If you first started taking pictures fairly recently you probably
learned your photography techniques with a modern camera.
This gave you tremendous advantages because all you had to do was
switch it on, point the camera at your subject and press the shutter
button to record your image.
You didn’t have to worry about all the settings that the camera made
for you automatically or, if you were offered a choice of settings,
there was an “auto” or “program” setting that you selected.
Had your interest in photography begun a little earlier, before
automatic cameras were available, you would have had a bit more to
learn before you could grab those pictures.
How boring. Or was it?
Learning and understanding the basics of
how to set up the camera yourself actually takes you a long way towards
improving your photography techniques and therefore taking better
So what are the basics?
Whenever you prepare to take a photograph there
are four important things to remember -
1 - Composition
(What is in the picture and where it is)
2 - Lighting
(What's in the light and what’s in the shade)
3 - Exposure
(The amount of light “seen” by the camera)
4 - Focus
(What is sharp and what isn’t)
CLEF - Easy to remember, even if you are not a musician!
Of course there are a few things to consider before you set up to take
the photograph but I’m assuming you have learned about the controls of
your camera from the instructions that came with it!
learning about the controls and their
functions, it’s a good idea to practice finding and using them with
your eyes closed. It’s surprising how often the light isn’t quite good
enough to see them, especially if you usually wear spectacles and they
are not readily to hand.
helps to be able to change a
setting without looking away from the viewfinder or screen and perhaps
losing a valuable second or two before the subject moves or the light
one thing in your photography techniques that you should pay extra
special attention to …..
If you have never known the correct way to hold your camera PLEASE
CLICK HERE then read and practice the guidelines
Right. All set up. Batteries charged and camera switched on? Nearly
ready, but one final thought .....
Who will be viewing your picture?
This may not seem important but it is always worth remembering when you
take a photograph. The reason is that you will have
experienced the actual scene and your photograph will trigger the
memory of it when you view it in the future. It will give you a
When someone else who was not
at the actual scene views your photograph, they will want it to
communicate a feeling to them, even if it is different from yours.
Try to bear this in mind whenever you
take a photograph.
Let’s consider Composition
- Do you ever feel that your photos are not very exciting?
Whatever camera you are using, your photographs
will only grab attention if they are well composed - your viewpoint,
how the elements are arranged within the frame, what’s included and,
just as important, what is left out.
The next topic to look at is Lighting
- What is in the light and what is not (and what colour the light is!).
Click here to find out how to compose
photographs that grab attention.
If there is one element in your photography
techniques that can make or break a photo it is lighting and yet, it is
often the least considered element, even if it is thought of at all.
Now we come to Exposure
- Do your photographs always turn out just right or are they sometimes
too light or too dark?
Click here to learn more about how
direction, height, placement and colour of lighting
can make a world of difference to your photographs.
To discover what exposure
means in photography and why it is so important to get it right, click
- Have you ever noticed that certain parts of an image stand out in a
By clicking here and going to the focus
section you will find out how to use the shape of a camera’s lens to
great advantage in your photography techniques.
Return from Photography Techniques
to Better Photographs Home Page