Lone Tree

Photography for beginners

Learning how to take a great photo takes some instinct and natural talent. As an academic pursuit, this might seem as challenging as writing an essay. But rest assured that taking a fantastic picture doesn’t require that you be a seasoned photographer. After all, even the best photographers started off as students themselves. If you are a beginner and you want your photos to look simple but professional, here are five hints that can help you achieve this.

1. Use a Tripod

A tripod is affordable and can really be a great asset, especially if your hands aren’t particularly steady with cameras. It can go a long way towards reducing the blurry effects while taking photos. Worried about the impracticality of walking around with a tripod? Remember that not every good photo that you take has to necessarily be spontaneous. While a lot of great photographers capture spontaneous moments, there is nothing wrong with taking planned pictures of landscapes or people, which includes taking a tripod along.

2. Know Your Camera

When selecting your camera, it is not a bad idea to compare cameras in terms of their features. But ultimately what matters most is not the price, quality of the lens, or how many sophisticated features the camera has, but how well you are able to make use of it. After all, you could have a camera that is capable of a whole lot, but if you don’t know how to take advantage of all it has to offer, it just goes to waste. To that end, read your camera’s manual thoroughly. You might discover some really interesting abilities that you had no idea cameras were capable of. The bottom line is this: If you have a complete understanding of how your camera works, you will be well on your way towards taking professional-quality photos without needing to spend thousands for a professional-grade camera.

3. Experiment with different angles and viewpoints

One of the techniques that can keep your photography looking simple but professional is through experimentation. For instance, instead of a conventional shot in which you are standing at a distance from an object, you could stand directly over it. Or squat down low and take a picture from a unique point of view. Keep in mind that “simple” does not mean the photography has to be boring. The objective here is to be able to take photographs that do not require anything fancy, but at the same time you can still end up with something that is thought-provoking and inspiring.

4. Focus on Composition

A composition is about positioning as well as what you ultimately decide to include and exclude from the shot. As a newbie photographer, you might be tempted to place the subject of the photo directly in the center, but the result in most cases is a boring picture. Somebody who has experience with taking pictures will tell you to follow the rule of thirds. In this way, you should imagine the scene as being divided into three grids and position the subject(s) of the photo into the left or right grid rather than in the middle. In fact, some cameras even provide you with a grid feature that allows you to position the object properly. For example, in the photo below you will notice that the boat is not centered in the picture, instead, it is positioned to the left, resulting in a more interesting, effective perspective. Ultimately, the resulting imagery could be cozy, mysterious or even haunting depending on how you choose to develop the shot.


5. Looking Simple Means Keeping it Simple

When deciding on a shot, it is best to avoid scenes that are cluttered. In other words, avoid the mistake of taking a picture in which there is so much going on that it is unclear what the viewer is supposed to focus on. Think about a picture in the same way that you would think about a short story. A story should only focus on one or two main characters to get its point across. Likewise, a photograph should be limited in terms of its subjects. By narrowing down the subjects of the picture, you are then free to focus on other aspects such as the aforementioned angles, viewpoints, and composition.