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Taking Better Photos: 2 quick tips

I take a lot of pictures, and even though I take a lot, they’re not always good. There are things you can do to try and make sure that your pictures do come out good, though. It’s not enough to just put whatever you want in the frame, point and shoot. Sometimes this will result in a good picture, but most of the time it won’t. The camera can also make a difference in the shot, but megapixels usually don’t.

The first tip I can give is the rule of thirds. Basically, your picture will look best if you put your subject in an intersection created by splitting your frame into thirds.

rudy.jpg

It doesn’t matter what intersection, just make sure whatever is important in the shot is placed on an intersection or line. This picture would have been even better if I could’ve managed to place the row of boats on one of the lines.

Here’s two more examples:

group.jpg

Even in this group shot, you can see the people are evenly spread out amongst the top line, and the two faces are placed on the intersections.

bobrudyex.jpg

Here you can see I managed to get both Rudy and Bob inside intersections, and the picture is that much better for it.

There are times when you can take a good picture without the rule of thirds, but if you’re not paying attention, those times will probably be few and far between. Another good strategy is to crop your pictures in such a way that the crop results in the rule of thirds. This way you can fix pictures that don’t look very good. You can find more info about the rule of thirds here.

The other tip I wanted to give today isn’t really related to taking the pictures, but it still can have a great effect on how good they look. It has to do with the albums where you put your photos.

I’m very guilty of breaking this little tip, but I’ve since learned from my ways (more or less). When you take some good pictures, don’t upload them in an album full of shitty or mediocre pictures.  I know it’s hard to resist because you want to show off the entirety of the pictures you took, but in the end bad pictures are bad pictures, and no one really cares to see them. Throw away those crappy shots and don’t let them pollute your otherwise good albums. Even if it’s the only shot you have of that one person, it makes no impression if it’s out of focus, or if it’s poorly framed. Just throw it out.

You can see more tips at the Digital Photography School blog.

April 21st, 2008 | share

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