Hints for Amazing Pictures

Do you want to take a picture that you are proud? Do you want to take a picture that others cannot stop raving about? Thought so. I’ve got some really good hints and ideas to guide you through the process of taking amazing pictures that are simple and fun.

Take You Camera With You
The best way to take amazing pictures is to never leave your camera at home. You cannot miss a good shot if you have your camera with you. There is always photographic moments for you to capture so why not assure that you are capturing them? You camera is only one tool to amazing pictures but it is a very essential tool. No camera, no pictures.

Photo by Ivandrei Pretorius on Pexels.com

Choose a Background
There are innumerable backgrounds out there that can either enhance you photograph or be a distraction. So how do you know which it is that you have? Keep you eyes open for things that will catch the eye and draw attention away from your subject. You are essentially framing the subject you are shooting and don’t want something like a trash can or a pooping dog to take the focus. So be aware of what is in the background. Make sure that you have things that will enhance your subject such as a lake or a stone wall.

trees in park
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A Different Angle
Try moving yourself into different positions so you can get a different view. This can create a different feel to the picture. Being creative in this aspect can be lots of fun and can help you see things in a way that you may not have seen before. You can change the way you hold your camera to give it a different angle as well. Instead of taking the photograph horizontally take it vertically or slightly tilt the camera to give it a different effect.
You can even have your subject change their position. Have them move down to the ground and you can take the picture from above or you can even move yourself down to the ground and look up at them or perhaps take the picture with both of you on the ground. The angles are endless!

Photo by Criativithy on Pexels.com

Can I Get a Close up?
Get in close. Don’t be afraid to magnify your subject. Find a trait that you love and amplify it. Make it your focus. When taking pictures of flowers, you might see a honey bee on the petals. Make that bee the focus of the shot and the flower petal the background. Or you can get in close on faces making them stronger and more pronounced bringing out the personality of your subject.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

There is a low hanging tree branch that almost touches the ground. Beyond the branch is cat with his eyes on a bird. By using the low hanging branch you can put a frame around the cat and his target guiding your viewers eye to exactly what you want. You get to direct the eye of the viewer to what you desire them to see. It can be a way to emphasize a subject and you can be very creative with it. This option gives you infinite opportunities to play around and experiment with different ideas to make your subject the focal point.

Photo by Nelia Chopiuk on Pexels.com

Take Your Time
Don’t be in a hurry. When you have time, take it. Relax and enjoy your work. You are creating magic! Take the time to use the skills you’ve learned and explore. When you have time, take time you end up capturing pictures that you might have missed. When you have time, sit and watch children play you can freeze a pure moment of delight or of pain or frustration. In a world where everything is fast and now you can slow it down and get that most amazing picture you were searching for.

Take Control
When taking portraits of a group or individual don’t be afraid to take charge. Give them suggestions so that their portrait is as amazing as the photographer taking it. When using your creative mind, make sure to tell your subjects that you know what you are doing. This is a great way to make a connections and ensure that you will get through the chaos that can occur when working with people.

Photo by Silvio Barbosa on Pexels.com

People have their own ideas of what they want and what they think is going to look good and social media is very helpful with this too so be very kind and use caution when taking control. Take their ideas and desires into account but you don’t have to heed all of them. These pictures are about what you bring to the table and you have lots of amazing skills to use so help them to see that as you create their dream portrait.

Eye Contact
Making eye contact is more personal which makes your subject feel more comfortable. Thus making your photographs pleasant and relaxed. It also makes the experience comfortable which means you’ll be able to see more ideal shots. You might even want to take pictures of those eyes you are looking into. They can tell amazing stories when looking through them.

Photo by Designecologist on Pexels.com

Make a Connection
When you have time, make eye contact you can make really good connections with your subject(s). This will give you more chances of capturing the personality of your subject(s) which can really give you an edge in your pictures. Having a connection will also make you feel as if you are part of more which gives you an advantage to see more and be more creative.

Photo by Italo Melo on Pexels.com

You can make connections with your surroundings as well. Go to a place that makes your feel something. It doesn’t matter the feeling. With that feeling in mind you have a connection and can then take amazing pictures because you have a specific idea in mind while taking those pictures.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Choose Your Lighting
There at times to when your lighting just doesn’t quite match up right. What do you do? That’s simple. Change your lighting. Move to the shade. Use a tree that has sunlight streaming through the leaves to create a playful effect or highlight a specific part of your subject. It can even take away a nagging glare from the sun that is unflattering to your subject. You can even choose your time which will let you decide how much sunlight you have to work with.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

If you have a studio, then you have a studio you have all control over lighting. You get to play around with how dark or how light it is and where the light comes from. You don’t have as much control with real sunlight but you can still utilize it just the same and move your subject or yourself around to get the best effect. Enjoy the light and what it can do for you.

