When professional photographers are asked what makes a good photograph, they will often say, “f8 and be there.” It’s a joke, to be sure, but it also serves as a reminder that good photography is often a matter of being in the right place at the right time. But once you get there, how do you make your photography truly memorable. Here are a few tips to help you accomplish just that.
1. Get in close. Every good picture needs a subject. Unfortunately, when many people take pictures, they are often so far back from the subject that it’s hard to determine where they want your attention. You can solve this problem by always getting close to what you are taking your picture of. It is especially true of people shots. Look them in the eye.
2. Try to get a plain background. In some cases, notably with action photography, controlling your environment can be difficult. Regardless, try to make your background as plain as possible. It is another way to make the subject of your photographs the centre of attention.
3. Use your flash in the daylight. Your flash isn’t always something you use at night. Sometimes, especially when you have dark shadows, a flash can be used to fill in those dark areas and bring things back to life. It is called a “fill flash,” and it will lighten the darkness of shadows to a great extent.
4. Move from the middle. You can make your photograph more interesting instantly by throwing your subject out of the centre of your picture. The subject is still the centre of attention, just not in the physical centre of the photograph.
5. Lock your camera’s focus. Most cameras today will focus on whatever is in the middle of the picture. It is fine until you want to move your subject from the middle. It’s at these times that you will want to lock the focus of the camera on the subject, then recompose your picture to move them out of the centre. It will maintain focus on your subject but leave the background blurred.
6. Watch your light. Light can cause huge problems when it comes to good photography. It always seems like it is too much or just as often too little. When you are using a flash, make sure you know the range of your flash. Otherwise, there’s a good chance that the light that your flash provides to you will be diffused by the time it gets to your subject, leaving it in the dark. If you are outside, one of the best ways to control your light is to watch the time of day you are taking pictures. In the middle of the day, when the light is at its harshest, it would be better to change to an earlier or a later time when lighting is softer.
Finally, always remember that the more you know about your equipment, the better control you will have over your ability to work with other conditions of your photography. It is then that your photographs will improve.