- Change angles. If you are taking a photo of a flower, get down low and shoot it from the ground. If you are taking photos of children, get down to their level instead of shooting from a grown-up height. Also move camera around, instead of taking every shot straight on, and see what kind of shots you get.
- Avoid sunlight. Take your photos in shade when possible, cutting down on dark shadows on your subject's face or in the landscape. Overcast days are a photographer's best friend.
- Remember the Rule of Thirds. Imagine a Tic Tac Toe grid on your camera's screen. The spots where those lines intersect offer up the very best locations to place your main subjects in a photo. Instead of shooting your subject front and center all the time, move the photo's main focus a little up, down or left or right. The photo you take will be a lot more interesting.
- Clear the Clutter. Take a long look in your viewfinder before you take your shot to see what's really going to appear in the background of the photo. Sure, you can erase all that unwanted detail with a photo editing program, but that takes some time and skill. Better to move something out of the way of your shot BEFORE you take it.
- Predicting the Future. With some digital cameras, including your camera phone, there is a lag of a second or so from the time you press the shutter to when the photo is taken. As our friend once noted, you have to learn to predict the future with these cameras and hit the shutter before you are ready for the shot. Tricky, but it does help.
- Take a LOT of photos. And I mean a lot. If you take hundreds and come up with only a handful of great ones, that's a good result. And since you will most likely be working in digital, those hundreds of photos don't cost you a thing.
- Backup: Always, always have a backup battery -- or two-- with you when you are out shooting. And having extra memory cards is also a good idea. If you only bring one card capable of shooting till the cows come home and it fails, you have lost all of your photos. Consider instead carrying several smaller capacity cards with you and switching them out during your shoot or trip so that you are sure to have saved some shots even if one of your cards fails.
- Read and Learn. Always read the instruction booklet, I know it's boring, but it can turn you onto some neat tricks and functions that your camera is capable of that you may never know about unless you read that little book.
- Get Closer. Before taking a shot, move in closer to your subject. This always creates a better photo.
- Be Ready. Always carry a camera/phone with you so that you never miss a great shot again. They make cameras small enough now that carrying them in a purse or pocket is no biggee, and even if the quality is not as high as you like, at least you will have the shot.
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