1. Practice Practice Practice!
if you want to get good at anything in life, you have to work hard at it.
The fortunate thing about photography is that it’s a lot of fun to play around with. Even though you’ll still think you suck from time to time, with just a little practice, you will always begin to see results in your photos.
Take the steps listed above and read some of the tutorials on this website – you’ll be an expert in no time.
2. Use the Histogram
If you’re out and about on a really sunny day, you’ll find that shading the display with your hand doesn’t do the job when it comes to looking at photos.
The histogram is a mathematical representation of how well exposed an image is. It’s a great basis for improving your photography (don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it sounds).
It’s no use waiting until you get home to find out that your photos are no good! Read more about it here.
3. Get Your White Balance Right!
This is so vitally important if you want good photos that I’ve written an entire post on it here. I strongly suggest you read it.
The WB is all about the colour cast of your photos.
Shooting indoors without a flash often results in the people in your photos appearing to have nasty orange coloured skin.
4. Frame Your Subject
Look for a way to put a frame within a frame, like a doorway or window. In the photo below I used a bluebell flower.
Framing can add context to your photos, telling the viewer a little more about what’s going on and where the photo was taken.
Not only does this add a sense of depth but also another element of interest that the photo didn’t have before. Try a close-up shot for a tighter frame.
5. Clean Up Your Background
The background is as much a part of your photo as the subject so make sure it’s not cluttered and messy. Moving your camera just a few degrees to the side may make all the difference when it comes to cleaning up your shot.
Branches, sky and other people are just a few things to look out for. The branch in the shot below really bugs me. You can use photo editing software, such as Photoshop or a camera app.
6. Zoom With Your Feet and Get Closer
Instead of zooming in, get involved in the photo. Look at things from a different angle – this allows for a different perspective.
Search for the finer details that would usually be overlooked in a scene and make these the subject if you really want the best photos.
Think before you shoot or you’ll forget to think at all.
7. Find a Fresh Perspective
I try to take this a little further where possible and find new ways of looking at photos. If you follow professional photographers on social media, you might find that they always present new ways in capturing professional shots.
8. No On Camera Flash!
When the light comes from the same angle as the lens, you’re left without any of the scene’s natural shadows. Photos with on-camera flash may as well have been taken on your phone.
9. Learn Basic Composition Techniques… and Then Forget Them
You’ll start seeing and thinking about how you might frame a photo, even when you haven’t got a camera on you.
This knowledge sticks with you and subtly helps your photos improve from good pictures to great pictures.
Well then, why forget them?
Simple. As a photographer, this becomes too obvious to be interesting and you’ll become bored of your photos.
One of the main challenges of photography is to keep your photos fresh and interesting. You can do this by pushing the boundaries of the ‘rules’ of photography.
10. Learn Manual Mode
Manual mode is much like using an old film SLR from the 1960s, when they didn’t have buttons like aperture priority and other modes that do it all for you.
Being the only option, photographers were forced to learn to use their cameras in manual. In doing so, they fully learned how their cameras worked.
Once you know how to properly use your camera, it becomes much easier to spot where you’re going wrong and to fix it.