Needing to improve your photography skills? Been taking photos that aren't quite the best? Here are three things that I think will immediately help you out.
First thing is your focus. If there is a photo that is perfect in every way and the subject is out of focus, you don’t have anything. Make sure every frame you take has your subject in focus. This is not that hard if you are doing low action photography. If you’re shooting sports or something in high action it may be complicated though. If you have a DSLR camera, there are a few settings that can make it easier. One is normally a default setting; it makes a sound when your subject is in focus. There is also a focus setting that will not open the shutter until you are in focus. These both can become annoying but very effective in keeping focus.
Second thing is framing your shot. I have had many times where I have had a great photo go to the recycling bin of my computer because the background is a trash can, people walking through or it's just plain out ugly. So make sure that not only your subject looks good but the entire frame.
Third thing is lighting. Lighting can make a good photo phenomenal. Always make sure your subject is the most lit thing in your frame. If you have something that is brighter than your subject, it distracts from your main focus. Another big key with lighting is the softer the light the better. You can use screens, bouncers, or diffusers to help with this. Harsh light can ruin a photo in a second. Some of the best shots happen when it's overcast out because the clouds defuse the direct light and make it soft.
Of course there are always times that you can break all of these rules and still get a beautiful photo. Most of the time though, these tips make for the best photos.
(Above) This is a great example of breaking the lighting rule.
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