© 2010 - 2012 Photography Art Cafe. All Rights Reserved.
A Guide To Taking Better Pictures - Time To Banish Boring Snaps!
These articles are packed full of tips for taking better pictures with your digital camera. My aim is to help you turn disappointing snaps into stunning photos, and light the fuse for your own creative experiments!
Learning how to take great photos does rely on getting to grips with a few basics first, though. Visit this section of Photography Art Cafe if you're not confident with things like aperture and shutter speed yet: Digital Photography Basics.
One of the best photography tips I know is this: simply shoot whatever you are instinctively drawn to, in whatever way you feel inclined. But we all know that some photos come out so much better than others!
I bet you also know that feeling of looking at a professional's photos and thinking, 'What is that elusive thing that makes his/her shots so amazing!?' The answer...? Lots of little things!
The practical and creative tips that follow will reveal lots of these little things. When all put together, you're snaps will become wonderful photos, worthy of the pro's!
Introduction: Beginners' Tips
So we'll kick off with a quick overview of some of the key things that make for good photos. This will help you to stop to think about what the difference is between a snap and a brilliant photograph!
Right, let's start by looking at some basic building blocks of a good photo: subject, composition, focus and exposure.
Now, here are 6 areas that are important for taking better pictures: taking your time, manual controls, discovering famous photographers, the right camera, shooting in Raw, using a tripod.
Taking more time to compose pictures carefully is one of the best ways you can improve your photography. Often we compose images instinctively, lining up the scene until it just looks right/balanced. But there are lots of techniques that photographers and artists use to help themselves with this process. The articles below will introduce you to some of the best methods and ideas to keep in mind next time you're out with your camera.
Popular techniques and guidelines that photographers use to compose great shots. These will stay with you forever!
Professional landscape photographer David Fleet talks about how great foregrounds strenghten shots with depth and perspective.
Is filling the frame just one of those little phrases people say to beginners, or is it genuinely helpful for good composition?
A quick look at how to avoid 'lop-sided' photos. Use foregrounds, middlegrounds and backgrounds to master composition in photography.
You might think focal length and angle of view is just about zooming in/out. It actually has a huge impact on the aesthetics of a photo...
Where's the best place to position the horizon? It affects the whole of the image so is really important to get right...
This is one of my favourite photography books. It's the best guide to the key ingredients of a good photo that I know about:
How to Take Good Pictures of...
Time for some practical tips on taking better pictures of specific subjects. Each article will provide you with a little technical and creative toolkit for approaching the respective subject! I've tried to summarize all the things that have helped and improved my own photography the most in each area.
I absolutely love landscape photography and these are my top 10 tips for capturing the drama of light, land and sea in your photos.
In this article professional landscape photographer, David Fleet, shares some of the things that contribute to special images.
Take the viewer on a journey through your images by employing lines and curves.
A collection of 21 inspirational landscape images, each one with a quick tip to take away.
Ever failed to do justice to an incredible coastal sunset? These picture taking tips will ensure you never waste an opportunity again!
This is not a practical landscape photography tip, but it is one of the most effective ways to boost inspiration and master composition.
A few weeks ago I felt my motivation to shoot was taking a dive. These are the 10 cures I used to fill me with enthusiasm again!
Practical and compositional advice on how to go about incorporating reflections into your shots.
Night time presents some of the best opportunities to photographers. Here are 10 ideas for awesome and original pictures.
Good wildlife photography takes practice and planning. Here are my top tips for taking better pictures of the animal kingdom.
Don't be boring! Flowers can be really cool subjects. Here's how to take good pictures of them without getting too 'samey'.
There may be less of it, but there's still plenty of interesting light to work with after the sun goes down!
Sport is jam packed with potential for exciting photos. Make the most of it and take better digital pictures next time you're at a game!
Fast paced sport is a brilliant but tricky subject. Here are 5 tips to help you get some awesome captures next time you're at a game.
Clothes, models, lights, lenses, poses, props...! Take a breath. Here's a a simple introduction to fashion photography for the uninitiated.
