Autumn outdoor portrait of a African American young woman
Whether you are a beginner or more experienced with photography, here are some of our favorite tips that will help you improve your photography!
Use the Rule of Thirds
This rule helps you take eye-catching pictures by using one of the most effective rules of composition.
If you want to take pictures that have a “wow” factor built in them, the Rule of Thirds is the composition secret you need to take advantage of!
To use the rule of thirds, imagine four lines, two lying horizontally across the image and two vertical creating nine even squares. Some images will look best with the focal point in the center square, but placing the subject off-center at one of the intersecting points of the imaginary lines will often create a more aesthetically composed photograph.
When a photograph is composed using the rule of thirds the eyes will wander the frame. A picture composed using the rule of thirds is usually more pleasing to the eye.
Avoid Camera Shake
amera shake or blur is something that can plague any photographer and here are some ways to avoid it.
First, you need to learn how to hold your camera correctly; use both hands, one around the body and one around the lens and hold the camera close to your body for support.
Also, for handheld shooting, make sure that you are using a shutter speed that is appropriate for your lens’ focal length. If you’re shutter speed is too slow, any unintentional movement of the camera will result in your entire photograph coming out blurry.
The rule of thumb is not to shoot at a shutter speed that is slower than your focal length to minimize this problem:
1 / Focal Length (in mm) = Minimum Shutter Speed (in seconds)
So, as an example, if you’re using a 100mm lens, then your shutter speed should be no lower than 1/100th of a second.
Use a tripod or monopod whenever possible.
Are you confused by any of the terminology? Do you want to easily control your camera and finally get rid of the confusion about focal length, aperture, shutter speed, and other settings?
If so, check out our most recommended course: Extremely Essential Camera Skills. It’s the easiest and quickest way to learn how to take great photos while learning all the basics of your camera.
Use a Polarizing Filter
If you can only buy one filter for your lens, make it a polarizer.
The recommended type of polarizer is circular because these allow your camera to use TTL (through the lens) metering such as auto exposure.
This filter helps reduce reflections from water as well as metal and glass; it improves the colors of the sky and foliage and will help give your photos the WOW factor. It will do all that while protecting your lens. There’s no reason why you can’t leave it on for all of your photography.
We recommend Hoya Polarizer Filters for the best combination of performance and price.
Create a Sense of Depth
When photographing landscapes, it helps to create a sense of depth, in other words, make the viewer feel like they are there.
Use a wide-angle lens for a panoramic view and a small aperture of f/16 or smaller to keep the foreground and background sharp. Placing an object or person in the foreground helps give a sense of scale and emphasizes how far away the distance is.
Use a tripod if possible, as a small aperture usually requires a slower shutter speed.
Use Simple Backgrounds
The simple approach is usually the best in digital photography, and you have to decide what needs to be in the shot, while not including anything that is a distraction.
If possible, choose a plain background – in other words, neutral colors and simple patterns. You want the eye to be drawn to the focal point of the image rather than a patch of color or an odd building in the background. This is especially vital in a shot where the model is placed off center.