Tuesday, May 8, 2012

3 tips for instantly better photos

I have not re-touched these photos in any way I am not trying to show case my re-touching skills in this post I am trying to show how some simple changes in the way you take a picture can make a huge difference. With these tips it doesn't matter what camera you are using, your iPhone or your Cannon Mark IVIVXXVI. These tips don't require a fancy camera or photo editing software.
 I love my camera - Sony a55 and I used a 35mm fixed lens.

1. Find good light, I went out at about 5:30pm. Yes early morning and late afternoon/evening around dusk does have "magic" light. Your camera is your paintbrush, your medium is light. Why spend hours in photoshop trying to make magic light when you can just step outside around dusk. I realized this isn't always an option at which point you do your best to find good light, don't be afraid to experiment.

 The point this picture illustrates is this; My daughter is simply facing one direction sitting on the swing and the other and it makes a HUGE difference one that you can clearly see. In the picture on the left she looks more relaxed and happy. I also like the upward slope in the background better as well as the lighter contrast in the background. The picture on the right she is having a hard time looking at me because she is looking into the sunlight and it's also blowing out her skin color. Lesson here is to experiment, slight changes make a huge difference. Could the photo on the left use some more contrast especially around the face absolutely but my point is the difference in the light. Which photo will be easier to edit the one on the left and it's just a better picture of her anyway.

2. Get up close and fill the frame! This photo is fine, I like it but I LOVE getting up close especially with kids their big eyes and flawless skin are an open invitation to get up close. I want to see the eyes! Fill the frame with your subject especially if the surroundings distract from your subject. Literally ask yourself Does the back ground help or hurt the story you are trying to tell/ the moment you are trying to capture? Your mind will block out little these distractions so you have to make a conscious effort to see them.

How you do this comes down to lens choice you may prefer a telephoto lens like a 70-200mm you can stand back and zoom in and out. My 35mm works great for this as well I just have to move my legs. If you are trying to capture candid moments being able to be further away would work better for those subjects that aren't as comfortable around you and your camera. My kids are my kids so they are natural around me and used to having a camera around A LOT.

(I will show some other examples next week with more distracting backgrounds, I just don't want these posts to be crazy long)

They are all the same size photo but you can see the difference filling the frame makes. You don't always have to be up close that's not what I am saying but don't forget to get up close and get these kinds of shots is my point. I love VARIETY!

3. Change your perspective!
I am standing in the same spot for these three photos, small changes make a huge difference in the outcome of a photo. I know she is posing slightly different in each photo but she's 5...nuff said.
 I am still using my 35mm lens.

 Taken from above simply achieved by standing on something or by using live view with the LCD screen tilted down so I can hold it above my head and still see what I am doing ;)

                                            Taken while bending down on one knee.

Taken from a normal standing position

We are all at different skill levels this may be a good reminder for some or a few aha...moments for others, or you may have thought...duh! In which case I would love to hear what you would want my next photo how to post to be on. At any rate this is my first post like this, I would love to hear if you found this helpful or not :)

If you enjoyed it and found it helpful I hope you will share it on Facebook or some other site. If this is your first time here be sure and look at the page 'What is The SIP project?' or any other posts or pages for that matter. It's always nice to show your support through following my blog and liking my FB page both can be done on the left sidebar :)

Thanks for stopping by hope to see you back here soon!



  1. Love these tips...super easy :)

  2. Great tips! I always struggle with capturing great photos. Thanks for sharing! I look forward to learning more.

  3. YES! These are definitely helpful! Sometimes I get fixated on *where* I want to take the picture and don't even think about anything else...this is perfect for picture taking dweebs like me (c:

  4. Great tips, and thanks for actually snapping the photos to illustrate your points! I'm very visual so these helped demonstrate your suggestions. Many thanks indeed! :)

  5. Awesome! I need as many tips as I can get C:


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