How to take better photos

WHAT does a professional photographer look for when taking a good image? What’s the attention-capturing part that makes you stop and look?

Composition will make you want to look at a photo a little closer, go away and then want to come back again.

Most mistakes in this area are the result of the photographer being too far away so, as a rule of thumb, frame your image and then take one step closer, for a tighter composition.

A good point to remember about good composition is the thirds rule – look at your framing as thirds. That is the top third, middle third and bottom third.

This also is used from left to right. The main subject could use up as much as two thirds of the finished image or as little as one third, depending on subject matter. For example, if the subject is moving, it pays to leave one or two thirds for the subject to move into.

The second important point to consider, of course, is the light.

Photography can be referred to as painting with light, so use the light to your advantage.

If it is strong with harsh shadows, use the shadows to make your main subject matter stand out, and use them to strengthen your composition. Shadowless days make your composition stronger.

Always look out for funny things happening in the background. You don’t want alien ears coming out of people’s heads and if the background is too cluttered and it distracts from the main subject, use the right f-stop to get rid of it altogether.

The main thing is to have some fun taking your image and try to get away from happy snaps.

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