Photography 101: How to Shoot Better Photographs

These days, everyone is a good photographer, just by virtue of the fact they have the amazing technology of a digital camera in their hands. However, there are still many things you can do to make your photos stand out far and above all the others.

Framing your photos:
Before I shoot any photo, I already have an idea in my head how I want it to look when I am done shooting it. By learning to mentally frame the photos in your head, you can save a lot of wasted time sorting through the photos when you are at your desk working with Photoshop (or similar photo editing software.) Framing your shot, aka composition, is a huge part of making any photo interesting. Too many people randomly shoot photos and don’t put enough thought or energy into framing it in an interesting way. Learn to edit the photo in the viewfinder and you won’t have to edit it on your monitor, afterwards.

There is almost no excuse anymore for photos that aren’t sharp and crisply focused. Regardless of your intentions, learn how to set your camera so that you can get the best possible focus for the shot you are taking. Most any good camera has auto focus on it now and the most plebian of photographers can take razor sharp photos, and if they can, so can you! Never mistake fuzzy photos for art, or vice versa.

Proper exposure:
Again, this is something that any halfway decent digital camera will do for you, but there are variations on the theme and its fun to know what all of the bells and whistles on that new camera are for and what they will do. One of the cardinal rules of any good photo is that it is properly exposed, meaning, the right amount of light was allowed into your camera lens when you took that photo. Study the aperture settings, study what different ISO settings and practice, practice, practice! Shooting photos and going in and studying them enlarged on your computer monitor is THE best method of learning what works and what doesn’t. After you have the basics of exposure, focus and framing down, you can move on to experimenting with creativity, artistic ideas and learning to edit your photos.

Everyone has the potential to be an incredible photographer with the cameras that the average person can afford, and it is exciting to see what you can do! The average everyday photos you take today rival anything that a professional could do, 50 yrs ago!! With that in mind, and the incredibly agile editing software available to everyone now, you can produce professional quality work with practice. The key is to not settle for blah, milktoast quality work when you now have the ability at hand to produce astonishingly powerful images.

More professional hints and tips in my next article, including: selective focus, choosing a good camera for your use, how to edit photos to look like a pro, and more. Don’t hesitate to send me your photos and I will be happy to help you become the best photographer you can be, at: [email protected]

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