How to take great photos: 10 tips to improve your photos!

Hey, today let’s talk about photography! I will share with you the 10 mistakes to avoid to take great photos! When we are starting photography we often do these mistakes and it is really easy to avoid them! Like everyone, we were also doing these mistakes when starting photography! We really improved the quality of our photos when we stopped doing these 10 things! These tips will help you to take your photos to the next level!

1 Take your photos in RAW and not in JPEG

First of all, the first mistake that beginners in photography do is to take photos in Jpeg and not raw! It is totally normal, as most people shoot in automatic mode, they are shooting in Jpeg. But, if you want to take better photos, you absolutely need to shoot in RAW. Not only the quality will be better, but you will also have more freedom to edit your photos!

Indeed, when you are shooting in Jpeg, the camera will give you its own interpretation of the colors. While you are shooting in RAW, you will have a neutral photo with soft colors. It’s your turn to interpret the photos and the colors as you think you have seen the scene! Also, you can easily correct the white balance. Sometimes it is too warm or too cold, it means that your photos will be a little bit yellow or at the opposite blue.

2 Shoot in manual mode and not automatic

We also started to shoot in automatic at the beginning, but I promise you it is way better to shoot in manual mode! If you want to take better photos, you should start to shoot in manual mode. Thus, you will have full control of the three major points of the exposure triangle aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

These are the 3 factors you need to take into consideration to shoot in manual mode. You will need to sep up these 3 parameters in your camera. If you want to learn how to shoot in manual mode, you can read our blog post about beginners in photography here.

3. Straighten the horizon

It is also a common mistake people do when taking a photo: not paying attention to the horizon! It is really visible, especially for landscape photos! Obviously, you can correct it on photoshop, but it is easier to set up lines on your camera screen. You will be sure to straighten the horizon directly!

Of course, certain photographers make the choice to not straighten the horizon. Personally I don’t like it! But it is a matter of taste 😉

4. Don’t oversaturate your photos

This is also a very common mistake when we start photography. It’s easy to be tempted to saturate a lot the blue of the water or the pink of a sunset! Who had never done it before? But I promise you that the photo will be 100% better if you try to make pastel colors and you don’t saturate it too much!

You can also decide to pop one color a little bit to make the photo cooler but you need to strike the right balance! If you want to learn to edit your photos, you can read this post about how to edit your photos like a pro!

5. Focus on the subject!

This one is also one of the most common mistakes I see every day! Be sure the focus is made on your subject of interest: an animal, a person, an object. Sometimes the subject is blurred and the landscape is sharped.

Tips: make sure your subject is sharped and check the focus by zooming in on your subject after you take a photo (zoom feature in playback mode). Make sure there is enough light or color contrast between the subject and the background so that autofocus is able to lock the focus properly.

6. Don’t shoot with a bad light

You need to know that photography means writing of the light. It is all about Light. No light means no photography! It is impossible to take a good photo without light. The best photos are normally done in the golden hours and just a few hours before and after sunrise and sunset when the light is at its best.

Many photographers don’t seem to care about the direction and the quality of light at all. Either the light is so harsh that there are multiple patches of light and shadows in the scene, or the subject’s eyes are in dark shadows, or light is just flat making the photograph 2-Dimensional, and so on.

Tips: Remember that photography is all about Light. The more you learn to capture the light, the better photographer you will become.

7. Lack of depth

Photography is a two-dimensional medium but we see everything in three dimensions. Photographers often miss the depth that is inherent in photography. You saw that most beautiful scene in 3D and you captured it, but you wonder what went wrong as you stare at your monitor, right? Something is missing. This is not what you saw.

Why? You didn’t realize that you are capturing a 3-Dimensional scene in a 2-Dimensional photograph.

Tips: There are many ways to create depth: the first one is to include a foreground object, use leading lines, use perspective distortion, change the point of view, and so on. But the most important thing to remember when you are out in the field is that a photograph is 2-Dimensional.

8. The place of the subject

It is also a frequent mistake of a beginner photographer to keep the subject in the center of the frame. But it yields a boring and static composition. The viewer has nothing else to look for his/her eye goes straight to the subject and is stuck there. Feel free to try to take a photo with a subject at the right or the left of the composition!

Tips: Use the Rule of Thirds and keep the subject out of the middle of the frame. An off-centered subject makes the photograph dynamic and uneven negative space creates interest.

9. The composition

The composition of a photo is really important. Before taking the shoot, you need to think about how is going to be your photo and how do you want it. You should not have too many elements in your composition. Too much of anything is bad. When you see a scene, you see it as a whole, which is natural. But if you try to include everything that you saw in one image then you end up with a photograph that has too much.

Tips: Start with simple compositions. Instead of making one photo of the entire scene, ask yourself what interests you the most in this scene? Then pick that subject and make a photo that emphasizes only that subject.

10. The background

Shooting with a cluttered background is a common tendency to take photos the moment you see something beautiful or interesting. But you need to paid attention to the background! Sometimes, we are so overwhelmed by the subject, that we hardly notice anything around it. A cluttered or distracting background plays a major role in ruining photos

Tips: The real photography starts after you choose your subject. Once it’s done, pay attention to the rest of the scene; include only those things that complement your subject and exclude everything else!

So you want to take great travel photos?

You are very welcome here! 🙂 You can find many posts about photography and post-production on this blog! We hope you liked this post and that it will help you to take amazing travel photos! If you have more questions, let us know in the comments! Don’t forget to follow our next adventures in Jordan very soon! xx

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