Rule of Thirds
There is something that photographers like to call the Rules of Third. Which means what? When taking pictures if you divide the frame into thirds both horizontally and vertically. Then put your subject in the cross section. This gives aid with balance and composition which will give a pleasing picture and a good starting point.

Think of what is most important and then position them within those lines in the grid. Some cameras have this feature and make this easier but it is not hard to imagine especially since you are so creative.
By placing your subject off center and in one of these thirds you can give it a different dynamic. Sometime placing your subject directly center can divide the picture in two which is not the effect you are seeking, most of the time. So simply place your subject in one of thirds and play around with balance, composition, and feel.

Get Advice
What would you do to become the photographer that everyone wants and talks about? Talk to other people of course. There are two sets of people that you can get advice from; other photographers and regular people. Both will be able to give you advice and their opinion.

There is nothing wrong in asking someone their opinion. That’s all it is, an opinion. It can be very helpful to have someone else look at your work and tell you what they see. Sometimes we are too close to the project and need a fresh pair of eyes. It also helps to get advice from fellow photographers because they are in the same boat you are. They might have had an experience that can help you grow or know something you never thought of. This can help you create and design better making you unstoppable

Don’t be afraid! Get out there and explore! Let your creative juices flow and change it up. Experiment with lighting, angles, eye contact, rule of thirds, time, framing, and getting in closer. The only way to find what you like and what is going to really ignite your passion is to experiment. Try new things. Find out what works for you and what really does not. Use your creativity and explore your inner photographer. When you have time, find what you love and how you love to photograph you will have the most amazing pictures you’ve ever taken and you’ll never turn back.

Use Your Skills
Now that you have this new knowledge and techniques you are all set to get out there and create. Amazing pictures are just a shot away! All you have to do capture them! Have fun and good luck.

Understanding Exposure

In order to create and capture the picture that you have in mind when you look at something you need to understand exposure and what it can do for you to enhance and give the exact effect you are searching for with your picture. Having a good grasp on what you want your picture to look like is an important part in taking the picture that you are aiming for and being able to manipulate it in an authentic and artistic way.

Exposure Triad

There are three things to consider when taking a picture.1. Aperture is what controls the amount of light reaching the sensor in your camera lens. 2. Shutter Speed is what control the length of time the sensor is exposed to light. 3. ISO is what controls the sensitivity of your camera’s sensor to a given amount of light. These three things are very important because they are what control the way your picture will turn out. Understanding these three things will help you be able to have the perfect exposure in order to give the desired effect.


This is what controls the area over which light can enter your camera. It can also be defined as exposure which is the amount of light that falls onto the camera’s light-sensitive surface. Aperture is the size of the opening in the lens. Like the pupil in your eye, the aperture diaphragm opens and constricts to control the amount of light passing through the lens. The ratio of the opening of a lens aperture when compared to the size of the lens, not a measurement, but a ratio, is referred to as an f/number, f/stop, focal ratio, f/ratio, or relative aperture. The formula used to assign a number to the lens opening is: f/stop = focal length / diameter of effective aperture (entrance pupil) of the lens. The smaller the number, the wider the opening.

The amount of light or exposure with vary because of these four basic factors: intensity, duration, distance between light source and subject, and modifications to the light.

Intensity, the brightness of the light: A brighter photograph is created from a sensor that has been hit by more photons which are the fundamental particle of light. When it is a darker image that means it was exposed to a lower quantity of photons.

Duration: If you increase the amount of time that a given light is emitted from a light source, you can increase the number of photons that are collected by the camera. This is going to give you a brighter picture because you have a longer time before the shutter closes.

Distance: The closer to the light source, the more photons you can capture with a camera. The further you are away, the fewer photons you can collect. According to Inverse Square Law, you get 1/4 of the light when you double the distance. This is because we are talking about area, not just distance. As light is emitted from most sources, it spreads out giving us more space to factor in.

