Learning How to take Good Photos
Why should you learn how to take good photos?
With today’s cell phones, point and shoots and sophisticated DSLR cameras it may not be necessary to learn anything about how to take good photos. They do most of the work for you and let’s face it, often that is enough. When the kids are doing something funny or the
family is just having a good time, the candid shot that is non-intrusive is worth recording the memory and I know many pro photographers who carry a good point and shoot on fun occasions. This is not the time for a large visible camera, tripod, fancy lighting and long setups.
But good amateurs and pros know a few things about how to take good photos even with today’s basic cameras and some of these things are very easy to know:
They will take that half second to consider the First 7 rules of how to take good photos:
- Zoom correctly
- Compose optimally
- Pick an interesting angle by stepping a few paces or kneeling or standing on a chair
- Make sure the camera’s autofocus system has the key subject in focus
- Hold the camera still
- Assess the lighting conditions, natural light, background etc
- Know whether flash is better than the available light or not
Just these few points make a huge difference in the candid shots they take home. They know how to take good photos quickly. We we can all easily learn the basics around these points to do the same.
They should be easy to remember and it is only the zoom and flash that involve choices on the camera itself, between Full Auto and Program modes, but you do need to know a just a bit more than the obvious about each of these subjects. Any basic photography book will give you such insights, but I can highly recommend Digital Photography for Dummies as a great intro that will give you these insights and a lot more.
The Second 7 rules of how to take good photos take one into a whole new world.
- Get to know the features of your camera and how to use them instinctively
- Develop an eye for the unusual and the artistic.
- Mastering lens capabilities and limitations
- Finer points of composition
- Get up early
- Get to understand light!
- Getting to grips with the magic of today’s editing software like Photoshop
Digital Photography For Dummies will give you a brief entry into this world but you will soon want to know more and unfortunately this requires getting your feet really wet. By this I mean, you cannot just buy equipment, the books and the courses and think that having spent the money you will know how to take good photos. This is a journey with no end destination and you have to do the exercises.
You have to snap away, not with blind abandon, but with insight into every aspect of your equipment, the subject, the lighting, the many options that you have at every second as well as the objectives you have in mind. And with every thoughtful picture you take, you need to review what you have done and think what you could have done better for next time, preferably with the guidance of an expert. As you go on this journey you will learn how to take good photos and then:
- with hard work, which is fortunately a lot of fun
- with taking a lot of good photos you will strike it lucky with some great shots,
- with ongoing learning from many sources
- with growing experience
…you will become a great photographer and be hooked!
As the next step I highly recommend a Digital Photography Course by Amy Renfrey (Digital Photographer and Teacher) that also includes a subscription to an online Emagazine called “Focus”. Amy believes that “Light is the only thing you truly need to give a damn about.” Once you understand LIGHT, you have discovered the secret to great photography. There is little arguing with this philosophy and she teaches this understanding in great depth and insight and leads her students into this wonderful world.
Amy’s course is not the end of the road (there is no end) but it is a great and richly rewarding scenic route to take from the outset in this journey.
The Emagazine is ongoing support after the course with regular brilliant features to keep you fueled and fired up to want to go out getting even better.
If you have invested in the technology and you have not invested in yourself, you are sitting on a white elephant, but you are just this small step away from making your technology investment something really special. Follow this link to Amy’s Digital Photography Course to see what it’s about.