08:40Emilija A

First of all, I want to start this post by saying that I actually do not think I am someone who should be giving photography tips as I am not a great photographer. (Well, isn't that a great way to start this post?) In fact, I don't even classify myself as an amateur photographer because there is so much I need to learn before I can even call myself that. I'm just someone who enjoys taking pictures (A LOT) and wants to get better. There are some things that I've learned from reading about photography online and observing experts in this craft, so, in this post (as requested by Kelsi) I'll share some of those things that can help to make your pictures better. Also, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong or leave any tips you have in the comments below. 

First of all, if you would like to find out more of the technical stuff about what camera I use and what software to edit them, you can read my F.A.Q. page here.

Also, I want to mention that even though photography does have, you know, guidelines that a photographer should follow to make pictures more appealing to the eye, just remember that you don't actually have to follow them. You'd be surprised with the things you can come up with and the shots you take when you start thinking outside the box. I even have examples myself of the shots I've taken when putting the camera on a setting that it's not supposed to be on. Ok so, moving on to the tips. 


I personally did this naturally before I even learned that this was a thing. This can also be classified as picture composition, I guess, and it applies to every type of photography there is. Instead of me explaining what this is, I'm going to direct you an amazing article that you can read here, it explains it very well and very quickly. But basically, the rule of thirds just talks about the way that you should place your points of interest (POI). You know the 4 lines you sometimes see on your digital camera screens that divide it into 9 rectangles? Yep, that's to help you compose a nice a picture. Placing the POIs along the lines, or in certain grids, make the pictures more balanced and appealing to the eye. Below is a picture I've taken that showcases the rule of thirds in action. 


I will, yet again, link you to an amazing article here. An expert explains all about aperture in detail if you are interested in knowing more about this. But the gist of it is, aperture let's you either have the POI in focus and the background blurry, or everything in focus with a high depth of field. Lucky for you, when I sat down to write this post I took some pictures to show this in action (because I didn't have any pictures that would show this before). Learning how to use this setting is incredibly useful, especially when you're taking pictures of details.

To get the blurry background, it means you have to have small aperture. (In the picture below, my camera was set on f/4, just in case anybody is wondering.) The background is not super blurry, but it definitely brings out the POI because it's the only thing in focus.

To get a high depth of field, you need larger aperture. This will make everything in your image sharp and in focus (I don't remember which setting was on when I took the picture below, but most likely f/8 or f/10).

3. ISO

ISO is something I still have A LOT of learning to do on, to understand fully. The gist of it is, ISO deals with light, how much of it enters the lens. I'm going to link you this article here, where once again, an expert explains it way better than I ever could. I have example pictures that I've taken whilst I was still experimenting with the camera, so they're very bad, but it still shows the settings in action. The one below is with a low ISO.

And the one below here, is with a high ISO setting. As you can probably already tell, mastering ISO is veeeery important (and clearly I still haven't gotten the hang of it.) Also, the lower the ISO, the less grain will be in the pictures, it's recommended to have your camera on ISO 100-200 but you know, I personally have taken shots in the past where I wanted grain, so there's that.


In simple terms, shutter speed deals with either capturing motion blurring or freezing subjects in action. A fast shutter speed freezes the subject in action and a slow shutter speed with capture motion blurring. Picture below shows freezing the subject in action (the puppy), although this is actually a very bad picture to showcase this example but it's literally the only one I have.

Picture below shows motion blurring in the background.


Well, this is an actual tip. I picked this up after watching a vlogger on Youtube one time and then decided to try it out myself. Let me tell you, this makes a whole world of difference, especially if you're taking pictures of people. Below is a picture I took of my mum and uncle whilst standing up normally (BTW these particular pictures below were taken with my sisters Nikon Cooplix). 

And the picture you see below is with me doing some hardcore squating. It makes the pictures look more natural this way, I guess, and it looks better overall.


My last tip is after you know all of the basic stuff, just go and take pictures. Take pictures of anything and everything. EXPERIMENT! I cannot stress this enough. Look at what others do, try it yourself, try whatever you feel like at the moment, question the 'rules' do whatever you want. That's the only way to get better. I know that the majority of stuff I talked about here is technical and DSLR based, but I myself took pictures my entire life - up until a few months ago - with either my phone or very shitty and cheap digital cameras. It doesn't matter what you take your pictures with, as long as you take them, you will improve with every picture you take. Of course, things like lighting and composition, among other things, are important but you will learn all about them too as time goes on. I know I did. 


P.S. Remember when I said that I've taken pictures with the 'wrong' setting? Below are some shots I've gotten due to that, and these are only two out of hundreds. 

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