It’s time to stop taking bad photos. I know, it’s hard to believe. After all, photography is an art form that requires years of training and practice to master. But if you follow these five simple rules, not only will your pictures look better but they’ll be easier and faster to take as well!
Use a tripod.
Using a tripod is one of the best ways for taking better photos. A tripod will allow you to avoid camera shake and get sharper images, especially when shooting in low light situations or with moving subjects like people, pets, or cars.
You can also use a tripod to take photos of landscapes at night; in addition to allowing you to shoot longer exposures (which means more light), tripods give you the stability needed when using long telephoto lenses or ultra-wide angle lenses on small cameras like mirrorless models that don’t have much grip surface area.
If you don’t have an extra hand available or if you prefer not to use your body as support for your camera (even though it works just fine), then consider buying a sturdy tripod instead!
Choose the right ISO.
- To photograph in bright light, choose a high ISO. This will allow you to use a fast shutter speed and large aperture, which is ideal for capturing motion without blurring.
- To photograph in low light, choose a low ISO. This way you can take advantage of a slow shutter speed and a small aperture to capture more detail in darker areas of the image while still keeping movement blur-free.
Use fast lenses.
Fast lenses are expensive, but they’re worth it! Fast lenses have a wider aperture and lower f-stop number, which makes them sharper and more capable of capturing action in low light.
Know your camera.
- First, you need to know your camera. It’s important that you know the type of camera (DSLR or point-and-shoot) and how it works. You should also be familiar with your lens; for example, some lenses are better for close-up shots and others are better for landscapes. If possible, it would be helpful if you could learn about the settings on your camera so that you can change them as needed when taking photos—for example, changing from manual focus to autofocus or adjusting shutter speed from 1/1000th of a second down to 1/125th of a second.
- Second* Next – taking good pictures also requires lighting! Lighting is something that affects every photo taken by every photographer; therefore, it’s important that photographers understand different types of light sources available (natural vs artificial) as well as how they affect images captured by cameras (e.g., shadows).
Use soft lighting.
Soft lighting makes your subject look good. It gives the face a softer and more flattering glow, which is particularly important if you’re taking photos of people. To achieve soft lighting, use a diffuser or reflector to bounce light into the shadows on your model’s face; if you’re in a studio setting with artificial light sources, use a softbox or bounce the light off of walls nearby. If you’re not feeling inspired by these options, simply expose for longer when shooting indoors—this will create motion blur where it’s needed most (in those pesky shadows).
With these five tips, you can take better photos, faster.
- Use a tripod
- Use the right ISO (or, if you’re not sure which one to use, shoot in RAW)
- Use fast lenses (don’t try to shoot with a 70–200mm lens at f/2.8 if you don’t have great lighting—you’ll just get blurry photos)
- Know how your camera works (exposure triangle: shutter speed, aperture, and ISO)
- Shoot in soft light
If you’re looking for some tips on how to take better photos, these five should be a good place to start. Remember that the most important thing is to practice—and have fun with your craft!