I am not a professional photographer, but I have sold too many photos to participate in many amateur photo contests, so that puts me sort of in the middle, not really knowing what I’m doing, professionally, but enjoying photography enough to keep on snapping pictures. Every now and then someone will ask how to take photos, so I’ll share a few tips about what I do know. (The small butterfly icon in the lower righthand corners of all my photos are my digital signatures. None of these photos are copyright-free. Please do not copy them.)
1. Lighting is all important. Avoid taking scenery pictures in the middle of the day, unless, of course, you wish to use the sun as your focal point, or for accent. Example:
The two photos above used backlighting from the sun to make a statement. The photo below was taken in low light.
2. Blurred is not always bad. Sometimes it makes a statement, as in this photo. The slightly blurred effect softens the scene.
3. Angles, angles, angles: That makes all the difference in the world. Experiment from all angles. Shooting a group? Take the photo from above their level. Shooting one or two? Get down on their level.
It’s also better to take photos of several people in successive order than to line them up in a row, as in this photo of three ladies at the quilt. (That’s my mother nearest the camera and she made that quilt for me, which I cherish very, very much.)
3. There really aren’t many settings that need a flash. To capture ambient light, use a slow shutter and allow the low light to convey the atmosphere. That will often require a tripod, but for someone (like me) who doen’t bother, just lay the camera down on the ground or on top of a car, or wherever there’s a stationery object. (I set the timer to about 10 seconds to give myself time to click the shutter button and set the camera down.)