1. Get Closer
Each time you spot a subject, snap a shot and then move in closer for a better shot. Having your subject almost fill the frame helps your viewer understand and appreciate your photo. Also, details are often more interesting than an overall view. Keep moving in closer until you are sure the photo will successfully represent your subject.
2. Be Quick
If it is at all possible that your subject may move, bolt, fly away, stop smiling, or just get tired of waiting for you to take the picture, shoot once right away. Practice getting quicker and quicker to the draw. Do not worry about taking too many pictures and do not wait until you’re absolutely certain all the knobs and buttons are in their correct position. As the motto of one of BetterPhoto old t-shirts states, “Shoot First, Ask Questions Later.”
3. Compose with care
make every effort to keep it balanced and beautiful. On one level or another, everyone responds better to a picture that has all elements in balance. Strive to lead the eye along an interesting path through the photo, with the use of strong lines or patterns.
- Keep the horizon level
- Crop out extra elements that you are not interested in
- Consciously place your subject where you think it most belongs rather than just accepting it wherever it happens to land in the photo;
- Play with perspective so that all lines show a pattern or lead the eye to your main subject
- Work with the Rule Of Thirds.
4. Focus on your subject
Practice shooting with different apertures and monitor the results afterwards to learn how depth-of-field affects your photo. You will find that a smaller depth-of-field (and smaller f-stop #) focuses all the attention upon your subject. This is great for taking a picture of your child, your dog, or your husband – subjects stand out against a blurry background. Likewise, you will find that a greater depth-of-field (bigger f-stop number) will make everything from here to eternity appear in focus. This will help make those landscapes fascinating and lovely.
5. Play with time
One image happens so slowly that we could never see it and the other happens so quickly in real time that we would never notice it. Play with shutter speed! Use a slow shutter speed and a tripod to make a pretty picture of any creek or stream. On the other hand, you can use a fast shutter speed (1/500 and up) to capture an object in motion. Combining a fast shutter speed with a long lens, you sports buffs can get a trophy of your own when you are able to catch the expression on your favorite runningback’s face as he slips past the final defense toward a winning touchdown. Remember, catching the moment in fast-paced action photography may take a little more practice so hang in there.