Being able to take fabulous photographs is such a valuable skill. There’s nothing like a beautiful photograph for remembering special times. And there’s a reason why everyone says if their house was on fire, it’s the photo album they would grab to take with them!
Here are my top three tips for instantly improving your photos, whatever camera you have!
1. Make sure the horizon is straight
It’s easy when you are thinking about taking a photo of something right in front of you to forget to look at the bigger picture.
Before you press the shutter, look into the distance behind your main subject. Is the horizon straight? It’s something beginner photographers often overlook, and it makes a massive difference to the quality of your image.
You can crop and tilt when editing your image if you got it wrong when shooting, but it’s best to get it right when you take the shot. This is because as you adjust the tilt in your editing software, it will need to crop part of the photo out. Make sure you don’t lose any of the scene by getting it right when you take the shot.
2. Focus on the eyes
Whenever you’re photographing something alive, or even a depiction of a living being (like a statue), you should always focus on the eyes.
When we talk to someone, we look into their eyes, and it’s the same when we look at a photograph. It’s what our eyes are drawn straight to - they give us so much expression and understanding of how the person we are looking at is feeling. So if the eyes aren’t in focus then the whole photograph looks wrong and uncomfortable.
If your camera’s focus point is in the centre, you can focus on the eyes by starting your focus on their eyes, then holding the shutter release button halfway down and recomposing the shot.
3. Shoot more than you think you need to
You might look at professional photos and think “i could never take a photo like that” or “they just manage to be in the right place at the right time - that never happens to me”.
Well one of the reasons professionals manage to get brilliant shots is because they shoot a lot more frames than amateurs do.
I have my camera on rapid fire mode which means it will take 5 or 6 images in a row. Some people might think this “machine gun” approach isn’t for them. But when you’re photographing an expression of someone smiling, or wildlife - both of which can change in the blink of an eye, then having 5 or 6 images to choose from means you have more chance of getting the perfect shot.
It comes down to having a good editing system afterwards of course to make sure that you don’t keep all the “bloopers” - otherwise you’ll soon find your computer runs out of space! But if you can be disciplined and just keep your absolute favourites from each session, then you will soon notice that you’re capturing a lot more beautiful shots!
Hope you enjoyed this short little feature with my favourite tips!
I’m Rosie Parsons, an award winning full time photographer based in Devon and have a free Facebook community with over 2000 other photographers where you can submit your work with our monthly photo challenges.
We would love to see your photographs and help you in your photography journey, so do come on over and join in the fun!