7 Simple Tips That Will Have A Huge Impact On Your Photography

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Are you looking for simple photography tips?

Well, if you’re a beginning photographer you will encounter endless streams of advice and rules that purport to make you better — maybe even overnight. Some of this information will be foisted upon you by more seasoned photographers who feel a sense of duty to pass on their knowledge (some of them mean well). But most new photographers have a habit of making things harder on themselves by trying to absorb hour after hour of YouTube videos and countless photography forum pages.

There’s no doubt that most of these sources offer useful advice, but depending on how you consume it all, it can be too much. There’s no reason to over-complicate things. So with simplicity in mind, here are seven simple tips that will have a huge impact on your photography.

Learn The Rule Of Thirds

This most basic of all the compositional guidelines will likely be the one you rely on most and will give you visually pleasing results in nearly any situation.

While photographers have long championed breaking the rules of composition, it’s important to keep in mind that you have to know the rules before you can break them with any artistic flair.

The rule of thirds, though it might be perceived as basic and boring, is your foundation. Use it to make strong images on a consistent basis and then experiment with other composition guidelines. 

gray stone formation on beach
Photo by Peter John Maridable

Understand Exposure

If you want to successfully move away from fully automatic shooting, you’ll need to learn about the relationship between aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

Exposure is really about controlling light. You may hear the term “correct exposure,” which suggests a “perfect” balance of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, but this won’t necessarily apply to every photo.

You might envision a high-key image or an image that emphasizes shadows — images that don’t fall into the standard meaning of correct exposure. 

It is essential to understand light and learn how to manipulate your camera’s exposure settings as a means of getting the results you desire.

Photo by Amirhossein Hasani

Create A Sense Of Depth

It has long been trendy to photograph everything with a wide aperture to show off the bokeh a lens is capable of creating. Yes, there are certain situations in which this approach works perfectly.

But never underestimate what creating a sense of depth can do for a photograph. This is especially true for landscape photography, where you want to have both the foreground and the background in focus to portray as much detail as possible and immerse the viewer in the scene.

Including the background detail is also a method employed by environmental/documentary portrait photographers, as showing the setting helps tell a more in-depth story about a person.

green hills with forest under cloudy sky during daytime
Photo by Claudio Testa

Use Simple Backgrounds

Avoid busy backgrounds. The more there is going on behind your subject, the more it will distract visually from your subject. 

Since you want your subject to stand out, be sure to choose a background that doesn’t boast overpowering colors or patterns.

And when you find yourself in a place where the background might be a little busier than you’d like, it’s a great time to shoot at a wide aperture and blur out the background.

white brick wall simple photography tips
Photo by Joe Woods

Don’t Fear High ISO

There’s too much fear surrounding noise. Sure, you should always try to create the cleanest shot possible, but realistically that won’t always be able to shoot at ISO 100.

Don’t worry about it. Shoot at whatever ISO level allows you to get the shot. It’s better to have a photo with some noise in it rather than no photo at all. Besides, today’s digital cameras handle high ISO quite well.

And you can always clean a shot up in post.

DSLR camera at 200 display simple photography tips
Photo by ShareGrid

Invest More In Learning Than In Gear

Sure, it’s nice to have a nice camera but that’s all it is if you don’t know how to use it creatively. A camera, no matter how nice, won’t make beautiful photos for you.

The simplest and most effective thing you can do to improve your photography is to invest in yourself — put forth the time and effort to expand your skills and you will be able to make a good photo with any camera you pick up.

man in black shirt holding black nikon dslr camera
Photo by Lisanto 李奕良

Final Thoughts

I say it often: have fun and try out these simple photography tips!

Further Reading:

About Author

Jason Little is a photographer, author and stock shooter. You can see Jason’s photography on his Website or his Instagram feed.

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