Sunday, 24 March 2013

The 5 Top Tips That Guarantee Better Pictures

If you want to shoot better pictures, follow these five simple tips.

Tip 1. Quality over quantity

A famous photographer once said he wasn't much good but after his first 1000 rolls of film, he just got lucky. Today it costs nothing to take pictures on digital, in many ways this is great but it has a flip side. Because there is no cost associated people skip what its commonly know as the pre visualization stage.

Limit the photographs you take to 36 on an outing and cover your camera's screen. This will force you to compose the images in your head rather than in the camera. This extra discipline will work wonders for you composition and the way you think about photography.

Tip 2. Shoot in RAW File Format

If you have a camera that is capable of shooting in raw format: do it. Shooting in jpeg will result in images that have limited potential in post production. Shooting uncompressed will allow you to use a program such as Aperture and Light room to their full potential and achieve interesting results in post-production.

Tip 3. Use Your Angles

The biggest mistake new photographers make is that they never play with their angles. Everything they shoot is from head height. The thing about shooting everything from head height is that we already see the world from head height so it's unlikely that a photograph will provide the viewer with something new.

If you really want to take great pictures you need to show the viewer something exciting; explore the world of angles.

Tip 4 Understand Your Lenses

Every lens length or focal length affects the perspective of your image. There are three different types of lenses: long ones, short ones and standard. Long lenses are referred to as telephoto lenses, short lenses are referred to as wide angle lenses. A lens that is neither is referred to as a standard lens.

A lens is a standard lens when its focal length is the same as the diagonal dimension of the film or sensor plane. So full frame or 35mm will result in a standard lens length of 50mm making anything shorter for example 35mm, a wide angle lens and anything longer e.g. 90mm is a long lens or telephoto.

Wide angle lenses provide a wider field of view but exaggerate visible distance within an image effectively increasing perspective.

Long lenses allow you photograph distant subjects providing a narrow but magnified field of view, effectively doing the opposite to a wide lens, that is compressing perspective within an image

Your choice of focal length also affects the distance two objects within an image can be in focus; the longer the lens the shorter your distance of focus.

If you are going to shoot a portrait you would most likely choose a long lens, for a landscape a shorter lens would be more appropriate.

Tip 5 Learn From Your Critics and Critiques

The images you've taken are just that - images. Learn to use the feedback you receive from your family, friends and people online to improve the images you're yet to take. Try not to get defensive and be open minded, everyone with a pair of eyes has a valid opinion and you'll gain hugely from other people's feedback.

Now get out your camera and go and take some pictures.

Get more essential photography tips and free photography tutorials at, the photography resource and community with a new photo crit each day.

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