If you really want to take great pictures, it’s like anything else. You need to practice, practice, and then practice some more. Someone somewhere said it takes 10,000 hours to become really proficient at anything. Whether that’s 10,000 hours of batting practice to become a good slugger, 10,000 hours of running to become a fast sprinter, or 10,000 hours of photographing various subjects to excel as a photographer, you need to practice. All that said,there are always photo composition tips that you can take into account when capturing images with your digital camera.
This is not to say that consuming content is a bad thing! Au contrarie! Reading blogs (especially mine) is a good way to learn about inspiration. You can also look at other images for inspiration, grasp key takeaways, and brush up on technique in order to garner additional tricks of the trade. So, when you have some time to enjoy some photo composition tips, here are three tips I’ve learned on how to take better photos.
1 – Watch the edges!
Many times what stands in the way of a great photo are distractions near the edge of the frame. Whether it’s a stray branch in a landscape, a lamp post, or some other such object – these will pull the viewers’ eye away from what they are supposed to be looking at – the subject! So, when composing your images, be sure to watch the edge of the frame to eliminate stray distractions. Whether you do this in camera, or in post production is up to you, but my philosophy is to get it right in camera!
2 – Consider the background!
Just like stray objects, items in the background can detract from a photo too. Would you want your bride to have a lamp post or the cross neatly dissecting her head? Or would it be easier to move everyone a few feet to one side and avoid an hour of the clone stamp tool in Photoshop?
Yeah yeah yeah, the advances in software make this easier than it used to be, but the principle remains – try to get it right in camera! The other trick to keeping the background from becoming a distraction is to select your depth of field (f-stop) accordingly. A deeper depth of field keeps that background in focus (think f8, f11, f16, etc), whereas a shallower one (f3.5, 2.8 or 2.0)
3 – Focus on the eyes!
I’ve written on this before, and even had guest posts from others in the field so this should be a no-brainer, but if the eyes are in focus, the more appealing the image becomes. Take a look at these two shots, one where I have my subjects eyes in focus, and the other where the focus is the nose – which one is more appealing?
As the old saying goes: the eyes are the window to the soul – so let ’em shine!
There you are – three tips to making better pictures, no matter what you focus your craft on, whether it’s landscapes, people. or event work…this is only tipping the iceberg of course! There’s plenty of other practical guides, tips and tricks to taking better photos. In fact, you can get 98 of them from my double-ebook set here for only $10!
Got your own tips, tricks, and techniques for better photos? Contribute to the blog! You can also share your own thoughts and commentary below, so don’t be shy! What do you do to make your photos pop?