5 Tips for Beginners To Take Better Photos - Carla Coulson
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5 Tips for Beginners To Take Better Photos

Laurito Copyright Carla Coulson

I love helping people, especially beginners to take better pics.

Once you understand light, movement, F-stops, depth of field and shutter speed, photography becomes second nature.

I too had a lot of trouble absorbing the basics in the beginning but once you have mastered these vital components photography no longer becomes a thought process but one of feelings and emotions.

It’s magical.

Here are 5 tips if you are a new photographer that will help you take better photos.

1. What is your light source. Ask yourself every time you are about to take a photo ‘where is the light coming from’? You might be outside and it might be a cloudy day but still take the trouble to find where the sun is. If you are inside ask yourself ‘where is the light coming from’? Is it a window, overhead light etc.

2. Ask yourself what type of light you are using. Sunlight, open shade, window light, mixed light, artificial light? Know what your light quality is and what effect it will have on your subject is important. Each light source will have different properties of colour temperatures and this is really important for you to know when shooting.

3. Interference in your composition. When composing your shot take a photo and have a good look at the screen to see if there are any lines, poles that are interfering with your composition. Can you improve it by moving something in the shot? There is nothing worse that taking pics for 10 mins to find there is a pole coming out of your subjects head!

4. Move your subject. If you are working in light that you don’t like or it isn’t flattering,  move your subject to a better light source. I find open shade on a sunny day is always flattering. Mixed light can be difficult to manage unless you have lots of experience. The trick is to always find the best available light.

5. Depth of field. The amount of depth of field in a photo is really important depending on what you want to achieve. I find when shooting movement as in the above photo, it is great to have lots of depth of field i.e F16 as  my subject was moving (and I was treading water taking the photo) and if I had had a low f stop ie F2.8 it is probable that she would have jumped out of my field of range.When shooting portraits with more than one person standing in different positions be careful that you have at least F5.6 otherwise you risk someone being out of focus. If you want lots of blur when shooting just one person,  consider shooting at F2.8. Always focus on the eyes..

These are just 5 simple tips that hopefully will help you improve your photos.

My Favourite Gear

Canon EOS 5D Mark III 

Canon EF 24-70mm 

Canon EF 35mm 

Happy Snapping.

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12 Comments
  • Thanks so much for the tips Carla, so appreciated.
    xxxx

    May 14, 2012 at 9:35 am
  • Thank you, Carla ~ if even a smidge of your wonderful tips rub off on me, I’ll be all the better for it. Have a beautiful week.

    May 14, 2012 at 10:11 am
  • Jan

    Thank you for those tips. Even if I only remember one of them at the time of shooting, I’ll have a better picture.

    May 14, 2012 at 11:12 am
  • I always love to hear your advice and tips Carla, as you know I am now on this wonderful learning curve!

    I have added a link to you on my side bar, had great difficulty choosing an image, so many pictures that I adore!
    XXX

    May 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm
  • Great advice Carla. I have no professional aspirations, but it is always fun to get that ‘great shot’. Best, Lisa

    May 14, 2012 at 3:53 pm
  • Grand tips,Carla! xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

    May 14, 2012 at 5:33 pm
  • Thank you Carla very much for sharing so generously. Learning from you is a pleasure.

    May 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm
  • Always love the tips Carla. It’s so easy to forget the eye (ugh hate when I do this) when I’m shooting fashion.

    xo Mary Jo

    May 14, 2012 at 7:48 pm
  • It DOES help. I appreciate your generosity so much, Carla! Depth of Field. Arrgh!

    PS. I love that Dash added you and your beautiful work in her sidebar. The woman has phenomenal taste.

    May 14, 2012 at 9:54 pm
  • Just love the way you’re so generous with your talent and experience Carla.
    Grazie.
    Janine xx

    May 15, 2012 at 2:36 am
  • Nat

    Thank you for the tips…..always helpful!

    May 15, 2012 at 5:00 am
  • Thank you very much for these helpful information. I’m going to use all of these tips. :)

    May 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm