Struggling To Get That Perfect Shot? Here's What You Need To Know

Life can be tough for an amateur photographer. It all starts with a simple thought: the desire to take better pictures. Your smartphone does a good job taking the odd holiday snap. But you want something a little better; something that’s really going to show off your skill as a photographer. 

So you go out and drop a few hundred dollars on a DSLR, hoping that it will catapult you to the next level. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. In fact, the results are utterly underwhelming, and you end up feeling rather disappointed. So what can you do to improve? Check out this advice.

Use The Rule Of Thirds

If you’re into photography, you’ve no doubt noticed that your camera has a grid option. Heck, even smartphones have it these days. This is where your camera display divides up the image on the screen into a Sudoku-like grid. And it’s designed to help photographers make the best use of the rule of thirds. 

The idea behind it is to help amateurs create images that are better composed. For instance, one common mistake is to place the horizon dead center in the middle of the shot. But this isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing consideration. 

Making the horizon run along the bottom gridline can make a picture a lot more attractive. The vertical grid lines can also be used to place the subject in the image. Line up the subject so that it falls on either the left or right line, especially in landscape photography.

rule of thirds
*Photo source: - By © Bill Bertram (Pixel8) 2009 - Pixel8, CC BY-SA 3.0

Learn The Different Modes On Your Camera

Popular DSLRs, like the Canon EOS 6D, have a broad range of different modes. These include standard modes, like manual, automatic and programmed. But they also have more advanced modes, like aperture and time value. 

Aperture value mode gives you control over the amount of space light has to pass into the camera. When aperture mode is on, the camera itself will calculate shutter speed and exposure, depending on the situation.

camera modes
*Photo source - By No machine-readable author provided. Leonrw assumed (based on copyright claims). - No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY 3.0 

Time value mode gives the user control over the speed of the camera shutter. Time value mode is great when you want to capture motion images or a single moment in that period of motion. As before, the camera will adjust the other settings to fit the situation.

Play With Elevation

Common sense would seem to dictate that the best place to take a photograph would be eye-level. But eye-level shots tend to be dull and boring. The reason they are dull and boring is that we’re used to looking at the world from eye level all the time. What we want is something new and exciting to spice up a photograph and make it something special.

photography elevation

If you’re not happy with the way that your photos are coming out, consider playing with the angle at which you take pictures. Don’t just stick to boring, head-on shots, especially of children and animals. Instead, get down low or up close and find new ways to make your images exciting. Don’t forget to use the rule of thirds when you’re playing around with angle shots.

*This post is contributed by Ellie Jo for Blissful Snapshots.

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