Photography Tips and Tricks for Beginners. Here is the question eternally on the mind of beginning photographers: HOW can I take a great picture? Or more precisely, what are those small and nuanced things that will make the difference between having taken a “meh” picture that friends will quickly and politely flip/scroll past, and having taken that really good amazing/artsy shot that forevermore will have you telling yourself deep down that you could really be an artist if you could just break free from the the chains of your current 9-5, man.
While the answer to that question can, and has, filled more print- and cyber-space than I care to think about, it’s not also not a great secret what it takes to start going down that path. So without further ado, here are some photography tips and tricks for beginners to keep in mind.
It’s tempting to get carried away by all the great technology that is out there, especially when you’re first starting to discover the wonderful world of photography. However, don’t forget that the camera is merely a tool. Having the the coolest gadgets is (usually) not a substitute for having the knowledge to know what you’re doing, the experience to put that in context, and the sense of aesthetic to find the beautiful in the ordinary. Plus, technology is always going to be improving, and unless you’re a millionaire, it’s just not realistic to worry about always having the latest camera and accessories.
Remember, you can take great photos with a simple, point-and-shoot camera or get lousy shots with the most expensive, top-of-the-line camera. It is not the camera that produces wonderful images, it is the photographer.
Before you take a picture, spend a few minutes considering how you will bring out the best in your subject, be it animal or mineral. Get a feel for the backgrounds of all of your shots. Be aware of things nearby and in the distance. If the background and subject don’t mesh well, find another spot!
Every picture you take needs a focal point. Determine the focal point of your picture before you take it. When trying to determine the focal point, try to think about what will draw the viewer in. You do not have to make your focal point be the center of the picture, but it does need to stand out.
An important part of photography is making sure that the person seeing the photo is drawn naturally and effortlessly to the intended focal point subject. An easy way to make your subject really stand out is the use of leading lines. Leading lines draw the viewer’s eye towards the subject of photo and emphasize depth. Examples of objects used to form leading lines include roads, fences, rivers and many others.
When you are taking photos of living things, the best area to focus on is the eyes. Focus on their eyes and you will take better photos.
If you are shooting under the bright sun, have your subject face away from the sun. Hard light from the sun can cause shadows that will likely ruin the picture. Putting your subject in a way that they are facing away from the sun puts their face in the shade and then you can over-expose the picture so the face is just right. Of course, also make sure you’re not positioning yourself and your subject in such a way that your subject appears as a silhouette against the background.
If you’re trying to take a picture of an object at a distance, forget using your camera’s flash. You’ll be lucky if it travels 10 feet. If the subject is further away than that, you’re just wasting your battery power needlessly.
Lastly, try to change up the lighting when you are taking several shots, to see which lighting combinations produce the best results. You may be surprised. This is harder to do when you’re outdoors in natural light, but if you’re shooting indoors, adjust light levels when possible to see the different effects light will have on your picture composition. Keep the lighting comfortable to your subjects, and in line with your chosen color schemes.
It is important to have a tripod for those moments when camera stability is just something you can’t mess around with. For random shots of your kids or buildings, a bit of camera shake isn’t a big deal, but for once-in-a-lifetime shots that really matter, a bit of camera shake can ruin a perfect memory. If a tripod is not available, try setting the camera on a flat surface.
If you intend to travel with your camera, there are a few more things to think about. For example, before taking your camera equipment somewhere, always make sure you do a quick run through to take inventory of what’s in the bag. Cameras can sometimes involve a lot of small pieces. Even if they don’t, you never want to be without a charger or batteries just in case. Make sure that you have everything you need, especially if you are going on vacation with it.
Trying to learn a new skill can often be frustrating, and photography is no exception to that rule. It is important, however, to enjoy the learning process. No need to stress over missed shots, blurry photos or technically imperfect pictures. You learn by trying, so relax, and enjoy the process of becoming a better photographer. Remember,
Taking a picture is as easy as pushing a button, but taking a beautiful photograph is a work of art.
Hopefully these photography tips and tricks for beginners have been helpful, and have given you the confidence to start taking more great pictures.
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