How To Take Better Pictures?
How can you take better pictures? Good pictures come, not from fancy studio equipment or an expensive telephoto lens, but from having an eye for the world around you and how it looks through a camera. How can you develop this eye for photography? By looking through your viewfinder, even if you do not intend to take a picture. Concentrate on what you can see and how the image goes together. When thinking about how things look through a camera, keep in mind the differences between how YOU see, and how IT sees. The camera takes in an entire scene, without showing interest in any particular part, your eyes, though, tend to focus on a specific thing you find interesting.
Your eye can change focus from one object to another almost instantaneously, making everything look in focus. A camera, however, can only focus on ONE subject at a time. Your eye can focus on objects in deep shadow far better than a camera can, as it automatically contrasts what you are focusing on.
However, a camera can focus our attention on a very small and specific detail that might normally be overlooked. It can also capture details on a moving object that would be impossible for our eyes to notice. The biggest thing to keep in mind, though, is that your eye can focus on a particular thing, ignoring its surroundings. A camera takes in whatever it’s aimed at.
First Thing to Do!
The first thing to do when preparing to take a picture, is to choose your subject. That sounds stupid, but depending on where you’re at, you’ll probably have a number of subjects available, so you need to focus in on one that will be interesting. Work to keep it from appearing messy and disorganized. Keep it simple. Three examples of how to do this are: closing in on your subject, angling down to block out distractions, and shooting a vertical image to eliminate distractions to either side.
There are two kinds of photographers. The first one captures those brief opportunity shots by relying on quick reflexes, always having his camera loaded and ready. The second kind patiently prepares a scene for his photo. By choosing his position and angle carefully, he can even somewhat control natural light. Both can present interesting and entertaining pictures.
Both of the above examples can benefit from taking a moment to consider how their subject will look. Merely snapping off a picture will result in A picture, but not necessarily a GOOD picture. Some things to consider before taking a picture are: Is there a lot of miscellaneous and distracting clutter around the subject? Are there any patterns that might benefit or detract from the image? Would a vertical shot be better? Should you take your picture from a different angle, maybe moving even just a few feet?
Zeroing in on your subject may not always be the best call. Sometimes shooting off-center can yield a better result. Pay attention to any lines in a scene. They can draw a person’s attention to or away from your subject. Lines can also convey movement or action.
Find a Niche
Sooner or later, everyone finds their niche in photography, that one thing that makes them distinctive. The best way to find yours is to experiment. Shoot a variety of photographs on widely different subjects in widely different styles.
The first aspect of taking pleasing photographs is to be able to identify interesting subjects and approach them creatively. The second aspect is understanding how best to use your camera and film. How should you handle your camera? How should you focus it? How big a part does lighting play?
Another thing you need to consider is how your particular camera works in relation to what you are trying to take pictures of. For example, a camera with a slower shutter speed is less than ideal for photographing an air show. Understanding how your camera works will go a long way toward helping you take better pictures.