Photography is everywhere. Every day, thousands of photos are posted on social media, shared through emails and text messages, displayed in museums and galleries, and are sitting in living rooms and bedrooms of households that are filled with memories. Since photography is a major part of our lives, it's only right that we take awesome photos to cherish forever.
Here are five quick tips for taking better photos with any device you own that has a camera:
1) Take Your Time
I can't stress this enough, but you have to slow down! I know you're so anxious to show the world your masterpiece on social media, but a great photo (most of the time) requires focus and concentration. If you're taking pictures of inanimate objects (e.g. buildings, trees, flowers, mountains, parked cars), take all the time you need to get the right shot.
If I'm traveling, I like to spend at least ten minutes on one attraction, shooting different angles, before moving on to the next one. Ten minutes may be a bit too long if you're on a commute, but you should aim to get at least five good shots of the same subject.
2) Focus on Lighting
By far the most important aspect of photography is lighting. Lighting is the difference between a really great photo and a photo that you'll want to delete as soon as possible. Our greatest light source is the sun, and many people think shooting when the sun is out is a good idea. It can be, if you have the right equipment, but shooting when the sun is at its highest point provides really bad light for photos.
The best time to take photos is when the sun is setting or rising (for awesome shadows and silhouettes) and on an overcast day. When shooting, the first thing you should always think about is whether the lighting is good enough for the shot that you want.
3) Think Differently
I'm not referring to Apple on this one, but what I am referring to is your natural ability to be creative. People in photography usually say that you must learn the rules before you break them, but "following the rules" isn't the best way to take awesome and unique shots. When I say "think differently,' I mean to look at the world around you in a different way than you and others usually do. Explore with angles, colors, lighting, etc. Just because something is constructed one way, doesn't mean it has to be portrayed in your photo that way.
For example, instead of taking a regular shot of a rose, get really close to the rose, and take micro shots to capture the texture of the flower. It provides a different perspective that many don't see.
4) Keep It Straight
No one is perfect when it comes to angles and measuring. I'm one of those people who can't draw a perfectly straight line or circle, but one thing I try to perfect is the straightness of my photos. People have a tendency to take lopsided photos, which makes photographers cringe. Unless you are intentionally going for that artistic effect, try to keep your photos as straight as possible. In other words, if you're taking a picture of a parked ice cream truck, there's no reason it should look like it's on a hill (unless it really is). Take your time and keep it straight.
5) Know Your Controls
You wouldn't drive a car without knowing how to operate it, would you? Driving and taking photos are two completely different tasks, but you get the point. The best photographers know the controls of their cameras in and out. Learn how to set the aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and more. If you just bought a new camera, spend an hour reading the manual. Trust me, your photos will be awesome, and you'll be able to brag to your friends.
If you follow these five tips, your photos may be good enough to make this list one day.