Some people seem to believe that photography is as simple as an art form can get. After all, all you have to do is point a camera at something interesting and press a button, right? The best photographs are simply a product of a photographer being in the right place at the right time. Photography certainly isn’t as difficult as painting a picture or making a sculpture.
It would be nice to think that way, but the truth is that taking a good photograph is much more complicated and difficult than many people realize. If taking a great photograph were really as simple as we’ve made it sound above, everyone who has ever handled a camera would be taking great pictures. However, photo albums all over the world are full of out-of-focus, off-center pictures taken from awkward angles that make the image even harder to comprehend. Taking good photographs is clearly an art form, one that many people study in art schools all over the world. See here for an example. There is far more to taking great pictures than just pointing a camera and pressing a button, but there are also some relatively simple things that you can do to improve the quality of your photos. This is a short list of a few tips to consider, but they should give you a good place to start:
- Take Multiple Shots from Multiple Angles – If you see something that you want to photograph, don’t settle on just one picture from one angle. Take a shot, move closer, take another shot, look at it from a different angle, and take yet another shot. The angle and distance from which you view an image can alter it drastically and the best way to find the best possible angle is to take several pictures. We live in an era where digital photography is the norm and pictures can be taken and stored easily onto a disk without much trouble. You don’t have to spend money buying and developing film, so don’t be afraid to take as many pictures as you think you’ll need. You can always delete what you don’t want to keep.
- Be Selective – This may sound strange considering what our last tip was, but you should be selective in the images that you shoot even while you take multiple pictures of one subject. If you want to take a picture of a specific subject or scene, make sure it’s a good scene. Remove any unwanted clutter from the image if you can, and make sure that nothing in the background detracts from your subject.
- Mind Your Lighting – Digital cameras and programs such as Instagram can work wonders when it comes to lighting and filters, but the best way to take a well-lit photograph is to make sure that you have plenty of lighting in the first place. Lighting can account for half of the quality of an image, and there’s only so much you can do to clean up a poorly-lit photograph. Make sure that the lighting of the image you are looking at is satisfactory before you snap a picture; don’t just tell yourself that you can fix a bad picture later.
- Be Quick When You’re Taking Photographs – While it is possible to carefully compose an image and set things up before taking a photograph, some of the best photos ever taken were done quickly of a scene as it was happening. These things happen quickly and chances are that you won’t have time to prepare everything just the way you’d like. Be quick on the draw, and try to keep a camera with you at all times, even if it’s just a camera phone.
These are just a few tips that will help you to become a better photographer. If you would like to study photography or other visual art forms from professionals, consider checking out the information on art colleges that you can find online.
Citizen Marketer 2.1 (2011)