Photography is quite the complex art that many people take for granted. Taking a good photograph is about more than just owning a good camera. There’s more to a good photograph than what meets the eye and trying to figure out the technique can be a challenging process. Fortunately, we have simplified things for you and come up with 10 handy steps to help you take incredible photographs:
- Avoid using the flash on your camera
Using flash when you take pictures usually ruins their quality. Whether it’s a digital camera flash or a mobile phone flash, there’s a chance that using one will ruin your pictures’ shadows and result in a cheap looking finish. In general, keep the flash off with the exception of photographs taken in the sun. In this case, using a flash will brighten up your face and do away with any deep shadows created by sunlight.
- Be creative
Professional photographers always try their best to be creative and find new and different angles to take good photos. Many people love for the subject of their photos to be at the very centre but, that doesn’t always have to be the case. Add some creativity to your photos by adjusting the subject and bringing in other visuals into the photograph. Of course, you have to be careful not to drown out your subject but, just play around with its position for a while until you get the perfect shot.
- Trying using your own feet to zoom in
You don’t always have to use your camera to zoom into a photograph. Sometimes, moving in closer physically can help you get a better look of the subject you want to photograph. Shift angles while you are at it and look at the photo from various perspectives. Focus on fine details and really create the perfect shot for yourself. This is something that isn’t always achievable when you zoom in with your camera.
- Keep the background clean
Your background matters just as much as the main focus of your photograph. Thus, keeping it clean is key to ensure that your photo doesn’t look messy or too busy. Sometimes, all it takes is moving the camera around a bit to clear unnecessary distractions. Take one photograph and look closely at everything that shouldn’t be in it. Once you figure that out, you can clean it up, leaving the final polished result. You can use software such as Photoshop to clean up your images or take new photos and compare but that will probably take longer than editing with a special software.
- Make sure your subject is central focus
While you don’t have to put the subject in the direct centre of your photograph, it does not hurt to create a locked focus for a sharper image. This is challenging if you have a camera with an auto-focus feature as it will pick up whatever subject is directly in the middle. If you want to create a clearer image in this case, you can shuffle the subject around and place it somewhere other than the centre. You can also put the picture inside a frame such as a window for greater clarity.
- Pay attention to the picture’s White Balance
Good pictures require a solid White Balance. What this relates to is the colour quality of your photographs. For example, taking photos indoors usually results in orange looking skin on people, especially if you turn of your flash. Similarly, flash photography can also create unsightly glares which when coupled with yellowish tones doesn’t create a flattering end result. Improving the White Balance of your photographs means getting rid of these undesirable tones and replacing them with more natural looking tones that result in a quality finish.
- Keep your photos vertical
In all honesty, horizontal pictures are problematic for a variety of reasons. From making subjects look unrealistically wide to drowning out key elements of your background, there are plenty of reasons not to take horizontal pictures. In general, it’s best to keep your photographs vertical if you simply want better looking results.
- Eye contact is key
Just like real life, making eye contact creates a more engaging and interesting experience. Keeping your camera focused on your subject’s eyes brings out their natural features from their smile to their gaze, even if they are not staring directly into the lens. Always do your best to take eye level pictures even if it means lowering your frame a bit.
- Steer clear of filters
If you are taking photos with a cellphone or tablet device, you should stay away from filters as much as possible. The main reason….filters strip your final picture of its natural essence and make it look cheap. Sure, they can be cute and funny but if you want clear, simple and creative pictures, try relying on your own personal techniques and background to spice things up.
- Work on your skills
At the end of the day, no matter how many tips and tricks you read about, the best way to take good photos is to take lots of them. You have to practice taking photos from different angles, applying new techniques and shuffling focus until you get the best results. It might take a while to master but eventually, your photos should improve quality immensely.