What you need to know to take better pictures

Taking better pictures can be quite simple.

Here are a couple of pointers to quickly improve your shots.

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1. Become a reader of light

Read light? Yes! Learn to read it. Like a book. Where does it originate?  What kind of qualities does it have? How much light is available? And what does this mean for the way you take your picture?

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2. Think about your frame

What do you want to have inside your frame - and what definitely doesn't deserve to be in there? Are you chopping off feet, hands, heads? Are you sure that trash can should be in the picture? If not - move your camera or your legs and reframe your picture. 

3. Do a background check

Take a moment to check what's behind the subject you're trying to photograph.  Does the background suit the subject? Or does it detract, for example because it's cluttered? If so, clean it up or look for a different background. In general, walls are your friend. Cluttered closets are not. 

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4. Stabilise your camera

That may sound superfluous, but it's essential in situations with low lighting. Of which there are plenty - depending on the season. The better you become at stabilising your camera, the sharper your pictures will be. 

5. Focus on your subject

Whether you take your pictures with a DSLR or a smartphone doesn't matter: you want the focus to be in the right place. So you can avoid that blurred-face-sharp-background. As in the picture above. So make sure you don't focus on the bush to the right but on the spectacular sunset. 

If you start doing these five things consistently you'll get much better pictures. 

But they'll get even better if you ask yourself the following question before you take a picture: 

What do you want people to see?

How stunning your home is? How sunny your holiday? 

Do you want to share beauty? Or emotion, like anger or happiness?

Maybe you want to illustrate a concept. For example something you're writing about in an article. 

Your main subject - and that doesn't necessarily need to be an object - is where it all begins.

So start out with thinking about what it is you want to show people. And then think about your framing, check your background, read the light, stabilise your camera if necessary. And take that picture. 

There are no secrets to good photography. 

Think about what it is you want to share with the world, remember the five tips and practice. 

Enjoy!