Learn Digital Photography - 3 Keys to Better Photos

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All of us want to take better photographs. We like them to be admired, framed and displayed on websites. How do you take better images without taking expensive photography courses? It's very simple if you put into practise some very easy steps. I'll show you how.

In order to take better photos you need to stop, think and consider what you are about to do before pressing the shutter button. By asking yourself the following three questions before you rush into a shot, you will immediately improve the quality of any image. Photography is a thought process. It takes the 3D image in your mind and converts it to a two dimensional photo. How well you can do this will be reflected in your final image.

1. Can I clearly identify my subject as the focal point?

This should be the most logical step for a photographer to take but it isn't. Go now to your photo album and have a look at the first ten photos. In each one, can you clearly see your subject. Is the subject the centre of attention. At any event it's great to have photos of the friends or kids at the party but in 20 years time you aren't interested in who was at the party. You want to remember the family member or friend. This is especially so if the person has passed away. So make the person or subject the centre of your focus, or the focal point. You can have others in the image but not to the detriment of your subject. Memories can't be changed in the future. Make your memory when you shoot the photo.

2. Can I use my feet and get in any closer?

Good photos are not only created by using your head but by also using your feet. Move around and don't stick to one spot and wait for the subject to come to you. Get in closer to the subject and exclude all the unnecessary elements in the photo. Again, in 20 years time you do not want to remember the garbage bin, the tree growing out of your subject's head or the kitchen appliances and TV. Exclude these items by getting closer or changing your angle by moving around so that they are excluded. Excluding unnecessary clutter will immediately improve your images. In any case by getting in closer you will see more of your subject which is your focal point. Bigger is better when creating memories and more is best. You should never strain your eyes trying to see a loved one in a photo.

3. Can I change my angle or get a better viewpoint?

This is linked to the previous point of using your feet. Changing your viewpoint from the traditional ‘straight in front view' will make your photo better all round. You are not trying to identify the person like a passport or ID photo. You are creating a memory. This is especially so for children. Get down to their level and keep your lens at the same height as their eyes. Children always seem to be shot looking up at the camera. Try getting below their eye line as well. Get up higher than your subject or look up from below. Move a few feet to your left or right. Make the image different from the usual points of view.

Taking better photos is not spending more money on courses, books or even better equipment but rather taking time to apply some basic photographic principles. If you take just these three steps and apply them to your photos you will see an immediate improvement to your photos. Photography is all about creating a memory at a certain point in time. The more you put into creating that memory the more you will see it in the resulting photos.

You can learn more about photography in a digital world here in my free e-course delivered by e-mail. Subscribe HERE. Have a look at my new ebook, 21 Steps 2 Perfect Photos.
Wayne Turner has been teaching photography for 25 years and has written three books on photography.

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