Modifications: Changing your angle so that the light is different can give you a different feel and view. You can have your subject move into the shade or you can even create shade. There are now tools that you can purchase to create shade or more light such as reflectors, diffusers, and gels. You can measure the light’s intensity, adjust your camera settings accordingly, and then adjust them further to brighten or darken your image.

Depth of field is a function of lens aperture size, lens focal length, the distance between the subject and the camera, and something called the circle of confusion. Depending on your camera and lens, by opening your aperture to its widest settings, you will narrow the range of the focal plane to a very small distance. This can be used in photography for creative compositions with close-up photography and, most popularly, for making distant backgrounds blurry when taking portraits. Deep depth of field techniques are used commonly in landscape images.

Not only does the aperture control the amount of light passing through the lens, it affects the angle of the light rays as they transit the lens. Aperture not only serves to control the amount of light passing through a lens, it also affects the performance of a lens in terms of depth of field and sharpness.

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed is similar to blinking and it controls the duration of the exposure. When the shutter is opened or closed the sensor determines how much light is allowed to reach the sensor and the amount of time the sensor is exposed. The faster the shutter speed the shorter the exposure time. The longer shutter is open there is more light exposure which is going to give you a brighter picture.

Shutter speeds are listed as whole seconds or as fractions of a second. They are also set up so that the bigger the fraction the slower the shutter speed which means the more exposure to light. A 1/4 shutter speed with have more light exposure than a 1/200 shutter speed

It is nearly impossible to hold a camera perfectly steady for any length of time, especially for a few seconds. Therefore, an image taken with a handheld camera that covers any length of time will have some amount of blur from camera shake. You will want to keep this in mind when shooting with slow(er) shutter speeds.

A slow shutter speed will allow moving cars, runners, animals, and such to change position inside the frame of the image. Fast shutter speeds, however, are used in the opposite fashion. They are designed to freeze action versus letting it blur across the photograph. Things can become frozen in time with a fast shutter speed.

The two biggest factors in how movement is seen by the camera are: speed and distance When you double the distance from the camera to the moving subject, you will cut in half its speed through the frame. Therefore, to get the same blur, you can use cut in half the shutter speed. If the moving subject is the same distance away each time you photograph it, but you double the speed of the subject, you will have to halve the speed of your shutter to get the same amount of blur.

ISO Speed

ISO stands for International Organization of Standards is a measure of the sensitivity of a sensor to light that controls the sensitivity of your camera’s sensor to a given amount of light.

ISO is similar to the sensitivity of the rods and cones at the rear of the human eye. With your camera you can change the sensor’s sensitivity while you are shooting which is not something you can do with your eye. This a neat feature because you can get a depth of field which is when you can focus on the background or the foreground depending on how high or low your light sensitivity is.

When you adjust ISO, you are not changing the size of the pixel of your picture. You are increasing its sensitivity electronically by increasing the voltage to the sensor. The unfortunate side effect of this is called noise. The higher the ISO, the more digital noise is introduced into your image making it look grainy.

In the digital realm, there are three types of ISO: native, amplified, and simulated.

Native ISO is the ISO setting that does not require the camera to increase the voltage to the sensor

Amplified ISO is an ISO that requires an increase in voltage to the sensor.

Simulated ISO is when the camera uses a software algorithm to simulate even higher ISOs.


You have two physical controls that you can utilize inside your camera—aperture and shutter speed. You can further control the sensitivity of the sensor by adjusting the ISO on your digital camera. You can adjust exposure value up or down by doubling or halving the amount of light (aperture and shutter speed) and by doubling or halving the sensitivity of the photosensitive surface (ISO). When you allow more photons into the camera, or increase the sensitivity of the film or sensor, you will need to compensate in the opposite direction with the other camera controls.

One key to getting the photographs you want is to know how the different variables not only affect each other when exposing an image, but also knowing the different side effects of adjusting each variable (depth of field, motion blur, noise, etc).

Be sure to experiment in changing your camera settings so that you can achieve the desired objectives of your artistic vision. Take multiples of the same picture with different exposure settings until you get the exact picture you are searching for. Don’t be afraid to take what you’ve learned and try it out to better understand what you like best.

The goal in creating an exposure is to allow a specific amount of light into your camera and lens to capture your subject in a way that matches your artistic vision. Photography is art, and if you want to alter the image to be brighter (overexposed) or darker (underexposed) to better express your vision, then never think that every frame you shoot needs to meet the definition of proper exposure. It’s all about what best suits you and what you desire to capture.