7 Great Photography Tips for Beginners

7 Great Photography Tips for Beginners

Digital cameras, including those on mobile phones have made photography easier than ever before. Even a modest budget can buy a very good digital camera, and open up the world of creative photography. You don’t need an expensive digital SLR camera to produce great pictures. It’s all about following good advice and experimenting.

Lunch at Avila's

Lunch at Avila’s

The following tips will make a huge difference to your photography.

1. Choose the subject.
A common mistake made by newcomers to photography is to take general pictures without a clear subject. For example, if you are photographing a group of friends at a tourist attraction, decide on the key elements that make up the picture. Having a clear idea of your subject means you can frame and compose the subject for the best effect. This usually means moving in closer and cropping out unnecessary details. This one tip can move your pictures from being casual snaps to looking like professional photographs.

2. Think about lighting.
Photographs are created by light, and it’s a key element in producing successful images. Modern cameras can cope with a range of different lighting conditions, but you still need to think about the direction and power of light. Subjects in direct sunlight will have harsh shadows and high contrast. If the main light source is behind a subject, it will appear dark and lacking in detail. Considering the direction of the light is particularly important when photographing people. Move around your subject and observe how light affects it before taking any shots.

3. Consider composition.
Composition and framing can make or break a picture. Consider how to frame a shot before releasing the shutter, paying attention to how different elements in the picture interact. Successful composition is usually about achieving balance in a picture. If you want to create drama or tension, shift your angle and experiment with adding or taking away elements of a scene. Looking at paintings and works of art is a great way to develop a natural sense of good composition.

4. Focus correctly.
Pictures which aren’t focussed correctly are wasted opportunities. Modern auto-focus systems work very well, but they can make mistakes in some situations. It’s important to understand which point your camera focuses on to ensure you get the results you want. Digital SLR and mirrorless cameras offer manual focusing, and some offer focus-stacking. For many photographers, this is the best way to ensure your pictures are sharp and clear every time.

5. Check the background.
Objects sticking out of people’s heads and other distractions in the background are another common cause of disappointing photographs. Check the background before pressing the shutter button, and consider shifting your angle to frame your subject with a less distracting background. This simple step can lead to major improvements in your photography.

6. Take lots of shots.
Taking pictures with a digital camera doesn’t cost anything, so don’t hold back when shooting. It’s easy to edit and delete pictures later, and modern memory cards have high storage capacity. If you are taking photographs of people, shooting lots of pictures gives you a better chance of capturing smiles and great expressions.

7. Don’t rely on flash.
When shooting indoors or at night, flash seems like an easy way to light pictures. However, flash generally produces harsh lighting with high contrast, and it’s better to work with ambient light, if possible. When you do use flash, learn to bounce it, and/or use a diffuser to soften the light. If photographing people, move your subject to a more evenly lit area if possible.

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