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Tips to take better pictures

Whether a landscape, a portrait or a still life image there are lots of different elements that distinguish a snapshot from a well captured image.

Im going to do a series of blog posts which will hopefully give you some insight and get you thinking a bit more before you click the shutter release.

With many people now able to afford entry level DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera’s it’s a shame that more dont take the time to enjoy the benefits of owning one of these over the traditional compact camera. Many people still choose the auto mode which really leaves you no more control than you would get from a compact.

In this blog post im going to talk about basic framing and composition of the image. Now i dont claim to be any Ansel Adams, landscapes would not be my strong point but thats ok and its something im always trying to improve upon and practice, and practice is the only way to develop your skills in photography.

Composition can often be about finding ways of trying to emphasise some parts of an image whilst eliminating other distracting details you dont wish to be seen.

There are many rules to composition, which if you stick to you are almost guaranteed a good image but sometimes the great image is in the broken rules!

The first rule to learn is the rule of thirds, 

As you can see, the tree (the main focus of the image) is located on the intersection  in the bottom right third of the image.


Using diagonals, i was in Dingle last year at a 30th birthday party and took off in the morning to go get some milk for breakfast and arrived back to the house about 5 hours later, really fab place for taking landscapes (even for people like me who arent very good at it), below are 2 of the images i took that day.

use diagonals to lead the viewer into the image, here the rock leads the eye into the image.

In this image, you can see the use of  diagonal lines and central positioning of the horizon. In most instances we would place the horizon on the top third of the image but with the interesting sky i thought it would be better to see more of it.

This is an image of my mum and dad (lovely couple, arent they), they are placed in the bottom third with diagonal lines in both the bottom and middle thirds of the image

You can also see that i used a shallow depth of field keep interest in the oul pair;-) i love this image of them!

Went to NYC for the first time last year whwer i found this perfect example of symmetry. This image was taken in the immigration museum on Ellis Island, Thanks to whoever found my camera by the way and returned it to me, and thanks to officer Long who got it back to me!

So there you have it, there’s a lot more to think about than just your exposure (though thats a whole other blog entry), keep an eye out for it!

M o r e   i n f o