Have you ever hunted online for tips for taking amazing photographs after seeing some of the amazing shots on Instagram and Facebook? Photography isn’t just about the camera you use, there’s a lot more creativity involved. Here are a few tips for taking amazing photographs that are sure to get people liking and commenting on your images.
1. Construct Your Shot
When you’re shooting, it helps to image a grid system around the object you want to capture. Divide the screen with two vertical lines and two horizontal ones, so that you have nine small squares. Some camera apps and DSLR cameras have a grid overlay that will do this for you! You should try to ensure the subject of your photograph is positioned on one of the line intersections, for a stronger composition. This is one of my favorite tips for taking amazing photographs – learned whilst studying photography at college!
2. Get the Right Gear
We’re all different, and what is one photographer’s pleasure is another’s poison. Whilst some people swear by their Nikon or Canon DSLR, others prefer a smartphone camera and of course there are the traditionalists who steer clear of digital and will only shoot on film. The only way to find out which is best for you is to try them out. I’m a fan of digital but given half the chance I would have a collection of film cameras and my own darkroom!
3. Use Filters
When I say use filters, there are two ways to do this. The traditional way, by buying slot in filters and holders for your DSLR lens to add vibrancy or mute colors in your shot, or to eliminate reflections, or the easy way that makes everyone feel like a pro photographer – in instagram or another photo sharing app. The choice is yours, but you can get some great effects!
4. Get Closer
The difference between a good shot and a great one is how bold you’re willing to be. Don’t be afraid to get closer to your subject for a more unusual angle. Try to shoot from multiple angles and distances to see what looks best – this is where shooting digital comes in handy as you can simply delete any shots that don’t look great.
5. Learn to Use Your Camera Settings
If you’ve purchased a DSLR, it’s all too easy to stick the settings on automatic and start snapping away. Not many of us take the time to read the manual from cover to cover – and you might not learn much even if you do. If you’re stuck with using your camera settings, why not attend a local class aimed at beginners? This will teach you the basics of your camera and you’ll find it can do much more than you thought!
6. Learn about Lighting
Lighting is key to creating great shots, whether you take perfect shots first time or manipulate them using filters or Photoshop. Learning about studio lighting as well as natural light will ensure that you take professional photos – there are some great books on Amazon which can teach you the basics, and remember that shooting outside in natural light is easiest for beginners.
7. Practice Your Photography
Whether you’ve got a disposable camera or a professional DSLR, practice makes perfect. You don’t need models or fancy sets to take great shots. Grab some friends, pick a location and prepare to shoot some great images. Or just take your camera with you wherever you go and record your life – the more photos you take, the better you will get!
8. Take Your Time
I used to get annoyed with my ex-boyfriend as he would often spend ages constructing the perfect shot, looking for the best angle. Yet his photographs were always great, whilst mine were just average – I rushed in and snapped at the first opportunity. It’s important to take your time, unless you’re capturing something fast paced such as a sporting event.
9. Share Your Pictures Online
This might seem like an odd tip, but by sharing your photographs, you’ll get comments and feedback from friends and family. Feedback is the best way to improve your photography, and you could even join online photography groups on websites such as Flickr, where you can submit photos and receive constructive criticism.
Of course, if you really want to improve your photography, all of the above tips are a great place to start, but you should probably also take a course at your local college – most towns and cities run short courses for beginners or specialist courses in different types of photography, such as photojournalism or wedding photography. Who knows, you could find you have a natural talent! What are your favorite photography apps for iPhone and Android?