Even for a photographer who wants to capture the special moments in their own lives, learning more about photography is important. With practice and knowledge you will be able to avoid common mistakes everyone commits when they begin with photography.
Be quick when taking your pictures! If you take a long time, there is a good chance that the subject will move, take off or there could be a change in the background that will ruin the photo. The faster you can snap a photo, the better.
Different shutter speeds work well in different settings so make sure you have a play around with your camera and determine what works for you. You can capture moments that happen in a blip or blur larger time periods together. If you use a fast shutter speed, you can get photos of things that are in action, whereas slow shutter speeds are good for things that are not moving.
Don’t go overboard with complex camera settings. Take the time to fully understand one part of your camera controls, such as shutter speed, prior to moving on to aperture or other features. The picture you want to take may no longer be there if you take too much time worrying over settings before you shoot; the scene may have changed or the person has gone away.
Try to enhance the sense of depth in your landscape photos. Get a sense of scale by having a person or object placed in the foreground. Aperture sizes like f/8 on a consumer camera, or f/16 on a professional DSLR, make it so you need not sacrifice foreground sharpness for background sharpness or vice-versa.
When photographing outdoors try to avoid direct sunlight. Direct sunlight causes glaring and shadowing. It can also cause the people you are photographing to squint. If you’re goint to take pictures outside, do it first thing in the morning or just before sunset.
When you are on a trip, snap photos of insignificant things. Once you get home you will appreciate all the photos you have taken and relive the journey in your mind. Every time something strikes your fancy, pull out your camera and photograph it.
Take notes when taking pictures. Whenever you go back and view the vast number of photos you have taken, you may not remember where and when some of them occurred. Record the photograph’s number and the details of the shot in a permanent log.
The majority of digital cameras now come with a feature that automatically uses the flash whenever the area you are photographing is too dim. These are great for a quick snapshot, but if you want to take your photos to the next level, consider a professional external flash unit to provide a better range of lighting options. Find out if your camera comes with a “hot shoe” attached to the top that will allow an external flash to be attached. If you are not familiar with cameras, consider going to a professional to ensure you have purchased an external unit that is compatible with your camera.
Find someone to take pictures with you or join a club. You will gain a lot of knowledge from others, but don’t let their ways rub off onto your photographs. Take photos of the same subject; then compare the two shots. It can prove interesting to see two different takes on the same subject through the eyes of two different photographers.
Play around with perspectives, expressions, and scale to assess their effect on your pictures. You can turn ordinary objects into amazing photographs by changing these aspects. Bring your subject closer to the camera so that it looks larger, or move away so it looks tiny and out of place. Change things up, and create interest or humor in your photos. Make compositions that make an ordinary object appear unique.
Hopefully you have realized that becoming a better photographer is not as hard as it seems. All you need to do is become educated on the subject, practice, and improve your skills. The reward will be an increased level of professionalism and creativity in your images from this point on.