Someone wise once said, “Photography takes a moment to learn and a lifetime to master.”
Truer words were never spoken.
When I started this blog I was taking pictures with a camera that you threw away.
And while my throw-away camera was perfect for vacation and documenting various important events and the occasional picture of the cats…..
…I realized that it wasn’t going to cut it for blogging.
So I began to teach myself with hours and hours of practice and lots of trial and error….
….specializing in the error department.
And after a year and a half of learning and growing and trying…..
…..I wanted to share a little of what I’ve learned and share three simple tips for better photos.
Tip #1: Use a tripod and a timer
In the way back machine I wrote a post about this that still holds true today.
But here’s an update.
The type of tripod makes a big difference. I have a beginning DSLR camera. It’s a 3Ti with a basic zoom lens….but the tripod makes it look like these pictures were taken with a much more expensive camera.
I started with a Wal-Mart tripod for about $25.00. Then I got a photographer’s tri-pod for Christmas two years ago. They don’t make the model I have any more….but here’s a link to a similar model.
You want to make sure to get a tripod that extends to at least 6 to 7 feet and has a reversible center pole (perfect for taking overhead pictures). A quick release for the camera is perfect for versatility and allows you to easily charge the camera and remove the SD card.
These pictures are the first pictures that I took with the new tripod. Because it was heavier and sturdier….it secured the camera in a way that did not allow for any movement when you took the picture.
Lack of camera movement = crisp, clear pictures.
Tip #2: Use the manual focus button
I know….I know….that sounds so scary.
The manual focus button is your friend because it allows you to be in charge of what you are focusing on…..not the camera. Just flip the button on the lens from AF to MF and start focusing. On the Canon…..I move the square around on the screen to choose where I want the focus.
In the photo above I chose the metal cloche as my focal point. Notice how clear and focused it is as opposed to the images in the background.
Here’s the exact same image….except I chose the background as the focal point and the cloche is now out of focus.
Completely different picture.
Tip #3: Finding the right angle
The right angle can make such a difference between an okay picture and a really, really interesting picture.
For example….this vignette was taken by moving the tripod to eye level and angling it down. Notice how the items in the background frame the shot.
Here’s the exact same picture….except I raised the tripod and angled the camera down to get more of an overview shot of the scene.
The background fades slightly and the vignette takes on more prominence.
Lastly, here’s another camera angle between eye level and the height of the previous picture.
I also might have taken an overhead shot showing only the table.
Or an angle looking up at the flowers.
Different perspective….exact same composition.
Three different looks just by changing the angle of the camera.
My last little piece of advice is to practice and have fun.
Photography can be exciting and a great way of looking at life through a new perspective.
Enjoy the journey!
PS Here’s a few other photography posts that might be helpful like this tip on how to get sharper images and simple tips for taking better pictures of a room.