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10 Tips and Tricks for Taking Better Photos

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These days, with virtually everyone walking around with a camera in their pocket, you almost never miss an opportunity to take a great picture. But have you ever taken a picture of something that looked absolutely stunning in person, only to be let down by a flat, lifeless image that looks like it was taken by kangaroo riding a roller coaster? Well, fear not, if you want to improve your picture taking abilities and be the one all your friends hand their cameras to on vacation, all you need to do is follow these ten tricks for taking better photos.

10. Keep Things Simple

One issue new photographers are often faced with is trying to incorporate all the trappings with each and every photograph. This approach often overcomplicates things because there is just too much going on in the frame which makes it difficult to produce a balanced composition and is often distracting to viewers. Remember, all you really need to make a good photo is one interesting subject. It’s all right if the majority of the frame is filled with empty space because that will just make your subject stand out more.

http://iheartparsons.com/2013/04/08/like-a-glove/ Via iHeartParsons.com

http://iheartparsons.com/2013/04/08/like-a-glove/ Via iHeartParsons.com

9. Move in Close

Whenever you take a picture of something from a distance, try moving in and taking a closer picture. For the closer picture, try to compose it so that your subject is almost filling the entire frame. This way, you can often reveal fascinating details about your subject such as a reflection of light in their eye or a sprinkling of freckles on their face. However, make sure to pay close attention to the focal length of the lens you are using, otherwise you could end up with pictures that are blurry and out of focus.

http://wallpaper.red/flowers-close-up-nature-photography/2876 Via Wallpaper Red

http://wallpaper.red/flowers-close-up-nature-photography/2876 Via Wallpaper Red

8. Shoot From a Low Angle

Generally, inexperienced photographers will tend to take pictures from roughly chest height simply because it feels most natural. But often, the most interesting photos are ones where the camera has been moved to take the picture from a distinct angle. By lowering the camera, you can easily create more compelling pictures because you’re showing your subject from a perspective they wouldn’t normally be seen from. Lowering the camera and shooting upwards with nothing but your subject and the sky in frame is also a great way to crop out unwanted background elements in a crowded shooting environment.

http://misstressplum.deviantart.com/art/Daisy-Low-Angle-Shot-399975514 Via DeviantArt

http://misstressplum.deviantart.com/art/Daisy-Low-Angle-Shot-399975514 Via DeviantArt

7. Be Selective

Determine exactly what it is that you want to take a picture of and then focus all your efforts on getting the best photo of that subject while excluding everything else around it. This technique can be accomplished by paying close attention to the border guides on your camera’s display or viewfinder. While looking at the guides, make sure anything that would distract the viewer from the subject, such as unsightly electrical wires or an empty soda can, lies outside the border. If you find yourself in a situation where it is difficult to get eliminate all the unwanted elements from your frame, you can always try zooming in to a full-frame close-up that tells that whole story.

http://www.buyphotographyonline.net/various-photography/ Via BuyPhotographyOnline.net

http://www.buyphotographyonline.net/various-photography/ Via BuyPhotographyOnline.net

6. Use a Plain Background

Using a plain or minimal background helps show off the subject you are photographing. Before you snap a picture, take a minute and study the space surrounding your subject. Try to ensure that objects in the distance, like a car, telephone pole or tree (see below), won’t end up looking like they are growing out of your subject’s head when you take the picture.

http://ratbagp.blogspot.ca/2013_01_01_archive.html Via Ray's Retirement Blog

http://ratbagp.blogspot.ca/2013_01_01_archive.html Via Ray’s Retirement Blog

5. Include Depth

Most photos are more alluring if you can see subjects are located on multiple planes (foreground, middle ground, and background). For instance, with landscape photos, if you can incorporate a meandering stream or winding trail that runs through both the foreground and background of the composition, it really engages the viewer because it draws their eye throughout the entire scene.

https://dcszlibrary.wikispaces.com/Depth+of+Field+Introduction Via Dulwich College

https://dcszlibrary.wikispaces.com/Depth+of+Field+Introduction Via Dulwich College

4. Include Reflections

Reflections are a great way to add life to photographs. Although you might be able to spot a reflection of your subject on a shiny car or pair of sunglasses, water is likely the best reflective surface to use. Since water is almost never perfectly still, it tends to distort the images reflected on its surface. Photographers with a keen eye can usually capitalize on these distortions to create unique and striking images.

http://hdwallpick.com/reflection-of-spring-lake.html Via HDWallPick

http://hdwallpick.com/reflection-of-spring-lake.html Via HDWallPick

3. Use Symmetry

Always keep an eye out for symmetry in your scenes and subjects. As a rule of thumb, you generally don’t want to place your subject smack dab in the middle of the frame, but, when it makes for great symmetry, it’s often the best thing to do.

http://artwolfe.com/2009/07/29/photoshop-tips-and-tricks/ Via ArtWolfe.com

http://artwolfe.com/2009/07/29/photoshop-tips-and-tricks/ Via ArtWolfe.com

2. Compose With Care

Sure, not everyone is a National Geographic wildlife photographer, but if you take the time and make the effort to set up a beautifully balanced shot before clicking the shutter, you’ll start to see that most people respond better to pictures that incorporate certain elements. First off, try to keep that horizon level; using a tripod with a fluid level can help a lot with this. Secondly, make a conscious effort to place your subject where it best supports the composition rather than having it haphazardly appear in the frame. Lastly, if possible, change the camera’s perspective so that lines in the frame either lead to your subject or create a pattern that’s pleasing to the eye.

http://artwolfe.com/2009/07/29/photoshop-tips-and-tricks/ Via ArtWolfe.com

http://artwolfe.com/2009/07/29/photoshop-tips-and-tricks/ Via ArtWolfe.com

1. Be a Director

If you can work up the nerve to move around objects in public spaces and give a little artistic direction to your live subjects, you might notice a drastic improvement in the quality of your photographs. So start picking the location where you want people to stand, add in props, even wait until the right time of day if you’re shooting outdoors. The best pictures are usually the ones you care about and take charge of.

https://pentarazziphotography.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/5-photography-tips-and-tricks/ Via PentarazziPhotography

https://pentarazziphotography.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/5-photography-tips-and-tricks/ Via PentarazziPhotography

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