Five Tips for Improving Your Photographs

Today’s Post by Jason Anderson

No matter where you are on your photographic path, you can always pick up nuggets of information, tips, and tricks from other photographers.  That’s part of why I think that it’s important to stay networked with others in your field.



One of the best things I’ve gained from other photographers is insider tips and tricks for saving a photo, taking pictures in tricky lighting scenarios and insights for working in other challenging circumstances. Here are five tips I’ve found extremely helpful in my own photographic endeavors.  Enjoy!

  1. sonoma1Blown highlights are not necessarily a bad thing. Convert the image to black and white, add a vignette and the photo can become quite powerful!
  2. Use flash!  We all are likely aware of the downsides of an on-camera flash. In a pinch though, you can still use it for fill though.  Got a piece of paper—even a cocktail napkin? Tuck it around the flash to diffuse and soften the light a bit, and you can get that photo you may otherwise have missed.
  3. Fast Metering! Need to get a quick white balance measurement?  Put your camera in manual focus mode and stick your hand in front of the lens. Use that for a quick custom white balance in a pinch when a gray or white card isn’t available. I use skin as a white balance point in Lightroom! (Joe uses white cars for a similar approach when photographing automobiles.)
  4. Don’t be afraid of ISO!  Traditional wisdom has shifted. In digital photography’s early days, ISO was a recipe for disaster as the noise in photos quickly rendered many images useless. Camera manufacturers have made high ISO  more manageable, as have software programs like Dfine, when used in post production. So don’t be afraid to crank up the ISO to capture your images!
  5. Look for emotion! This especially holds true in photojournalism but all images can benefit from capturing the essence of human emotion.  Whether it’s a laugh, anger, crying, or the intimacy of a kiss between a bride and groom, these will almost always be in your “keeper” lists, because emotion trumps everything else in photography.

Visit Jason over at his website for more useful tips, tricks, articles, insights and more on how to make and take better photographs!