Photography Tips, Tricks, and In-Betweens for the Amateur Picture-Taker

Introduction: Photography Tips, Tricks, and In-Betweens for the Amateur Picture-Taker

Photography is awesome. Wait, wait...good photography is awesome. Whether you're a professional, just starting out, or somewhere in-between, you can benefit something from these basic guidelines. Once you feel you have a complete grasp on them, you can feel free to break them however you want. Or you could ignore them altogether. 

I'll let you in on a secret: photography is an art, so these rules are meant to be broken. 

Step 1: The Rule of Thirds

One of the most important rules in photography is the rule of thirds. The concept is that your photo is broken up in to 3 equal parts horizontally and 3 equal parts vertically. Think of it as a 9-section grid placed on top of your photo. The human eye is naturally drawn to the intersections where the invisible lines that break up the thirds meet. Often times photographs will have the foreground and background in different thirds, and something in between in the middle (the middleground...?). 

Step 2: Angles

Another big thing to consider when capturing the moment is the angle at which you take it from. Consider left, right, behind, in front of, below, -257.074 degrees^2, etc. Try taking multiple pictures of the same thing from different angles. You have to experiment a little bit with it to decide which angle is best for the situation. 

Step 3: Distances

Distances are also important. You can take the exact same shot from hundreds of different distances and they would all be different. A flower would look completely different if it was from a foot away rather than half a centimeter. 

Step 4: Focus!

My favorite aspect of photography! When taking pictures, consider what you are focused on. Oftentimes whatever you are not focused on gets blurry and produces an effect called bokeh, which is when you see those little circles. I like to look for bokeh, and even take pictures solely of bokeh. The picture with the candle in focus shows some bokeh in the background, but I personally prefer the one that is solely bokeh. The easiest way to do this is to set your focus to manual (on an SLR) and experiment with lights. What happens to the bokeh as you change the focus?

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