’d compile a short list of basic things that anyone can do in order to produce better shots.
By far I’d say the most important thing to do if you want to improve is to just get out there and start clicking that shutter – there’s no better way to improve than by taking photos regularly.
1. See photo opportunities everywhere
We all have cameras built into our phones so there’s no excuse not to snap away when an unexpected opportunity presents itself. Keep an eye out for anything unusual on your commute, for example a gorgeous sunset.
2. Be open-minded
Even the most mundane of situations or the most common of images can be photographed in an interesting way if you think creatively. Don’t just point and shoot thoughtlessly, consider how you’re framing your shot and how you can make it different.
3. Try new angles
It’s all too easy to take photos from your eye-level but high/low-angles can really add drama. To shoot from a high angle just sit on the top-deck of the bus, use stairs and bridges, or stand on a wall (be careful!). For a low angle crouch/lie down, like I did for the image below to emphasise how the heavy rain was splashing up from the ground.
4. Turn off the flash
This might sound like an odd suggestion but in many situations it can improve your shots. For example when taking a photo at dusk your camera will probably fire off the flash because of low light levels however if you turn the it off you’ll pick up on the gorgeous natural light, rather than just bouncing flash off the nearest building, object or person.
Just make sure you compensate for longer exposure times by keeping the camera steady to reduce blur – if you don’t have a tripod hold it with both hands and keep your elbows close to your sides.
5. Use software to edit your photos
This can be as complex or simple as you like. Some great free photo-editing software for your computer is Pixlr, Picnik and Gimp. Don’t forget your smartphone – Instagram is by far my favourite and most-used iPhone app (it’s coming to Android soon!) but others worth downloading are BeFunky, Color Effects and PS (as in Photoshop) Express.
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6. Use layers
Layering a photo using foreground, mid-ground and background not only adds depth but can also help tell a story or set the scene. You can also use the foreground to ‘frame’ a shot, for example by using a doorway or window frame.
7. Take part in Project 365
One of my new years resolutions was to take part in Project 365, which basically involves taking one photo a day for a year. Thanks to my new Instagram addiction I was doing it by accident so I decided to make it official – trust me to start on a leap year!
I’ll be doing a round-up at the end of every month so if you’re taking part leave me a link, I’d love to see!
So there you have it! What things do you try to keep in mind when you’re taking photos? Do share any other tips you might have by commenting!