How to take better photos with any camera

Whether you have a point-and-shoot camera or a cell phone, everyone is taking photos. From selfies to vacations, they all end up on facebook or get sent to friends and family. Here are some simple ways to improve your snapshots.

Simplify the scene

Tilt the camera or move the thing you are taking a photo of (subject) to lose anything distracting in the background. Focus on one thing rather than everything in the area. Remember, this is not a game of Where's Wally!

Leading lines

Add depth

Now look at the background and see how much you can add to the scene, but still keep the focus on the main subject. Angle the camera to add in some of the background or surroundings of the subject. This helps to tell a story, rather than just showing a random object.

Rule of thirds

When starting out, we all for some reason assume that the perfect place for a subject is the middle. Though this is not really wrong, a creative option is to place it slightly to the side of the middle. Some of the newer cameras can call up a grip to help you position the scene in the photo. The subject must be in one third of the photo with the rest being the background or foreground. The horizontal lines are used to place the horizon in a third.

Left to right

We, as a western society read text from left to right. This also applies subconsciously to photos. That's why images sometimes just don't feel right for some reason. Try flipping the photo with some editing software, or reposition the scene. This brings me to my next point.

Leading lines

A pathway, railing or river can be a great way to draw the eye into the scene. Remember the rule of having the eye travel from left to right and the scene suddenly has depth and dimension.

Repetition

A row of lampposts along a bridge's side keeps the image interesting. A single object looks ok, but add 2 more and you start to build a scene. A basic rule for art is to start by taking photos of objects in 3's and see the effect it gives compared to having only one in the photo.

And lastly...

Practice

At first this will all be new to you, so don't be afraid to shoot from different angles and compare them later. You will soon see the difference slight changes can make.

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