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Essential photo tips for better photographs

Choosing a camera

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Travel photography

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Animal subjects

Child photography

Weddings

Still life

Using flash

Landscapes

Architecture

Capturing action

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Landscapes

81. Striking images of breathtaking beauty can easily be achieved when everything is covered in snow. Choose your subjects carefully though and compensate for the extra brightnes during exposure. Nature usually provides the best scenes during the Wintery period.

82. Generally speaking, if you take pictures before sunset or just after sunrise the landscape pictures you produce will look more interesting. This is due to the natural light that is provided during this time of day. However, for crisp, bright and natural colourful images you need strong sunlight for best results.

83. Always keep a lookout for days when strong cloud formations arise. The photographs taken of any landscape subject will be enhanced dramatically by an interesting sky.

84. Beams of sunlight streaming through darkened clouds or a forest of trees make good subjects. So do sunsets, sunrises, rainbows and dark forboding skies over sunny meadows or fields of wheat.

85. Another type of image that always proves interesting is mountains or hills reflecting in lakes of calm water. A bright sunny day with blue skies will generally provide the best results.

86. At the other end of the scale, strong powerful waves crashing on piers and rock formations by the sea provide unique action shots of the power of nature.

87. Adverse weather conditions resulting in tornadoes, storm lashed streets and other scenes of destruction are thankfully rare but provide fascinating images given the opportunity. However, always put your safety first.

88. Landscape photographs can often be made more interesting by having something of interest stand out in the foreground. This usually requires everything to be in focus. Choose a small aperture setting to increase depth of field. Also, use a tripod and a suitable slow shutter speed to ensure everything in your shot is exposed correctly.

89. Using the technique above, moving water such as waterfalls can take on an almost dreamlike quality when exposed correctly.

90. The use of filters are often used in landscape photography so always carry your filters with you on location, you never know when you may need them.

91. The autumn is a wonderful time for taking pictures of the changing colours of scenery. Golden leaves falling to the ground or blowing in the wind make a lovely picture in the right setting.

Architecture

92. When photographing architecture donít settle for one or two shots of the building youíre taking pictues of. Shoot from as many different angles as possible to ensure you get at least one or two good shots.

93. Due to varying weather conditions and the direction of sunlight, buildings can look vastly different depending on the time of day. If the lighting doesnít show off the building at itís best then consider returning at another time when the lighting is more favourable.

94. Use a telephoto lens for capturing close-up details of architectural interest and a suitable wide angle lens where space is restrictive and you want to get the whole building within the frame.

95. In some cases the building youíre photographing may be able to be seen from a distance. Consider whether you can get some decent shots showing the building among itís surroundings. For large buidings, the further you are away from the subject, the less distortion there will be. From a distance you may be able to get an undistorted but close-up image using a telephoto lens.

96. When photographing tall buildings looking upwards use the portrait format to get more of the buiding in the frame.

97. Consider whether the building would be worth photographing at night if itís lit by floodlights, as many buildings are if they are of architectural interest. Itís very likely they will take on a whole different look and may actually appear to be more visually interesting at nightime.

Still life

98. For many amateur photographers still life photography doesnít have much appeal. However, if you study the way professionals approach their still life subjects their is plenty you can learn to make it interesting and worthwhile. A lot of commercial photography involves stationery objects. Think of foodstuff, architecture, interiors, showroom cars, scale model photography etc. We take a lot of it for granted but it takes quite a bit of skill to bring a still life subject to life. The main attention to detail is lighting. The way the subject is lit can mean the difference between a great picture and a poor one. Correct exposure, use of a tripod and a good lens is also a necessity.

Capturing action

99. The most successful action shots usually have a story to tell. An image that captures the the viewerís imagination and gives them an immediate sense of what is happening, how it may have begun and what might happen next will provide a good action photo. Always be prepared with your camera set at a high shutter speed for that unexpected, or even anticipated moment. Also experiment with different camera angles as this can sometimes add to the sense of motion in the shot.

SLR film cameras are recommended over digital cameras for capturing action  due to their far superior shutter speeds.

Special effects

100. In the digital age there are so many special effects options available these days, particularly in post production, due to the availability of computer software such as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Elements. The possibilities are almost endless and limited only by your imagination. However, sometimes the best special effects are the ones you donít notice. When you can create a photographic image that appears realistic but leaves the viewer wondering Ďhow did they do that?í then you will certainly have a picture that will be worthy of showing off to the public. If youíre experimenting with special effects photography for your own pleasure thatís fine. But my advice would be to avoid using special effects just for the sake of creating an unusual picture, particularly if youíre trying to get your work published. Many special effects have been overdone and to many people they are commonplace and no longer take much interest. Unless you create something truly out of the ordinary then think twice before spending time producing the type of image thatís been seen a thousand times before.

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For more photographic tips and articles see below

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Flash photography tips

Landscape photography tips

Wildlife photography tips

Portrailt photography tips

Wedding photography tips

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100 photo tips

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