How To Take Better Pictures – Photography Tips

Photography tips for the beginner photographer!

A little note before I start:
I purchased my first dSLR camera (Nikon D5000) about a year and a half ago. I never took photography classes when I started using this camera. I have a lot to learn and improve, but most of all, I think photography is a great outlet for creativity, and it doesn’t matter if you’re a “pro” or not, as long as you can produce images you’re happy with.

This little tutorial will help you get better results with any camera, using mostly your imagination and gumption and not necessarily the specs of your camera.

This is something I made a couple years ago with a simple point-and-shoot camera (Nikon P4)

Tip #1
MONKEY SEE, MONKEY DO
The best tip I could ever give you would be to look at as many photos as you can. Or, to put it differently, I see photography similar to as learning a language. When you’re a kid and everyone around you speaks English, you will speak English. If you look at, for example, portrait photography long enough, your mind will get used to it. Surround yourself with pictures that inspire you, and you’ll gradually see how you speak the language faster than you thought…

Tip #2
TEST SHOTS
Take a moment before you take your picture. Take a test shot and see how you like it. If you’re not satisfied with it, you’d better know it now and not be upset later just when you prepared everything and it turned out too dark, or too bright, or too whatever…. Adjust your settings to your liking BEFORE you take your pictures. It’s vital when you’re in a hurry, too.
P.S – I figured you didn’t need an explanation about ISO, shutter speed and aperture, but if you want me to write about it, tell me.

Tip #3
THE MORE THE MERRIER or CLICK, CLICK, CLICK!
Don’t settle for just one picture. If you’re looking for a good result, make sure you have a variety of shots to choose from. Let’s say you have the object prepared, and now you’re about to take its picture. Move around to find nice angles. Take a number of pictures from the same angle, move the object a little… Make little changes. They might make a big difference later when you’re viewing them on the computer. By the way, the little LCD screen is (almost) always lying…

Tip #4
LIGHT
OK, this is more crucial than you think. Light is your best material. It can lift up an entire frame… Lighting is a huge topic on its own, which I know very little about. All I do know is that it can make your picture look wonderful or utterly awful. You will have to try on your own, like take some light sources and spread them around the room… or use natural light, of course. Try and see what’s working for you. Oh, and also – very important – angles! When you know you work with light, move around to see where it’s most flattering to your shot.

Tip #5
PHOTO EDITING
You don’t need to be a wizard. Just play around with any photo editing software, until you get closer to what you aim for. This is probably the worst tip, because I don’t have much to say about photo manipulation… It helps if you’re fond of that genre, but you can definitely get along just fine without it. And it leads me to another digital function you could use:

Tip #6
TAKE CONTROL
After you uploaded the images on your computer, just take a look at them for a while. I usually take a brief first glance at everything, and then I look at all the pictures again more attentively. Some pictures pop up more than others, and they are the ones I choose to work on.
After you chose a picture: CHANGE WHAT YOU DON’T LIKE. If there’s something bothering you in the pic, you can always cover it by CROPPING the picture. You can create new compositions that way… Just make sure you’re aware that the size’s going to change…
Example:



I like the original one, not the cropped ones, but you got the point of cropping…

This was my first ever tutorial\tip giving post… I hope you find it useful and also, if I didn’t answer your questions, you are more than welcome to ask me anything and I’ll try to answer it next time. So… if there’s anything you thought I was missing, just ask away!

You can leave links to your photographs in the comment section :)

– Saffron

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About saffroncopper

I'm the girl of your dreams. I may not exist. Go back to sleep.
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7 Responses to How To Take Better Pictures – Photography Tips

  1. Babygirl says:

    I really love these photos, especially of the towel rack with the underwear. And these tips are great! Thanks for writing this

  2. yaaay thank you for posting some tips by my request :) I love these, they are very helpful, and some of them I have already figured out on my own (like the LCD lies!), with hours and hours of practicing. I’ll take hundreds of photos and then realize the first one was the best! Do you have any tricks with lenses? I have a kit, and just this week got a 50mm. Your photos always have a very soft or crisp, clear quality to them that I have yet to achieve.

    • the 50mm is a great choice! I use this lens practically all the time. The lens is a big part of the outcome (just stating the obvious lol…), and I love how things come out when I set the aperture to 1.8. If it’s too bright, just change the ISO and shutter speed. I also use an ND filter, you should get that if you haven’t already :)

      • Thanks for the tip, i will have to play around at 1.8. I am still in the exploring stages and figuring out how to focus items. I’ll have to look into getting that filter….

  3. Pingback: How To Take Better Pictures – Photography Tips | All About Photography

  4. Pingback: intro to DSLR for dummies « Lofty Appetite

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