Silky waterfalls, peaceful waves and vibrant traffic lines; This article gives you all the tools and techniques for these amazing effects.
Unless you have the reactions of a cat you'll need to use some of these techniques to seize brilliant but fleeting moments.
Don't despair when the sky is an overcast. It might seem like photo opportunities have disapeared with the sun, but the soft, diffused light under clouds can be put to good use.
I've picked out a selection of stunning fireworks images, and shared 15 tips to help you take similar shots.
I've picked out 7 funny pictures of people and shared some ideas for producing your own versions below each one.
Indoor photography is not a choice between hard flash, blur or underexposed pictures. These tips show you why.
Bitten by the bug!? Which magazine...?
Taking Better Pictures In Black and White
Black and white photographs have something special about them.
With all that colour drained away they're just one step removed from the world we see around us. Shapes, patterns, contrasts and textures all seem to loom larger somehow!
Here are my top picture taking tips for shooting in black and white. It's great fun and very different to colour photography.
The Raw File Format
Have you heard of shooting in 'Raw'? Sometimes people make it sound really technical and complicated, but trust me - it's not! The day I started shooting in a Raw file format my photography changed forever. It makes taking great photos - consistently - a whole lot easier.
Let's look at a quick definition of Raw files and see how how easy it is to save our pictures in this format.
The fun bit! This is where you see the power of Raw. Learn how to do this and you'll be taking better pictures today!
How do you make photos appear brighter, bolder, sharper, bigger than life!? Find out now!
Cleaning Your Camera's Sensor
Sound boring? Well there are quick, cheap and simple solutions to eliminating dust specks on your camera's sensor that I'm going to share with you. You may already have been driven half mad by those little dots that intrude on otherwise good photos! Help is at hand...
It's hard to work on taking better pictures if your sensor is covered in dirt! Well, get ready to make friends with the squeeze bulb blower.
Sometimes the inspiration just runs dry. I think it's never a good idea to photograph something just for the sake of it; it should grab you! Equally, setting yourself a little project can force you to think creatively and spark all sorts of new creative ideas.
Try a few of these cool projects and I promise you'll have a head full of new ideas in no time!
Here some thoughts on how and where to find new inspiration for your next photographic venture.
A pro landscape photographer explains how making use of these wonderful times of day can't fail to help you start taking better pictures.
The first time you take a shot with really proper, sumptuos, soft 'bokeh' is the day you truly realize how much you love photography!
Time for some serious creativity! Learn how to 'paint' cool light shapes and illuminate specific areas of a scene.
9 sure-fire ways to put some life into your photos. Don't settle for the same kind of shots all the time, express yourself!
These are the dumbest things I made a habit of when first discovering photography. Any of these sound familiar?
What is it about photography and danger? Sometimes they just seem to attract each other! Here are the stories of my close scrapes!
My first pictures with a telephoto lens would have been much better if I'd come across these 10 tips.
10 strategies I use all the time to get that buzz for taking pictures back! These will definitely give your motivation a boost.
Books and Magazines With Picture Taking Tips
There's quite a surplus of photography books and magazines out there. They're spilling off the shelves in most book stores and news agents. I want to let you in on which are my personal favourites. So here are 2 books and 4 mags with fantastic advice on taking better pictures
These 2 books are always on my desk! They are really easy to read and packed with a wealth of practical advice.
I either subscribe to or read all of these publications. They make it easy and fun to get more out of photography.
Using Camera Phones
More and more of the images we see in the media have been snapped on increasingly high quality camera phones and whipped straight off in an email. Some breathtaking shots have been taken on phones, so don't write them off!
So, here are few tips for you if a photo op presents itself when you're out and about without your main camera.
Online Digital Photography Courses
Like the idea of learning more about photography, with the support of a personal tutor to assess your work, purely from home? I know I did! The main course from Proud Photography was a lot of fun and an excellent investment.
Find out whether any of these courses could be for you by reading my reviews.