Things You Can Try Today (or Tomorrow Since I’m Getting This Posted Late!) for Better Photos

How many of you would like to be able to get some great pictures starting TODAY?  Sounds hard, but I am going to give you some surprisingly easy tips to get you started.   There a few basics that anyone can do – regardless of if you use your camera phone, point and shoot, or if you have a D-SLR.  It doesn’t matter!  These tips apply to any camera.  The three basics are rules of thirds, watching your background, and perspective.  I will cover each one and show you what a difference it will make for you!

The first is a basic rule of photography:   the rule-of-thirds.  It is a rather simple concept that renders some awesome results.  This is how it works.  When you are about to take your picture, you visually break your screen or viewfinder into three equal parts horizontally and vertically.  You then try to place your subject at one of the 4 intersections. What this does is draws the eye to the subject in a more natural way.  It’s more pleasing.   Here’s an example of what I mean:

Here is a real-life before and after (my daughter being silly!):

This can also be done post-shooting – in a photo editor by cropping.

The second super easy thing you can do to improve your photos is change your perspective.  Yep – it’s that simple.  If you normally take your photos standing up and looking down on your subject, like children or pets – try getting down at their level.  You can capture things that you can’t from a higher perspective.  Or, you can try to get up to a higher vantage point and take a photo down on your subject.  Taking a photo from higher up also has a thinning effect.  Try all different perspectives:  sitting, standing, laying down, up high, or anything else you can think of.  You never know what you might come up with!

Here are some examples of different perspectives.  The first one is taken from standing (notice how uninteresting it is?) , the second one is sitting (almost laying) on the ground, and the third is taken standing up again, however in this one I got closer and made my daughter fill the frame.

 

The third extremely important element that can drastically improve the quality of your pictures is the background.  When you are composing your shot, keep an eye on what’s going on in the background (and foreground).  Try to avoid distracting backgrounds, if possible.  You want the focus to be on your subject, usually not on what’s behind them or in front of them.  Also, try to avoid trees or other items intersecting with someone’s head, making it appear like they have something strange going on.  Here’s an example of a distracting background versus a simple background:

You can see that there is a big difference in the quality of the two photos.  All I did was move myself a little and recompose to take the grill out of the background.   You can still see some things back there, but they are not nearly as distracting as the big black grill!

 

I really hope these tips help you all take some awesome pictures!! Try them out and keep practicing!  I’d love to see what you come up with – so don’t hesitate to post a link to your pictures in your comment!  Thanks and have a great rest of the evening!