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5 Tips for Taking Better Photos With Any Camera

Today I am happy to welcome my friend Patty from Finding Serendipity.  She is not only an incredibly talented photographer, she is also one of the kindest and wisest people I know.  You can’t help but be drawn in by her striking imagery and soulful prose, and if I had half her talent, I would be a happy girl.  It makes me SO happy that she is here today to share some of her photographic expertise (in a simple way all of us can understand!)

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5 Tips for Taking Better Photos With Any Camera | Photography Tips | Photography Hacks | Photography 101 | Using Filter Tips for Great Photos | How To Take Good Photos

This is a Guest Post from Patti at Finding Serendipity

5 Tips for Taking Better Photos With Any Camera | Photography Tips | Photography Hacks | Photography 101 | Using Filter Tips for Great Photos | How To Take Good Photos

Good photos are important in many different aspects of life. They help you communicate, share ideas and express emotions. Maybe you use them to teach or demonstrate. They beautify your space. And they are one of those things the experts recommend you do well to increase traffic at your site. Good photos can be taken with any kind of equipment, and without the assistance of photo editing software. You just have to be willing to practice, to step out on a limb, to see things differently-sometimes, clearly, and to try to be in the right place at the right time.

You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
~Ansel Adams

Five Tips for Taking Better Photos With ANY Camera:

1. KNOW YOUR CAMERA

I’m not going to say READ your manual, but I will tell you to explore it. And definitely, take it with you. I carry my manual in my camera case, and when something goes awry, I quickly look it up in my manual and honestly, chances are, I won’t make that mistake again. Here’s a tip for this tip :: If you take a lot of pictures, and I mean a ton, like every day, you will learn your camera quickly. My camera’s place (everything has a place, right?) is in the backseat of my car (front seat, if no one else is with me).

5 Tips for Taking Better Photos With Any Camera | Photography Tips | Photography Hacks | Photography 101 | Using Filter Tips for Great Photos | How To Take Good Photos

2. CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE

I just saw a film narrated by a well-known National Geographic photographer. He said, If you don’t like your perspective, change it. {What a great life-lesson!!} But seriously, look through your view-finder or at your captured image on your display. If you don’t like what you see, change your perspective. Get up, get down, change your angle, change the direction of the light… move! {Yay! Exercise AND photography!!} Tip for this tip :: Photos of people from above are very flattering… Double chins are minimized, as well as hips. {Even without exercise!}

5 Tips for Taking Better Photos With Any Camera | Photography Tips | Photography Hacks | Photography 101 | Using Filter Tips for Great Photos | How To Take Good Photos

3. ELIMINATE CLUTTERED BACKGROUNDS

Cluttered backgrounds totally take away from your photograph, even if you are just taking a picture for illustration. For example, if Ruth wanted to show you her stock pile closet, but there were clothes scattered around the floor in front of the door, your eye would have a hard time finding the subject, in this case, the stock pile. Have you noticed how neatly she displays her purchases when sharing with you? They are never on a patterned tablecloth or kitchen chair… but always on a cleared counter space. If you can’t eliminate the clutter, move in close or change your perspective to crop out the clutter. Gotta love getting rid of clutter without cleaning! 🙂 And sometimes converting your photo to B&W will minimize busy backgrounds.

5 Tips for Taking Better Photos With Any Camera | Photography Tips | Photography Hacks | Photography 101 | Using Filter Tips for Great Photos | How To Take Good Photos

4. FOLLOW THE RULE OF THIRDS

Some of you may have a grid on the viewfinder of your camera that divides your image into nine equal parts with three columns and three rows, much like a tic-tac-toe board. Your manufacturer provided you this to help you use the Rule of Thirds more easily. The concept is that you create a visually more interesting photo if you place your main subject on one of the lines, versus square in the middle of your photo. And if you can, place the most important part of your image where the lines intersect. Also, place your horizon on one of the vertical lines, not directly across the center of your photo.

5 Tips for Taking Better Photos With Any Camera | Photography Tips | Photography Hacks | Photography 101 | Using Filter Tips for Great Photos | How To Take Good Photos

5. CREATE ARTSY PHOTOS

By this, I mean get creative with your photographs and don’t be afraid to think outside the box or to do something different:

  • Shoot lots. As much as you can. All the time. Take pictures of one subject in the same space and move around it. Change the lighting. Change your settings. Then, look at your images. Which are your favorite? Why?
  • Shoot the unexpected. One of my favorite photos is of an old, weathered fire hydrant. Really, who wants a picture of that? Well, me, of course!
  • Break the rules! {I’m such a rebel!}. Shoot right into the sun. Move your camera to create blur, which gives the impression of movement. Intentionally under- or over-expose your image. Intentionally shoot out of focus. Did you capture anything that pleases you to pieces? How did you do it?
  • Shoot shadows and reflections. Love capturing self-portraits in the reflections of puddles, windows, and eye-glasses. Different and interesting.

5 Tips for Taking Better Photos With Any Camera | Photography Tips | Photography Hacks | Photography 101 | Using Filter Tips for Great Photos | How To Take Good Photos
And because I am such a rule-breaker and I can’t resist, here’s tip #6 ::
For inspiration,
TAKE PICTURES
LOOK AT PICTURES
NOTICE FRAME COMPOSITION on TV and in the movies
Start thinking in terms of photography, and then….

5 Tips for Taking Better Photos With Any Camera | Photography Tips | Photography Hacks | Photography 101 | Using Filter Tips for Great Photos | How To Take Good Photos

….go find your manual, stick it in your bag, grab your camera and go shoot.

Shoot everything.

5 Tips for Taking Better Photos With Any Camera | Photography Tips | Photography Hacks | Photography 101 | Using Filter Tips for Great Photos | How To Take Good Photos

13 Comments

  1. June 7 at 04:12PM

    Really great tips Patty…too bad I’m still stuck on #1 . 🙂

    xoxo, Jess

  2. June 7 at 09:17PM

    Good advice, and beautiful pictures!

  3. June 8 at 10:37AM

    I got part of this in my feed a few days ago, but the post was gone when I tried to click it. I’m so glad you were posting it somewhere. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t take enough photos. Thanks for sharing.

  4. June 9 at 05:33AM

    Great tips! Perfect timing, because my friends and I are thinking of getting a new camera and playing around a LOT with it. We obviously love taking photos and appreciating other people’s photos so we thought, hey why don’t we just learn how to shoot properly? Thanks for sharing these fab tips. We have a feeling we”ll be photography rebels like you. 🙂

  5. Jessica
    June 14 at 02:54PM

    Another thing you can do is find a photography meetup group in your area and join it. It’s a great way to take lots of pics and play with your camera. You can get tips from other photo nuts and then when you’re done, you can share your images on the meetup website and see theirs so you can see some new perspectives you missed the first time around.

  6. June 24 at 11:10AM

    I can’t love this post enough! I used have a nice camera but when it broke I just never replaced it. It’s been on my list of things to get but reading this just moved it to the top of the list. I really enjoy photography and need to get back into it.
    Thank you!

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