Give me 2 minutes and I’ll make you a better photographer

2 min better photographerThis post is dedicated to the new photographers, it is a quickly compiled set of tips to help you improve your photography skills by pin-pointing some of the common errors that can easily spoil an image and giving tips to add impact to your pictures

1. Fill the Frame: When you take a picture usually you want to show something, so the main subject should stand out from the rest of the picture.
That’s why you can add impact to your picture but just letting this main subject occupy a more important portion of the frame.
Filling the frame can be accomplished either by zooming in or by getting closer to the subject, or, of course, a combination of both.

2. Check the background: Before taking the shot scan the background in your viewfinder for any cluttering or distracting elements. Move around until you find a spot with an un-distracting background.

3. Check the model: If you are shooting portrait check the model for any distracting element, a big watch maybe, untidy/dirty clothes, hair falling on the face etc…

4. Get Sharp eye: This applies only to portrait but still, you want those eyes to be sharp, so in a portrait focus on the eyes

5. Check for weak cuts: If you don’t want to include all of your model in the frame be sure to choose wisely where to cut him/her. Don’t cut just the fingers, little portion of the head, a bit of the elbow etc… those are weak cuts and usually denotes mistakes.

6. Take vertical compositions: Most newbies have tendency to always take horizontal composition, a small advice when you can take both vertical and horizontal composition, you will have the luxury to choose the one you prefer later

7. Change view points: Don’t take the touristic approach in photography and shoot everything just standing up, try to get a low view point (lay on the ground) or a high one (stand on a chair or something). Your image will have more impact simply because the viewer is seeing something from not a normal view point.

8. Learn the rule of thirds: It might be the photographer’s ABC, if you never heard about it, it is great time you do. Learn the rule of thirds

9. Shoot a lot: This bit of advise will change later on when you will want to shoot less but as a start shoot a lot that’s the beauty of digital. Study your pictures later, which one you prefer and why.

10. Join a photography community: It is amazing how much you can learn by reading what other people have to say about your pictures. Join a photography community on the net and be active, post your pictures for critics and critic others work even if they are better than you. This will help you learn to look at the pictures in another eye.

11. Learn from others: Most photographers starts by “copying” someone else that inspires them. When you see a picture that makes you go WOW spend some time and study it, why does it have this effect on you? Is it the composition ? the colors? the light etc…

12. Learn from yourself: Learn from your errors, shoot shoot shoot, and try to remember what worked for you and what didn’t in other shootings in similar scenarios.

13. Show only your best work: if you setup a gallery to show your work, show only the best you’ve got don’t show it all. Keep the rest for yourself and for communities/forum where you’d might want to show them to ask for advice.

14. Have fun: I think this is the most important of all HAVE FUN

I am pretty sure I forgot a lot, I’ll be happy to read your tips to add to this list….

  • Great! Except when you said, “Get Sharp eye: This applies only to portrait but still, you want those eyes to be sharp, so in a portrait focus on the eyes,” this doesn’t only apply to people – this also applies when you photograph insects and animals.

  • I completely agree with you Ariel, I think I missed that one 🙂 and I’m sure I missed many other too.
    Thanks for dropping by

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  • Sphoenix

    Great work, mate.

    I myself am not that new to photography, but most times, I do actually just shoot anything in site. Even when I use the stand for my Canon EOS 300D, I still end up doing the same thing and no wonder when I scroll through my photos on the computer, I’m not impressed by 95% of my results.

    “When you see a picture that makes you go WOW spend some time and study it, why does it have this effect on you? Is it the composition ? the colors? the light etc…”

    Very helpful tip. I usually come across some really beautiful landscape photography throughout professional photography sites and think I can just go in my garden and grab a similar shot. You DO have to think about what is it about the photo that really brings out the eyes and the ‘wow’.

    A few grammar/punctuation errors but I understood you fully anyway.

    Very nice tutorial, this really helped and I hope will help others too.

  • Sphoenix thank you so much for taking the time to write this comment and share you experience, I’ll do my homework and re-read it to check for errors.

    Hope you visit again


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  • Thanks!
    You really caught exacly the things I tend to miss, and which I comment in my inner dialogue with “Doh!!!” when I later watch the pictures.

    I think I’ll print some of these, and clue them to the back of my camera…

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  • ahaaa
    nice work…… will keep in touch