Professional tips on improving your photography skills
No matter how long you’ve been taking photographs, there’s always something new to learn and if you keep an open mind you’ll find there are always ways of improving your skills. Browse through the tips below – if you’re a beginner, you’ll find plenty to try out and being able to continually improve your technique is part of what makes photography fascinating and fun.
- Learn all you can about your camera’s technical settings; picture exposure can be controlled by using the shutter speed, aperture and ISO to make sure your shot is neither over- or under-exposed. Remember, though, the higher you set the ISO the grainier your picture will be, while a wider aperture will make your subject stand out from the background. Conversely a smaller aperture will give you a sharper overall image.
- Choose higher quality settings on your camera if you intend to print any of the pictures afterwards.
- Always do what you can to eliminate camera shake – a tripod is the best solution but if you don’t have one, rest your camera or your arm on a wall, ledge or other solid surface. If there is nothing solid, push your elbow into your body as this will reduce the unsteadyness of your hand.
- Learn all you can about composition – good composition is the key to good photography. Most amateur photographers will try to place their subject right in the centre of the picture – but positioning it slightly off centre can make for a better shot. Imagine a grid of horizontal and vertical lines dividing your viewfinder into thirds – then position your focal point at one of the intersections of these lines.
- Look out for features in your pictures that can lead the eye. Circles and lines will take the viewer’s eye on a journey through the picture, so use road markings, shadows, architectural lines or natural features to give your picture structure. Patterns in brickwork or foliage can make effective backgrounds or look out for railings, reflections and other textures – and try to make them fill the whole field of vision.
- If you’re taking pictures of people, spend some time getting them to relax before you start the shoot. Think carefully about the background and composition before getting them into position, and consider the lighting. If you want a softer, more diffuse image, position them out of direct sunlight or angle your artificial lights away from them. Shining light directly at them will give sharper contrast and a harsher image.
- Learn how to edit your images on the computer afterwards and when you take a really good picture, try to recreate so you can better understand what made it good. And, if you’ve got the nerve for it, let others critique your pictures online – you’ll certainly learn from it and end up a better photographer.
If it seems like a lot to remember, take one or two tips at a time and incorporate them into your next shoot. The more often you take pictures, the more often these techniques will become second nature to you – and the better all of your pictures will become.
For more information about one to one photo lessons for beginners, intermediate or advanced camera users get in touch with Headshot London Photography Agency team.