Simple Photography Tips

I felt audacious while typing the tile- simple photography tips! I mean I am myself such a random photographer. I do take some pictures that I like but I take loads that I do not like at all. I know how to use a SLR. I understand aperture, ISO and shutter speed to a reasonable extent, I can use a tripod. But there are so many scenarios that leave me completely baffled. I never learned photoshop/lightroom, I do my editing using Picasa which is really simple.

However, I also feel if we pay attention, we all can take better pictures, irrespective of the camera we use. This is particularly dedicated to my blogger friends who take their own pictures. The tips are camera neutral. They should work irrespective of the camera you use.

1. Look at the Light

Gorgeous Light
Gorgeous Light Capture by Sony Xperia Z3 Cell phone

We can take better photos when the light is not harsh. You would have heard of the golden hours, an hour or so after sunrise and before sunset. I try to take advantage of it. It is not possible for most of us with day jobs and other constraints to shoot only during the golden hour but if possible I do try to be out at those magical hours.  Clouds can make for interesting lighting too. Mid day harsh sun makes it tricky to shoot outdoors. However, if I find myself at a wonderful spot at noon I will shoot regardless. It is just that I am extra happy when I get to shoot at golden hours. And this will work for any camera.

2. Composition

Placing the tree away from the center
Placing the tree away from the center #Canon 350D

We end up placing our ‘subject’ smack in the middle many times. It is said that this usually doesn’t make for a visually appealing picture. The consensus is what is called the ‘rule of the thirds’. That is if we divided out frame into three equal parts it is visually more pleasing if the subject is placed off center, towards the right or the left than smack in the middle. Of course there would be occasions when we place the subject smack in the middle too but it helps to be aware of the concept first. Once again, this is a simple thing, which works irrespective of the camera we are using.

3. Focus

When I Messed Up the Focus!
When I Messed Up the Focus! #Canon550D

If our subject is not in focus it just ruins the picture. We need to make sure that the focus is locked on the main object we wish to showcase in the picture. Every camera has a way of telling if the subject is in focus or not. On a point and shoot usually the small dots glow green when the focus is correct. On many cell phones we can tap on the area we wish to keep in focus. Most of the cameras have a way of telling if the focus is locked or not. Just figure out and see the difference it makes to your pictures. I have messed it so many times in spite of knowing it in theory! Which leads to the final point, that photography needs practice.

There I go, I finally wrote a simple photography tips post! How do you find this? For most of you I am sure this is rather familiar ground. Do share your simple tips and tricks for better photography too.

40 thoughts on “Simple Photography Tips”

  1. Thanks for the photo tips, I will try to use them in the future. Very well written.

    • Give AF a try first. Also read ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed and a lot of things suddenly make sense 😀 Hope this helps a bit.

  2. The simple tips and tricks:

    The more you click, The more you learn..
    Or,
    Join a photography school or learn from a professional.

    Many people suggested after watching photographs I click to join a photography school or learn from a professional because they think natuarally I am very good with cyber-shot camera. Their suggestion is respected but travel is/was priority not photography. If they pay the fees I will learn for sure 😉 but no guarantee whether I will learn or not. :))

  3. Well refined tips Mridula. Thanks for sharing. Meanwhile I request you to visit my photoblog and share your opinions on my clicks. I am looking for some expert advice on my photography. Can you?

  4. Such a sweet post, really. 🙂 Very basic, very useful and very nicely written.

    Rule of thirds is one of my favourite rules. It works most of the time. There a few (really few) times when breaking the rule made sense. 🙂

    I’m not a pro yet. These days I do play with my camera a little more than I used to. Before that, I used to use some small things Iearnt in photojournalism class and they have really helped. Like: going vertical/portrait when shooting something tall and leaving some space in ‘front’ of subjects that are in motion and things like that.

    Btw, Mridula the other day, I was trying to shoot the rising sun and I tried what you suggested — F22 in AF and it turned out good. In one pic, I actually got a halo and I was wondering if it was supposed to happen or if it was a reflection from a filter that got stuck on my lens (sheeks, yeah, stuck) 🙂

  5. Very informative. Now a days, photography has become taking as many pictures as possible and taking the best one and photoshopping. Digital camera technology has made the art of taking good photography extinct to a great extent. Thank you for sharing.

    • Abhijit I agree that you can process a lot later but still if you mess a picture like blur it, it can’t be recovered.

  6. If we follow these tips the pics would be much better, my personal favorite is look for the light, after all Photography is painting with light….

  7. Great tips shared Mridula 🙂 and the first picture is amazing!

  8. Hi Mridula 🙂 Reading your post after many days… Feeling really good!

    Very useful tips for the beginners and I like the way you have explained them. I had a few problems in the beginning. My hands used to shake and the photos were not coming clear. Then my sister suggested that I need to keep my mind free and concentrate on the subject not on camera. It took time but works well! Another thing I noticed is, the less we hesitate to press any button in the camera, the more we understand it. Capturing more and trying with different options helps to explore more with the options the camera provides.

    • Thank you for sharing your tips Sindhu and it is good to have you back on my blog 😀

  9. simple and useful tips for entry level photographers. And the Z3 pic is outstanding 🙂

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