In order to start taking great photos, you need to learn the basics. With the proper guidance you can acquire the skills you need to prevent you from making basic mistakes that ruin a good shot or even keep you from capturing that special moment.

Shutter Speed

Try using a variety of shutter speeds to determine the best methods for different settings and circumstances. You can choose to leave the shutter open and capture the night sky as it swirls overhead, or set if for a fraction of a second to capture high speed action. Using a faster shutter speed will let you catch objects while they are in motion, while a slow shutter speed is great for capturing serene natural settings.

Although beautiful sunlit days are enjoyable and provide high light for taking pictures, direct sunlight can also ruin a photograph. You can get some odd shadows and lines on the picture that just look strange. The people in your shots will often close their eyes. If you can, try to choose late evening or early morning light to shoot outdoors.

Shoot photos of a wide range of individuals. Never take someone’s picture without first obtaining their permission. After you get home from your trip, these images will provoke thoughts and memories, even if they are nothing more than ordinary. Candid expressions and casual clothing will help make your pictures even more memorable.

Along with taking shots of people, objects, nature and animals, also take pictures of your souvenirs when you travel. Consider photographing the store that sold you the item, or just take a photo of the item against a unique background. This helps create stories for your souvenirs that you can enjoy when you return home.

When photographing your subject, try to get as close as you can. Subjects lacking in color or details are one of the worst things you can see in a photograph. By getting close, you afford your viewers a clear, detailed view of your subject.

Pre-focus your camera and move the lens slightly in one direction so that the subject you are shooting is slightly off center. This can cause the photo to look a bit different than the standard subject centering tactic that many use. You may create more interest by focusing on what wouldn’t normally be considered the subject in your photograph.

When trying to compose your photos artistically, less really is more. There isn’t any reason to add more elements or clutter to your shots. Keeping things simple in your photos is what catches your viewer’s attention, simplicity often creates a big punch!

It’s important to keep on top of natural lighting. Early morning light or late afternoon glows are best for taking photos outdoors. Avoid casting shadows that may darken your photographs. Give yourself and your subject a break by positioning them parallel to the sun so that light enters the picture from the side.

As the previous paragraphs have shown, becoming a better photographer is easier than it seems. Just learn a little, practice a lot, and you’ll hone your skills. You’ll see the benefit over time as you see all your pictures developed.