What are your best tips for better photos?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by arrowood, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. arrowood

    arrowood FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 14, 2013
    North West England
    Please share tips that have helped you to take better photos.
    After years of using a point a shoot I tend to rush so my tip is, slow down and take your time.
  2. Armanius

    Armanius FujiXspot Top Veteran

    Feb 1, 2013
    Good thread! Would love to learn these tips too.
  3. afkenner

    afkenner FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 3, 2013
    New York
    Learn to use the histogram to "expose to the right." This will maximize the useful data captured by the sensor and give you much more control in post.

    You can find more discussion of this technique by searching "ettr" or checking out this post on the Photography-on-the-Net Canon forums, which pulls together links to some/many of the useful posts on the topic and attempts to summarize the technique.
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  4. Gary

    Gary FujiXspot Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2013
    Fill the frame with your subject.
    When all else fails, use the rule-of-thirds or any other rule.

    • Like Like x 1
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs FujiXspot Veteran

    Feb 1, 2013
    Near Philadephila
    Yeah use 'em enough to learn 'em well enough to be comfortable breaking them!

    Just focus on what the image in the frame looks like. Not what its a picture of, but have you made it into an image or not - do the lines pull the eye, is there some balance or an interesting lack thereof, does the light and shadows and (optionally) color work in interesting ways? Practice on boring stuff and try to make it look interesting - then the interesting stuff will take care of itself...

  6. Livnius

    Livnius FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 5, 2013
    I use the spray-n-pray technique shooting lots and picking out the few that turned out good.
    With practice, persistence and some help from the more experienced folk here and on the other forums down the hall, I find I'm slowly but surely taking less snaps for a higher quality return. In some small yet not so insignificant way, I'm beginning to understand whether or not a shot will work before I've pressed the shutter.
  7. ean10775

    ean10775 FujiXspot Top Veteran

    Feb 13, 2013
    Cleveland, OH
    My tip would be, regardless of what you think you can do in post processing, try and get it right in the camera. Along those same lines regarding PP - get a good polarizer and learn how/when to use it, since it's one filter you can't emulate with software.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Nic

    Nic FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 5, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
    While keeping an eye on the highlights, choose overexposure rather than underexposure i.e. ETTR
  9. carlb

    carlb FujiXspot Veteran

    Feb 6, 2013
    twin cities, minnesota
    Stand in front of interesting things when you're shooting.

    Not kidding. Not that I do that particularly well, but it's one of the biggest things that impacts the photos you take. The rules and techniques and post and imagination all really help. But first figure out where you could go that would give you the most interesting things or people to shoot, and go there.
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  10. Gary

    Gary FujiXspot Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2013
    Previsualize your shot. Before you bring the camera up to your eye, get a crystal clear picture in your mind of the final image. Then adjust the cameras position, adjust/pick the lens and all the setting to capture the image you previsualize.

    • Like Like x 1
  11. Hyubie

    Hyubie FujiXspot Veteran

    Feb 4, 2013
    Weymouth, MA
    Look at other people's photos. Find the ones that speak to you. And then find out why they speak to you.
    • Like Like x 2
  12. EBC Wilson

    EBC Wilson FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 20, 2013
    I've had the X10 for about a year now, and over that time I've found two things:

    Read the manual. Read 'The Photographer's Guide to the X10' by A S White. Repeat. This was my first digital camera, and for me, the MANY menu choices could not be grasped all at once. So I've little by little incorporated more and more and re-read as I discovered new questions I could not have 'till I learned the things that came first.

    Be sure WHERE it's focusing. At first, I had enough mis-focused shots (not a whole lot, but enough . . .) to where I wondered for a while, 'well is this darn thing an AUTOFOCUS camera or an OUGHTA-FOCUS or SHOULDA-FOCUSED camera?' So I had to learn to be a bit more diligent about watching it 'till I got a feel for how it does things. Then began my home-study course about Exposure Compensation + Blown Highlights . . . . .

    But you know, it's getting better all the time.
  13. Richard

    Richard FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    Pay attention to the background. Many portraits and family groups are spoiled by ugly or distracting backgrounds, so just take that moment to look over everyone's shoulder, notice any unattractive features in the background and then either move yourself or reposition your subjects to avoid them.

    • Like Like x 2
  14. hellwill

    hellwill FujiXspot Rookie

    Feb 5, 2013
    William Heller
    I agree *entirely.* Family portraits ruined--or at least damaged--by, for example, a stovepipe emerging from the top of Sis's head are no fun and usually easily avoidable. The picture you are taking is more, often much more, than what you are taking a picture of.
  15. snkenai

    snkenai FujiXspot Regular

    Jan 31, 2013
    Campbellsville, KY
    1. LEARN F-STOP. Know what the aperture is doing and why. Shoot in aperture priority, and chose the one best suited for the subject. It is the setting that is in charge of DOF!
    2. Find a steady "rest", and use it. Don't depend on IS, all the time. You will get better image clarity. It will also help you be more deliberate. No "pray and spray". You will thank yourself, when you get back to the computer.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. the sardonic iconic

    the sardonic iconic FujiXspot Veteran

    Feb 2, 2013
    Don't focus soley on just the technical OR just the art. The technical allows the art to be created and communicated effectively, the art is what gives the technical the ability to speak to the soul instead of just the mind.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. arrowood

    arrowood FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 14, 2013
    North West England
    Excellent tips and ideas being posted. Thank you for sharing :thumbup:
  18. cherrywood

    cherrywood FujiXspot Regular

    Feb 24, 2013
    Amen, Yes get it in the"can" as we used to say shooting film. And Plus 1 on the polarizer.
    Thanks, ean.
  19. OdzBodkinz

    OdzBodkinz FujiXspot Veteran

    Feb 17, 2013
    Shoot a lot. Review EXIF data when you are learning from your mistakes. Shoot a lot.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Penfan2010

    Penfan2010 FujiXspot Veteran

    Feb 1, 2013
    Central-ish NJ
    Study the images of the greats and troll through photo journals, digital or paper, like Nat Geo. then, make sure you spend more time shooting and learning than reading photo forums!:D
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