Here's how to take good pictures -- no matter what type of camera you have!
Whether you're new to photography or have been learning about photography for years, you can always learn something new (or remember something you forgot) to help you make better photos.
The two beginning photography tips we're about to give you will instantly make you a better photographer. In fact, professionals who have been learning photography for years instinctively use these two important principles without even thinking, because they are so important.
Ready? Let's get started.
Many beginning photographers don't realize the importance of getting close to their subjects and often end up with far too many pictures taken from a distance.
Let's say you are taking pictures at a family gathering, such as an outdoor picnic or cookout. What percentage of your photos should be taken from over 10 feet away?
Probably no more than 10 percent!
The rest of your images should be small groupings of family or friends (no more than four people per shot) and with almost half of them containing only one or two people up close!
This same principle applies when capturing images of other events, such as parties, trips to the beach, theme parks, vacations, and many more.
(About the only exceptions to the suggested ratios above are landscape and architectural photography.)
Let's look at some images of a family gathering as an example. You should have only a few shots of the entire group, as in this excellent grouping:
Next, try to get in much closer for 30-40 percent of your photos, concentrating on groups of no more than 4 people, as in the next example.
And finally, aim for at least half of your photos to include just one or two people. You'll get much more detail in facial expressions by moving in closer!
You'll also end up with many more memorable images that will be cherished by family and friends.
What about a zoom lens? Yes, a zoom lens can help you get those closer shots from a longer distance away, but the zoom lens on a small pocket camera can also amplify the effects of camera shake, so be careful with that.
Generally, the simplest way to improve your event photography is to move in closer, either with a good zoom lens or with your feet!
OK, you're already one step ahead of most beginning photographers in learning how to take good pictures. Now let's move on to the second important basic photography tip.
Almost every book or training course on the basics of photography has a section on the Rule of Thirds.
Why? Because it's an incredibly easy way to improve the composition of your photos and capture compelling images that make people go "Wow!"
(It's also so important that some cameras have a setting to turn on a "rule of thirds" grid in your viewfinder.)
Without getting into all the technical and mathematical explanations of the rule, let's just simplify and illustrate it.
People whose photos consistently show that they know how to take good pictures are probably using the Rule of Thirds effectively -- whether they realize it or not!
Let's look at a very compelling image of a little boy with a big camera, out in a field of yellow flowers.
Here is a simple Rule of Thirds Grid to help you visualize the important intersection points of the lines -- the areas where you should try to position some of the important parts of the photo.
Now, here is the first image with the Rules of Thirds Grid over it. Notice how the little boy is off to the side of the photo, near the right third line, and the camera is at the intersection of the top and right lines.
Using the Rule of Thirds is a fabulously easy way to learn how to take good pictures, and it didn't cost you a cent to learn it!
Just remember, however, that it's perfectly OK to break the rule if you have a creative reason to do so. The point of this tip is to get you to try shooting with the rule in mind, which will help you think about composition more before clicking the shutter.
To learn more great photography tips, check out the other articles on this site, and also consider getting one of the reasonably priced photography courses featured here, such as Learn and Master Photography.
But no matter what else you learn about photography, please don't ever forget to:
You can click below to "pay it forward" to your
Google Plus and Facebook friends and Twitter followers...
Once you start learning photography, you'll never finish! Enter at your own risk.
Continue the adventure of learning photography with these feature articles: