In my opinion, the major difference between a professional and an amateur in a lot of professions is knowledge. If you had the knowledge that the professional had, you could probably perform like them. You would still have to develop skills, but in many situations I think simply knowing a trick of the trade can be a big difference. With all of that in mind, today I’m going over 3 ways to quickly improve your photos.
3 Ways to Quickly Improve Your Photos
Before we start, I’d like to say that these 3 tips are not the only tips you need to know and they might not be the best tips out there. These are just 3 things that come to mind when I try to help someone improve without doing a ton.
1. Bounce Flash
I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever used the built in flash on a camera. I might if I had no other option, but it really isn’t that great. You don’t really want your light coming straight at someone. A much better option is to buy a flash (also know as speedlight) and put it on top of your camera. This is just the first step. Don’t aim it straight forward or you’re doing the same thing that the built in flash does. Twist and turn the flash so that it either aims up at the ceiling or a wall. The flash will bounce off the wall and evenly light the room and your subject. It’s a really simple fix, but makes a huge difference. It doesn’t have to cost a lot either. I was just at Wal-mart and I think I saw one being sold for like $50. Another option is to go to ebay and buy an old flash. Get one!
2. Manually Control Your Exposure
Cameras can be scary and confusing. There are all these knobs and buttons and numbers that people don’t understand. Most people simply turn their camera onto automatic and let the camera do all the work. This takes the creative control out of your hands. A camera is just a machine, and you should be the one telling it what to do, not the other way around. For complete control, change it to M or manual mode. In this mode, you control the shutter speed and the F stop. This is what I use 95% of the time. It takes a bit more time, but I’ve found my exposures are closer this way. There’s also a shutter priority and aperture priority mode. These are ok for most of the time. Anyway, the reason you want control is because you will need to do different things depending on the situation you are in or the effect you are trying to create. For example, if you are shooting a moving subject, you would want a higher shutter speed to freeze action. On the other hand, if you wanted to blur movement, you would put the shutter speed lower. Auto mode won’t do this.
3. Move around
Too many people take every photo from the same position: standing up, directly in front of the subject. Learn to move around. Because it’s digital, you’re free to take as many photos as you want. Take some from the front. Then get low. Then get high. Move to the side and do the same thing. Switch things up. Don’t be afraid to stay with the same situation for 4 minutes and just go all around. If you do a complete 360 of them and work high, medium and low, you could get 20 photos that look nothing alike.
There you have it. These are 3 ways to quickly improve your photos. Most of them are free and don’t take a ton of time or new knowledge. I’d suggest picking one of the three and focus on it for a few shoots. Once you feel like you’ve got that one down, move to the next tip. I bet you’ll see a big difference in your photos.