Having a top of the line camera is no guarantee that you will be able to take stunning photographs every time you push the button. There has to be a certain understanding of the techniques involved in photography, but in order to take great pics, you do need to understand the equipment you are using first, What that means is actually taking the time to read the instruction manual of your camera to see what each and every function on there will deliver. Even the most basic of understanding will help you improve, as you will be able to grasp when certain features should be used and when they shouldn’t.
Most modern camera have automatic settings for such things as focus and lighting. It’s best to stick with those until you become proficient enough to understand how changing those settings can affect the overall look of your photographs. The flash is another element that most people don’t properly understand, with many simply flicking the setting off the minute they get outdoors. Using the flash outside can actually go a long way towards improving your pictures, especially if you are in a low light situation. Using the fill-flash setting when the subject is within five feet cam mean a vast improvement of your finished shot.
Instead of just going the point and click route, take some time to “frame” the picture that you are about to take. It’s easy to get focused on the subject of your shot and forget about what is going on in the background. Look at the subject from different angles and pay attention to what else appears in the shot. Something seemingly nondescript in the background may end up adding a whole new dimension to your finished shot. You should also keep in mind that the subject doesn’t always have to be front and center, as placing them on either side of the shot can create a whole different look.
Another thing that you really need to pay attention to is the light. The direction at which sunlight hits your subject can greatly affect how they look in the finished shot. Something that looks great in the middle of the day when the sun is at its highest might not look as great in lower light, and vice versa. A lot of this goes back to taking shots from different angles, as the direction the light hits your subject can completely change the look of the finished shot.
Too many people get stuck on taking horizontal shots over and over again, when a vertical shot would make for a much better photograph. Position the camera both ways when shooting to see which direction gives the better payoff. If your subject is taller, such as a building, holding the camera vertically may give the finished shot a more natural appearance. Those are just a few tips that will help you take better pictures, but nothing helps you improve like a ton of practice, so shoot away as often as you can, and don’t be afraid to experiment.
Debbie Marks is the owner of Heavenly Photography – One of the UK’s leading wedding photography companies.