1. Use the camera you already have.
There are countless amounts of amazing camera equipment out there today. However, pretty much regardless of price, the differences between pieces of equipment are small. In a lot of ways, today’s entry-level DSLRs are just as great as the best SLRs! So, don’t feel the need to upgrade from what you already have. Creative skills and proficiency of camera settings are much more beneficial!
2. Use the rule of thirds.
The rule of thirds is equal to the rule of thumb for taking the perfect photo! This rule is based on the idea that pictures are the most exciting and well-balanced when they are not centered. Essentially, you split the image into thirds, horizontally and vertically. The intersecting points are the points of interest.
So, rather than positioning your subject or the important elements of the scene, you are placing them at the points of intersection. You can even take a photo using the rule of thirds by activating the grid option on your iPhone as well as your DSLR!
3. Don’t overexpose highlights.
Always be aware of potentially overexposing your highlights! I know I prefer the sky in my photos to be filled with color and texture rather than a nondescript blob, and I’m betting you do too. As you are taking your photos, watch your camera screen to check for overexposure. How do you keep your highlights in control? Three things: Shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. If these are in the right spot, it will be smooth sailing!
4. Move your feet.
Don’t be afraid to move around and experiment new places! Move your feet (and tripod) as much as possible! If you fall into the trap of standing still and facing the same direction, your pictures aren’t going to look much different from each other. Moving around allows you to change the sizes and positions of the objects in your photos, creating different and more exciting perspectives. So, climb on top of things, walk back and forth, change the height of your camera. It’ll all be worth it!
5. Learn from your mistakes and have fun!
Never get too discouraged if things aren’t turning out the way you planned! Getting blurry, overexposed photos with bad composition are all part of the learning process. Study your photos to find out what you don’t like about them and try something different on the next one.
The more you get out there and experiment with new techniques, the better your photos will become over time. You will find your balance as you continue to practice, and see your skills begin to improve! Don’t forget that photography is supposed to be fun. Even the best photographers out there have dealt with their own doubts. Don’t sweat it, we’ve all been there! Remember why you are out there and I’m sure you’ll be ready to keep going in no time.