What a great decision! There is indeed a lot of things to learn and you may be unsure where to begin. Here is some advice that will cut through all the middle ground and aid you in improving your shot quality quickly.
Having sufficient light is important for taking quality photos, but if you are taking photos in bright or direct sunlight, you may end up with bad shots because of too much light. Too much sunlight causes pronounced shadows and glare, differences in saturation in different parts of the photo, and can make it hard for human subjects to keep their eyes open. If you can, pick times early in the morning or later in the evening when taking pictures outside.
Photographers will often focus so much on the background that the foreground is completely forgotten or an afterthought, but it makes up the bulk of the photograph and deserves a fair amount of attention. Ensure that the foreground of the photograph has a striking frame and considers depth in the shot.
Keep your arms close to you while holding the camera, and position your hands on each side and the bottom of the camera. Doing so should reduce shaking and lead to clear images. Additionally, by cradling your hands around and under the camera, it will prevent accidental dropping of the device.
If you don’t know a model, try to make them feel as comfortable with you as possible. Someone taking pictures can easily appear to pose a potential threat. Therefore, you should be friendly and welcoming and get your subject’s permission before taking any photographs. Let them understand that photography is not a way of invading their privacy, but it is rather an art.
You want the background to be slightly blurred when taking photographs of people. If the background is just as in focus as the subject, it takes the eye away from where you the viewer should be looking. An easy way to do this is to make your background is further from your subject.
In order to take proper indoor photos under fluorescent light, you should tweak your white balance settings. If you don’t compensate for the missing red tones, photographs taken under fluorescent lighting will end up with a cooler tone caused by the bluish-green light.
Take pictures of your souvenirs when you travel. Take a picture either of the store or the souvenir together with the original. This will help you keep the narrative of your souvenirs alive well after you have returned from your vacation.
A principle of good composition you should learn is to limit the subject matter in a picture. You should have no reason to have a bunch of clutter or elements in your shot. Adopting a simple, minimalistic style can help you to identify the heart of a shot.
Try getting closer to the subject that you are trying to photograph. Not doing so can result in photos that are too distant or blurred for any clarity. Make it easier for yourself and for your viewers to see your subject clearly and vividly.
Limit yourself to ensure that each photograph you take is creative. You might want to decide to only take pictures of “sweet” things, for example. Try to shoot 100 different photographs from the same point or within the same room. By enforcing this limitation, your mind has to find new ways to express the subject in a great photograph and this causes you to think beyond your normal comfort-zone.
The majority of digital cameras now come with a feature that automatically uses the flash whenever the area you are photographing is too dim. While this type of auto-flash is perfect for point-and-shoot purposes, professional photographers often prefer to invest their cash in a separate flash unit that can be attached to the camera. If you decide you do need an external flash, invest in a camera with a “hot shoe” to fit the flash into, and consult a professional to learn which flashes are a good fit for your camera.
Watch natural lighting! Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to use natural light for photographs. If the sun is too high, you will have a hard time getting rid of shadows, and your subject might be bothered by the light. Use sunlight, candlelight and artificial light to see how each affects the subject of your photographs.
One way to foster creativity in your photography is to impose limitations on yourself. One way is to limit your shots for a whole day to subjects that express a single idea. You might try shooting 100 photos from a particular viewpoint or inside the same room. Working withing these limitations will make your shots more creative.
Read your camera’s instruction manual. The reason is because manuals are very thick and inconvenient to carry around. In most homes, they will be tossed in a junk drawer or even thrown in the garbage. Rather than getting rid of it, actually read it. The information contained within is extremely valuable and will simplify the process of taking great pictures.
Read your camera’s instruction manual. Manuals are often a long read and thick with information. Most people throw manuals away without giving them a second look. Instead of throwing it out, take the time to read it. Reading the manual will make you a better picture taker and help you avoid making silly mistakes.
Try to take your photographs quickly. If you hesitate or wait too long, the moment you want to capture may pass, so you need to be prepared to shoot your photographs completely in the moment. Wildlife may hide, people blink or tire of smiling, or any number of other things have the potential to spoil a shot. Don’t worry about perfecting the settings if it means risking losing a good shot.
Help your subjects to prepare ahead by suggesting clothing coordination, particularly with groups and family members. Although matching outfits aren’t necessary, having your subjects clothed in complementary shades of color can enhance a photograph. Consider suggesting warmer colors or those that are neutral so everyone’s clothing blends well with an environment with a natural look and feel. If they prefer bright colors, suggest balancing them with some pieces of clothing that are black to prevent the bright colors from clashing with each other.
Try to avoid setting your digital camera to the lowest settings in order to fit more photos on the camera because you will sacrifice print quality. You should only apply the lowest settings if you are confident that the images will only be shown on a computer display.
Take your photographs using a white balance. This allows you to have greater control over your pictures by altering the overall mood and tone. While it may take a while to find the ideal settings, adjusting the white balance manually offers a great deal of creative license.
Create an interesting silhouette. Of course the classic silhouette uses the sunset as a backdrop; however, there are other ways to get the same effect. If the background coloration is considerably lighter than the subject, a silhouette may appear behind the focal point. To shoot the perfect silhouette, position your subject by a window full of natural light; you can also use an off camera flash behind the subject. Be sure, however, that the resulting outline gives a flattering depiction of the subject.
You should now have a clue as to what you need to do to improve your photography skills. Refer to this article whenever you need a refresher or some new ideas. The important thing is to be persistent so that you can transform your photography into art.
Use different angles for your shots to personalize them. Framing a photograph head-on may be simple, but you lose the nuance of the environment around you. View your potential shots from above the subject or from ground level upwards. To get a nice photo, try getting a sideways shot or one that is diagonal.