We may not all have fancy camera gear available to us, but there are techniques you can apply to transform your photographs from being ordinary to extraordinary. All these simple tricks can be applied using your smartphone or DSLR.
1. Know your camera
Take the time to study your camera’s manual, whether it’s your smartphone’s camera, bridge or DSLR. The buttons or functions you usually avoid may be the key to unlocking your camera’s full potential, and could help you take your photography to the next level. Understanding your camera’s basics like shutter speed, aperture and ISO are crucial. Update your phone’s software regularly, and check if the application has any new features available to play and experiment with.
2. Shoot in high quality
If your camera has the function, and you know how to edit RAW photographs, then always opt to shoot your photographs on that setting – you will have more control over the outcome of your photographs. If you are uncertain of RAW’s capabilities, let alone editing it, rather set your camera to shoot at the highest resolution, in JPEG format. You never know when you will capture that unplanned special moment and when that happens, it needs to be in a good enough quality if you want to make large prints to frame it. Smartphone users should always opt for HD when photographing or taking videos, simply make sure you have enough hard drive space!
3. Get your horizon straight
Hasty photographers often overlook essential elements such as the horizon in their scene. When you look through your camera’s viewfinder, make sure that you have your horizon straight – it will drastically improve the overall look of the image, and it will appear more professional. Also, consider applying the rule-of-thirds to your photography. Some cameras allow you to switch on a grid that displays when you look through your viewfinder or screen. This feature will assist you in keeping those horizons straight, and you will be one step closer to better-looking photographs.
4. Up close
Cut the clutter by moving closer or ‘zooming in’ to your subject, and only frame the essential parts of your scene. By cutting or removing more of the ‘unwanted’ space, you are placing more emphasis on your main subject, whether it’s a photo of your catch or a simple flower.
5. Avoid harsh shadows
The best times of the day to pick up your camera is in the early mornings or late afternoons when the light is still soft. During midday, when the sun is at its highest and brightest, you are normally stuck with harsh light that creates unflattering shadows on your subject. An overcast day is another perfect time to whip out your camera, which concludes the final point...
6. Love clouds
If it is a cloudy, overcast day with exceptional cloud formations in the sky, it should give you even more reason to pick up your camera. Clouds can add a dramatic touch to any scene you photograph. Or imagine those clouds at sunrise or sunset when you get those glorious colours! Now we’re talking!
Have fun experimenting, and email us if you have any photography related questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.