Every photographer aims to improve his or her photographs, and sometimes it only takes some really simple tricks or tips to make a difference. Here are 8 tips that I hope will help improve your own photos.
1. Shoot when light is most dramatic
If you are shooting outdoors, there are certain times when light is better than others. If the day isn’t overcast (these conditions can also be good by the way, so don’t avoid going out on these days for photos) you will want to avoid the middle afternoon hours. During these times the sun is it at its brightest and highest point, washing out shadow, and colour.
For optimum saturation, lighting and shadows (contrast), aim to shoot in the early AM or late afternoon as the sun is at a far steeper angle, colours will be better and drama will be easier to achieve in your shots with deeper, longer shadows and gentle highlights. Shooting at these times will definitely improve your photographs.
2. Try to keep the sun behind you
Try not to shoot into the sun, unless you really know what you are doing, and have the proper filters. Have fun with cast shadows, but just beware your own shadow, unless you want it in your composition!
Simple compositions are often more desirable than complex ones. Try to eliminate, if at all possible background or surrounding elements that may interfere with your subject.
4. Examine Every angle
When you find a subject you want to shoot, don’t just take one shot, move around it, all around it, up, down, etc. If you want to improve your photographs, examine your subject from as many different angles as possible, this explorations often produces unique abstractions and exciting photos of common subjects.
A bit of motion blur can tell so much, nearly bridging that gap between picture and video. Play with your shutter speed settings to create blurs in things that may be barely noticeable or use it to exaggerate movement. Consider also panning the camera to capture a moving object and keeping the background in a motion blur.
6. Use Framing for more interesting compositions
The camera view-finder is a frame of sorts, but using a frame within a scene to frame the subject, can take a normal shot to something really intriguing. This technique can really help focus the subject and take out background distractions as well. Use windows, tunnels, archways, or anything you can imagine to frame a subject.
There are some truly amazing and clever photographs of reflections that create surreal compositions, either through tricky distortions, or illusory depth, etc. Practice with this, it will become a powerful tool in your photographic composition toolbox.
8. Avoid Horizons in the middle
You may have heard of the Rule of Thirds, consider where your horizon line falls. Avoid having them split your frame in the middle. Remembering to not do this will improve your photographs, its one of the more common mistakes new to those in photography and art.
If you are looking for some inspiring free stock photos, have a look at what Canva has to offer.
Since 1999 I have been involved in graphic design, photography, digital art, traditional art, content creation, silly conversational innuendo, cat herding, and forging my identity as the Unknown Designer™. In my spare time, which is technically my day job, I am a Creative Director and Lead Designer for Cheeky Monkey Media.