10 Tips to Take Beautiful Images With Camera
So you want to take better photos? Luckily, there are plenty of free tools and resources out there that can help you learn photography. Some tips and tricks will change the way you see the world around you, while others might help you master photo editing or give a boost to your creativity.
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As with any other art form, there is no single way to create a good photograph. Everyone has their own style, and it’s up to each photographer to define what they want in their work. But as a general rule, great photos have something interesting going on in them – like a beautiful landscape or some meaningful action shot – and they were taken using clear light so that every detail is easy to see.
Get to know your camera
Before you start snapping pictures, you want to become familiar with your camera. If you’ve just bought a camera and are eager to use it, take the time to learn a few important things first. There is certainly much more to know about the full capabilities of your camera, but these basic features will help you get started taking better pictures:
The Shutter Button
- Is the button that takes the picture!
Scene Modes Dial
- If there’s a dial on top (or dial-like protuberance on the back) of your camera, this controls different scene modes. A scene mode is essentially preset that automatically adjusts settings for specific types of shooting conditions. Some common scene modes include Landscape, Sports/Action, Close Up or Macro. You’ll want to experiment with these scene modes until you understand what they mean so that you can quickly change them in response to different situations –– such as switching from Landscape mode when taking nature photos or Sports/Action mode when recording moving subjects (such as the sports photographer in our example above).
Image Size Setting
- This sets whether images are recorded at full resolution or lower resolution (so they take up less space on your camera’s memory card). For more information about image size settings and how much space images take up at each setting see our Guide To Understanding Image Size Settings article by clicking here.
Take control of your exposure
For a lot of people, the exposure settings are one of the most confusing and frustrating parts of photography. In essence, exposure is how much light enters your camera’s sensor to create an image.
It’s controlled by three things: shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. Shutter speed is how long the camera’s sensor is exposed to light. Aperture controls the amount of light that passes through your lens when the shutter opens up, and ISO determines how sensitive your camera’s sensor is to light.
You can learn more about those three components here, but in order to better understand exposure compensation, it’s important that you know what they are and how they work together. Exposure compensation allows you to dial in extra exposure if you think a photo is too dark or too bright; it’s often represented by a +/- scale on top of your camera or in its menu system. If you think a photo will be too bright at regular settings (0) then dialling back (-) will reduce overall exposure and make the image darker; likewise, if you think a photo will be too dark at regular settings (0) then increasing (+) will make the image brighter.
Exposure bracketing takes this concept even further—it allows you to shoot multiple images at different exposures without changing anything in between shots so that software like Photoshop can automatically put them together into one High Dynamic Range (HDR) image with more detail throughout
Change your perspective
Let’s look at some ideas for filming your own home movies and short films. To help you begin, here are a few tips to change the way you think about your perspective:
- Use low angles to make people look more powerful, or to emphasize they’re great height.
- Use high angles to make people seem smaller and less threatening, or if they need help up,.
- Use a tripod, step ladder, drone, selfie stick, monopod or your phone on a tabletop stand as an alternative way of looking at things from a different angle.
- Filming yourself in the mirror creates an interesting point of view (POV) shot, where it looks like someone else is filming you. You can also use this technique with other reflective surfaces like windows and water.
- Using a fish eye lens is another way of changing your perspective when shooting a video.
Keep an eye on the light
As a photographer, your main tool for capturing images is light. Understand the basics of how light works so that you can use it to your advantage.
You can create dramatic images by learning to work with natural light. Look for areas where sunlight is coming in through a window. If there is any kind of sheer curtain material or blinds on the windows, you will get softer light and less harsh shadows than if the room has bare windows.If you need to use a flash, try bouncing it off the ceiling or off a white wall next to you. This way you get softer lighting and less redeye in the subjects’ eyes than if you just point the flash straight at them.
Your camera’s built-in light meter tells you how much exposure (light) there will be in an image when it’s taken at its current settings. Read your camera manual to learn how to set up your camera so that its light meter reads properly.”
Use depth of field creatively
The depth of field is the farthest distance between the nearest and furthest objects in an image that appear acceptably sharp. The amount of this depth that appears in focus is determined by a few factors: lens aperture, focal length, and distance to subject. A large aperture (smaller number f-stop) will give you a shallow depth of field. That means that objects closer than or farther from the point of focus will become blurry. This can be used creatively for some really beautiful effects, such as flowers out of focus behind your subject’s head. It can also help isolate your subjects from busy backgrounds if you don’t have control over them (such as photographing your child with a busy playground behind him).
Shoot in RAW format for better color and sharpness controls
- RAW is the best way to get the best possible image. Because RAW files are uncompressed, you end up with a larger file than a JPEG, but you have much more control over color and sharpness in post-processing software, such as Adobe Lightroom. If you do not plan to use post-processing software, shoot in JPEG mode instead.
Don’t just rely on exposure compensation
While you can use exposure compensation to correct over- or underexposed images, it’s not always the best solution. Exposure compensation can be used in both automatic and manual modes. The main disadvantage of using exposure compensation is that you don’t see the effects of your changes until after taking the image, so if you need to make further adjustments they have to be done blindly.
To bypass this problem and get a more predictable result, use exposure bracketing instead. This feature takes multiple shots at different exposures with each press of the shutter button. You’re then free to pick which picture looks best—or use a photo editing program like Lightroom, Photoshop Elements, or GIMP to blend them together for an even better effect
Another way is by looking at your histogram display on the LCD monitor—it will show whether there are any blown highlights (white segments all the way over on one side) or blocked shadows (black sections all the way over on another side). If you’re seeing either of these issues it means that your settings need adjusting before taking another shot.
Master the art of composition and framing
Now that you have the basics of photography down, let’s jump into more advanced techniques. This is where you begin to grow as a photographer.
Learning composition and framing will allow you to take your images to the next level.
There are several fundamental rules of composition and framing, such as The Rule of Thirds, The Golden Ratio, The Golden Spiral, The Golden Triangle and Symmetry.
Try not to use the flash wherever possible.
In most cases, a flash will only make your photo worse. Your camera is much better at creating great images than you are, so let it do its job. If you really need the added light, try using bounce flash instead—bounce off of a ceiling or wall to help spread the light more evenly across your scene. If you must use direct flash, aim your lens at a longer focal length to help reduce the angle of coverage of your flash’s beam.
Understand the ‘rules’ of composition – then, occasionally, ignore them!
While the ‘rules’ of composition have been established over time, they’re not set in stone. There are times when breaking them can be beneficial to your image. If you find yourself shooting a subject that isn’t particularly interesting, changing up the composition can help it become more so. For example, if you’re photographing a landscape scene and the subject is far away from the camera, you might consider going against one of the rules and placing your horizon line in the upper third of the frame. When these types of situations occur, try positioning your subject in different parts of your frame and see how it impacts its overall appearance.
You will find that certain compositions are more pleasing than others; however, don’t let this discourage you from trying something new. Don’t be afraid to experiment with various perspectives and compositions in order to achieve a particular photo aesthetic—if you make mistakes along the way, that’s okay!