Simple Photography Tips To Get More Powerful Images

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If you're still new to photography, you might be frustrated with your images quite often and need a few photography tips to get better results. The biggest issue is that sometimes it's very hard to tell what's wrong with an image. Even if everything seems right from both technical and compositional point of view, your image can still be rather unimpressive.

There is no universal recipe for fixing mediocre photos, but we're going to cover a couple of powerful fixes that can help you improve your photographs no matter their genre and style.

Read on to learn a couple of tips!

photo by ian stauffer
Photo by Ian Stauffer

Be Picky About Lighting

Everyone knows that photography is all about light, but many of us forget this simple yet important rule when we grab our cameras. Even experienced photographers tend to ignore this rule from time to time and regret it once they start editing images and realize that an entire shoot lacks that ”special something”.

No matter what you’re shooting, any subject (person, product, landscape, etc.) will look better in great light. When we think of good lighting in photography, we often think of the golden hour (period of daytime shortly after sunrise or before sunset) or the blue hour (period of twilight when the Sun is below the horizon), since we know that shooting during these times will give excellent results.

However, you should be open to shooting at other times of the day or experiment with other light sources, such as flashes or continuous lights. If you notice that a scene you're about to shoot doesn't look interesting enough under certain lighting, you can try to reshoot it at different time of the day or bring some light sources with you.

photo by sergey pesterev
Photo by Sergey Pesterev

Have A Bold Main Subject

While it's true that any subject can be made more interesting by a proper choice of composition and lighting, you should still try to find compelling subjects for your portraits, landscapes and other genres of photography.

Don't settle for mediocrity – photograph people that you find most puzzling, explore the weirdest streets in your city, find the most beautiful flowers or insects if you're into macro photography. You'll notice that really interesting subjects will make you more engaged – it's hard to put efforts into shooting something that doesn't make you tick.

In fact, in Adam Williams course on how to win photo competitions, he specifically singles out having a single main point of interest as one of the keys to doing well.

photo by rayson tan
Photo by Rayson Tan

Engage In Storytelling

Have you ever tried to tell a story with a series of photographs? Storytelling might sound like an annoying task you don't want to think about, but in fact it can make your photo shoots much more powerful both aesthetically and intellectually.

No matter who or what is your subject, take some time to ponder over it. Ask your self the following questions:

  • What can I do to capture different facets of my subject?
  • Will changing a perspective or lighting reveal something new about my subject?
  • Should I introduce a couple of props that will help viewers understand better who my subject is?
  • What emotions do I want to convey?
  • Have I established a meaningful relationship between the main subject and the background?

Answering these questions will help you organize your shoot and avoid repetitiveness in your images.

photo by mike erskine
Photo by Mike Erskine

Introduce Some Mystery

If you stick to pedestrian way of thinking, your shots might get a little bit boring. You need to amuse the viewer (and yourself too!) by showing something unexpected.

For instance, you can show just a part of your subject and engage your viewer’s imagination. You can also go abstract, frame your scene in an unusual way (for example place the subject close to the edge of frame) or crop your photograph so that it shows only what's really interesting. Experimenting with low key and high key photography can also yield mysterious results.

You can introduce mystery in post-processing too, by playing with colors and white balance or converting your images to b&w.

phot by mario mesaglio
Photo by Mario Mesaglio

Change The Perspective

Nowadays, there are many ways to change the perspective in photography and create images that offer a different point of view. Thanks to GoPros, drones and flexible tripods, it's possible to create truly stunning images you wouldn't have been able to capture 10 or 20 years ago.

In this sense, it can be very refreshing to embrace technological advances and experiment with various gadgets – they can make your creativity flourish!

Even if don't own a drone, you can start by experimenting with your phone camera – it will also help you change the perspective and face different benefits and challenges.

photo f e d b
Photo by Andreas Gucklhorn

To learn more about capturing powerful images, check out the links below!

Further Reading:

  1. How To Combine Composition Rules In Photography For More Powerful Images
  2. How To Use Shutter Speed For More Powerful Images
  3. 5 Typical Composition Mistakes That Crush The Effectiveness of Your Images
  4. Communicating Through Images – Seeing Photography As A Language
  5. Three Ways To Use Negative Space To Make Captivating Images
  6. Better Black And White Images In 3 Easy Steps

About Author

Jasenka is a photographer with a background in web design. You can find out more about her on her website, see some of her newest images at 500px or get to know her better here.

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