Are you struggling to make your images stand out from the crowd? In an age where everyone has a camera in their pocket, it can be hard to get your images noticed. From impressing your loved ones with your holiday snaps, to curating a beautiful Instagram feed, we’ve got some tips to help you take amazing photographs every time.
5 easy photography tips
The best images start before you pick up your camera. It can be tempting to start snapping away without thinking. We’ve all been there. More often than not, it ends in a full camera card with not a single usable image. Slow down and take your time.
Have a look around – is there somewhere that provides a different perspective on the scene? Is there a way to capture it that hasn’t been done a thousand times before? Is there an interesting object that catches your attention? Is there anything that everyone else is ignoring?
Rather than using zoom, move your feet. Walk around and get a feel for the place before you decide what to photograph. Take your time and you’re sure to find something unique and interesting. This may not be so easy if you’re getting hussled back onto a tour bus, but with practice this is a skill you hone.
2. Rule of thirds
Whether you’re taking photos on your phone, or with a fancy camera, this one is probably the easiest to start practicing. On your phone you can turn on a grid that will show you a grid of split thirds, and many cameras have a similar function.
While it might be initially off putting here’s why you should use it.
Our brains reward us for giving them nice things to look at, and the rule of thirds makes your viewer’s brains happy. The places where the lines in your grid intersect are where the human brain likes to see things. Position interesting objects so that they’re centred on those intersections and bingo! Brains love your images more just like that.
Have a person in your frame that you want to stand out from a vast landscape? Pop them onto the intersection of those lines on your screen. Have one object you want to show off? Rather than centring it, try putting it a third of the way along the image, and leave your brain a lot of beautiful negative space to relax in.
3. Leading lines
This one’s a favourite of mine. I love finding natural lines that I can use to draw the eye into my image.If you’re in a city this one gets even easier. Benches, buildings, paving slabs, everything’s fair game. If you’re by an ocean, a jetty is the best way to give this a go.
Imagine this technique as a way of pulling people into the action. You’re leading their eyes along a line that you’ve decided upon, drawing them into the photo. Even better, have a pay off at the end of your line, so it’s like taking your viewer along on an adventure through your image. It’s an effective technique to bring a two-dimensional image to life.
I’m going to level with you here (pun intended), and tell you that a wonky horizon is a guaranteed way to ruin a photo. It jolts your viewer out of the image because their brain knows something is very wrong with the world you are presenting. Some people use them as an intentional technique, but you’ve got to follow the rules before you break them.
The other thing that’s important about a horizon is where you put it. Seems obvious right? It’s going to go in the middle of your photo. Well … no.
Perhaps you’re shooting a perfect lake reflection where you want to see the mirror image – that’s an occasion where a mid-image horizon works well. But what if there’s an insane sunset with a sky full of colourful clouds? There’s nothing worse than neglecting that in favour of a dark and boring foreground.
Move your horizon to allow the viewer to enjoy what you loved about the moment and the most striking thing about the scene. The beautiful sky, or that field full of flowers. Your horizon can be almost anything you want it to be. So long as it’s straight.
5. Fill the frame
Negative space can be a wonderful thing, but filling the frame can be equally effective. This is a technique that I love when shooting portraits – a smiling face filling the frame will connect in a way that a tiny figure in the distance never will.
It doesn’t have to be a person. A frame full of the ocean, forest, or waterfall can be just as effective. We love minimalist negative space photos as much as the next person, but this is a way to make your images really stand out amongst the masses and create a lot of interest in your image.
Hopefully these tips will help you take your photography game to the next level. We’d love to hear what techniques you enjoy using.Let us know in the comments or come and say hello on Instagram or facebook. We’d love to hear from you.