These days, anyone can pick up a digital SLR and look like a professional photographer. However, there’s more to taking photos than simply pointing
These days, anyone can pick up a digital SLR and look like a professional photographer. However, there’s more to taking photos than simply pointing and shooting. Good images are the result of clever composition, utilisation of settings, and understanding how a camera works. Here are three essential tips that every photographer should know.
This is a classic composition tip; if you use the thirds principle you can’t go wrong. According to ExposureGuide.com, a picture composed in thirds is more aesthetically pleasing, as it allows the viewer’s eyes to wander the frame of the image. To take a photograph in thirds, all you need to do is imagine four lines, with two lying horizontally across the image, and two vertically.
This will create nine even imaginary ‘squares’, which you can use to divide your image up into thirds. You can then play around with the focal point: some images will look great with a central focus, while others will look amazing when they’re off centre.
According to ThomasHawk.com, the easiest way to shoot at night (or in poorly lit conditions) is to use your ISO. Many photographers aren’t familiar with this setting, but they can dramatically improve the quality of their night shots by bumping up the ISO. Most digital cameras have an ISO setting of up to 1600.
However, the higher the ISO, the more stable your camera has to be: the slightest hand movement will result in a blurry image. The solution? Invest in a good tripod, or, alternatively, rest your camera against a chair, table, ledge, or even street pole.
When taking a shot of a subject, be aware that a busy background could detract the viewer’s attention. Always try to choose a plain, simple and neutral background, as this will keep focus on the most important image: the subject. The eye always needs to be drawn straight to the subject; any diversions (for example, a patch of colour) will result in a poorly composed, weak image.
If you’d like to learn more, you can always do a short online photography course, which will allow you to get comfortable with the fundamentals. If you’d like to get your images out there, there are social media sites like Flickr and Tumblr, which are specifically geared towards photo sharing.
If you’d like to set up a photography business, you can create a business page on Facebook. According to DigitalPhotoBuzz.com, this will allow you to have unlimited likes and connections, to share albums, and to tag clients. By following these basic tips you’ll create strong, visually appealing shots – and you’ll be able to share them with a wider audience.