It seems like everyone has a camera these days, but that does not make everyone a photographer. If you’re new to the world of cameras and would just like to take a decent photo, then here are a few very useful tips for getting a picture that’s worth taking.
Rule of Thirds/Leading Lines
It’s important to be aware of the overall layout of your photo. There are things that are pleasing to the eye that will make a huge difference to your pictures. Looking at your subject you’ll want to create a grid in your head. The picture should be segmented into nine sections in your mind with two lines going vertical and two going horizontal. You want the subject of your photo to fall on one of those lines. This will help to create balance.
Also be aware of leading lines. These are things that draw attention like a horizon or someone looking off in the distance. Make sure these lines lead to something worth looking at. If they don’t it will create a bland picture.
You’ll want to always be looking for good lighting options. This can come in the form of a cloudy day, a well-shaded spot, or even by creating your own lighting such as using a flash to create rim lighting. Be careful of shade, because you don’t want sunspots. If there are shadows in your picture they should be used to your advantage. Harsh shadows on someone’s face is only good if you meant for it to be there.
Anyone can take a picture. The key to creating something worth looking at is to try thinking outside the box. Instead of just pointing and shooting, try changing your perspective. Come at the object from a new angle. If you’re taking a picture of a child, maybe try to come from below instead of above. This is your chance to get creative and be daring. Sometimes it will work and sometimes it won’t, but you won’t know until you try.
Why take one picture when you can take more. Chances are you’ll only like 1 of every 50 or so pictures that you take. Make sure to take enough photos that you’ll have something worth looking at or at least that you can work with. One and done is rarely the case when doing art.
It’s Not About the Gear
It is easy to get caught up in the hype that the gear is what makes your pictures good. Have you ever heard the phrase, “A poor workman blames his tools”? The same standard applies to your camera. The best camera you have is the one in your hands.
It’s more important that you capture the moment than having the perfect camera to do it with. True, nice gear can be a wonderful thing, but first, learn the basics with what you already have. Once you feel like you’ve mastered what you have then it’s time to upgrade.
Now get out there and practice! The more times you try the better you’ll get. You’ll learn to critique your pictures so they become what you see in your mind’s eye. This is art so you get to decide how you want it to look and no one can tell you that you’re wrong. Just have fun!