This is an admirable goal! The amount of information available can be confusing. The next few paragraphs detail some practical tips that will get you started in the exciting world of photography.
Field depth is a critical feature when shooting landscapes. Provide the viewer with an understanding of the scale for the photo by placing a person in the picture’s foreground. A small aperture–no more than f/8 on a digital camera and no more than f/16 on a SLR–can show sharpness in both the background and foreground.
It can be very inspirational to see what other photographers have done. By taking the time to view the art created by other photographers, you will be inspired and reminded of all the different ways a subject can be shown in one single shot.
It’s a common misconception that sun-splashed days are the best for pictures, but you can ruin photos if you take them out in the sun. Direct sunlight causes glaring and shadowing. It can also cause the people you are photographing to squint. If you can, try late evening or early morning lighting to shoot in when outside.
Blur your background when taking portraits of live subjects. When your background is not blurred, it will take the attention from your subject, and you will have a harder time making the viewer focus on what you want. You can do this by making the background farther away than your subject.
Take down notes on different experiments you perform while taking your photographs. Sifting through hundreds of photographs, you may have a difficult time remembering the emotions and thoughts that you were experiencing when you snapped each picture. Get a small notepad and make sure you write down the number of the picture next to your description.
You need to find a suitable subject to photograph. Even the best equipment won’t produce an amazing picture if the subject is difficult to work with. Seek a professional model or an aspiring model to pose for you, or seek interesting faces on the street for impromptu shots.
You will have a better picture if your subject is off-center a little. Pre-focus your camera, and move a little to one side. Most people expect the subject to be in the center of the frame; varying it up a bit can add visual interest. Shooting a photo that is not exactly centered on the subject may produce more interesting results for your viewers.
Most often, your subject looks directly into the camera lens. A great and unique picture is to have the person you are photographing look off in the distance at something. Another great idea is to have the subject focus on someone or something within the frame.
If you are taking photos of people, like families, couples or a group, be sure to give them some advice about what to wear before picture day. It is not necessary to match colors, but colors that are complementary will produce more pleasing results. It is a good idea to suggest either warm colors or neutral shades, because these look good on nearly everyone. If your subjects absolutely have to wear bright, bold colors, try to get them to wear at least one item that is black in order to avoid a clash of colors.
Frame every photograph you take. Instead of using metal and wood frames, make an attempt to use natural framing for the shot. Try looking at surrounding objects, such as trees or hills, to create a “natural frame” for your subject. This helps to build your compositional skills.
When working with a digital camera, it is often tempting to switch to the lowest setting, so you can get additional pictures in memory before you download them; just make sure you know the print quality will suffer when doing this. The only time to use lower settings is when you know the images will only be displayed on your computer screen.
To take the best photographs ensure that you have focused directly on your subject. If you need your photos to have good composure, keep your camera in focus at all times. When you are a beginning photographer, you should definitely focus on keeping your subject centered in the photo. Let the background figure itself out.
When dealing with photos, you generally must decide whether you should expose the shadows or the headlights of the subject. You can take 2 pictures of the same subject and expose one of each. Then you would need to use a software program such as Photoshop to blend them together.
Unless you learn to properly use your camera’s ISO functions, you may be ruining your shots. The higher the ISO is set, the more grain will be on your pictures. Increased grain can make a shot look terrible.
Create an interesting silhouette. Of course the classic silhouette uses the sunset as a backdrop; however, there are other ways to get the same effect. A silhouette will appear if the background is a lot brighter than the subject. You can easily create this effect by having a flash go off behind your subject or even just using a brightly lit window. However, keep in mind that occasionally, a face or body outline could highlight a bad feature of your subject.
At this point, you should be well informed about how to become a better photographer. Implementing new ideas into your process helps to keep your photographs fresh and dynamic. With practice and research, you can develop a keen eye for photography and turn your hobby into a passion.