I am pleased to share these tips on how to take a better picture for fellow amateur photographers. Especially for the inexperienced ones to expose them more to the art of taking picture. I have gathered these tips from many sources and made it into 10 that I deem most essential.
Here are the top 10 tips on how to take a better picture.
1. Keep your camera ready at all times.
No matter how special the moment is and how beautiful the scene is before your very eyes if you don’t have your camera ready with you it would be hopelessly meaningless. You would just end up cursing yourself regretting not taking the camera along when you are out. Believe me, regretting it later won’t do you any good. So next time you
go out take along your camera to especially capture the spontaneous moment which is impossible for you to repeat.
This picture of the unusual cloud formation wouldn’t be able to be captured if I didn’t keep the camera handy as this unique shape lasted only a few minutes.
Rainbow is also not easy to come by. How many times did you come across it but failed to capture its glorious colour just because you didn’t keep your camera handy?
2. Get Close.
The world-famous war photojournalist Robert Capa once said “If your picture is not good enough you are not close enough”. Getting close means you focus only on your subject and by doing this you eliminate unnecessary elements and distracting background
and show the subject clearly. In general the closer you get to the subject the better your pictures will be.
3. Keep people busy
When taking picture of people, keep them busy. This will result in more relaxed and natural expression in their faces as well as lively spontaneity in their action instead of stiff and static poses.
4. Choose a simple background.
Background can make or break a picture. When composing your picture do pay greater attention to the background. Clear, simple and uncluttered background will make the subject more prominent to the viewers and this will result in a strong, more interesting picture. If the background is crowded choose the biggest aperture to throw the background out of focus, this will clearly define the subject and make the picture more interesting.
5. Place the subject off-centre
When composing your picture you can place your subject either at the centre or off-centre. However placing it off-centre can make the composition more dynamic and the picture more interesting.
One of the popular methods in placing the subject off-centre is by observing the rule-of-thirds and the golden rule.
Both of the above pictures were composed with the rule-of-thirds in mind.
6. Include foreground in scenics
Do include foreground when taking scenic pictures. If you notice carefully foreground is almost always essential in scenic pictures as it adds a sense of depth, distance and three-dimensionality in an otherwise two-dimensional picture.
7. Look for quality lighting
Although light is essential in photography without which a photograph is impossible to be produced, good and quality light is important to come up with a picture which is better than average.
Quality lighting can be found normally one hour just after sunrise and one hour just before sunset which is in photographic term it is dubbed “the magic hour”.
8. Hold your camera steady.
There is nothing worse than blurred or soft picture resulting from camera shake after so much money has been invested in good camera and good quality lens. When pressing your shutter make sure your press it gently without abrupt jolting and ensure your hands hold the camera very steadily.
As a rule of thumb your camera is hand-holdable as
long as your shutter speed value is greater than or at the very least equal to your focal length. e.g. if your shutter speed is 1/125s your focal length should not be longer than 125mm, otherwise using tripod or resting your hand and camera on any support like car window, a wall or anything steady is advisable to avoid risking camera shake.
9. Use your flash.
Use flash when the need arises especially the built-in flash that is fitted to most of the
camera nowadays. Flash can provide extra light indoors when you need it. Besides flash
can also freeze action and make the picture sharp. However be sure to stay within the flash range. The distance of flash range can be found in the camera manual for built-in flash and in the flash manual if it is an external flash unit.
Flash can be used not only for indoors when the light is low, but also outdoors to soften the shadow when the contrast is high, which is called fill-in flash.
Flash was used here to illuminate the foreground signboard while the twin towers in the background was illuminated by the ambient light since the towers in the background were not within the flash range anyway.
10. See others’ photos.
For song composers and musicians, they need to listen to as many songs and as various songs as possible in order for them to write more songs and arrange music. The same goes to photographers. Photographers should see more and more photos by other photographers to learn, to get inspired as well as to obtain some fresh ideas in producing own pictures but not to imitate other photographers’ composition. A good photographer will always look for new angles whenever composing his/her picture and will try
his/her best to be different from the rest of other photographers.
I welcome any feedbacks and comments and I would be more delighted if you could share your photos here after following any of the tips recommended. To share your photos, you can email them to me at mzabdullah[AT]gmail[DOT]com. The selected photos would be published here.