We have all had it happen, we took millions of photographs of our holidays and suddenly when we try and show them to people. No one is interested because while they are very interesting to you, they aren’t that great a photograph. One of my more memorable ones that I took was what we jokingly called the “Spot the dolphins” photo, which if you squint hard you could maybe see the dolphins as grey waves. I was super proud of the photo since to me it was the first time I had ever seen a dolphin, to everyone else it was a terrible photo of a more or less flat blue sea. The photo below is a million times more interesting than what I took.
How do you take better photos?
Well, first of all, realise that most of your photos won’t be great. Professional photographers can sometimes take over 100 photos of the same thing before they get a great photograph. This means when showing people your photos you need to pick fewer photos you want to show people already just so that people will be more interested. I would rather look at 10 well-chosen photographs than 150 not chosen ones because I will miss all the good photos you have in the mass.
Handy tips to remember when taking photos
Keep your horizons straight
Well maybe not obvious at first look of a photograph, if the horizon is crooked, the image will bug most people’s eye. So make sure that the mountains that you are taking a photograph of, aren’t diagonal. If you want to show how flat that part of the Free State is, make sure your horizon is then straight. It will convey your message so much the better.
Try not to use the flash
Flash can be wonderful if you know what you are doing but can make people’s eyes glow red in photos or make the colours look weird and distorted. What works is if you find a different source of light or you can up the ISO settings on your camera (some smartphones let you do that too).
Wandering how to find alternative sources of light?
If you are taking photos indoors than try and use light from a window to illuminate your subject. What also looks really pretty is having people hold fairy lights to illuminate them, so the fairy lights give a soft glow to them and you don’t need a flash.
City photographs that are more interesting
A lot of people take photos in their line of sight, which is great since you see the street view but this means most of your friends have similar photographs of their trip to London or Bali. Stand out from them and capture the enormity of these places and take photographs that look up. It will make your photographs so much more interesting than your friend who took everything at eye level. Playing around with reflections also make for far more interesting photographs.
Use golden hour
Golden hour is that soft beautiful light that comes through at Dawn or at Dusk. One of the best parts of it knows what time to use it take photographs of people. Dawn is the best time to take the soft portraits of women. It gives a wonderful softness to the features. Dusk, on the other hand, gives those strong shadows that can make photographs of men look amazing. So, if you are out with a bunch of friends and want to take photos of them in their favourite places on your trip, this is a great way to get the best portraits. You do get apps that will let you know when is the best light to shoot photos a day or two in advance.
Know how to use your camera
Cameras can be daunting, even more so when you are looking at the DSLR cameras with all their settings and features. While investing into one, in the long run, is great, I highly recommend taking a class to learn how to use that camera properly. The cameras that I recommend more and more to people that want a camera they can carry around, use easily, take amazing photographs with are the new mirrorless cameras. They really shoot beautiful photographs, they are light and easy to carry ad while they have masses of features, the feel far more user-friendly. If you can’t find a course that you like or can afford. Youtube has amazing videos made by professional photographers that you can watch and learn skills from.
Have fun, the worst that you could do when trying to take a photograph attempting something new is take a bad photograph and thanks to digital cameras, you can just delete that photograph.
Oh! and don’t try to save a bad photograph in editing, sometimes making a standard photograph black and white can make it so much more interesting, particularly if it has a lot of texture or plays of light but it really isn’t worth making a bad photograph look good by over editing, in all likelihood it will just be a highly edited bad photograph.
We really recommend the Canon EOS M6 camera. It comes standard with a really versatile lens, but you can get more lenses for it as you get better with photography.