Learn Tricks of Photography

Edited by Mohsin, Eulalee, Lynn, Eng and 2 others

Photography appears to be a really easy hobby or profession, but without that "creative eye," you won't be able to take great photos, no matter the quality of your camera. And, even if you have a "good eye" for a great picture and a good quality camera, if you don't know how to use it, you still won't take the best photos.

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In this article, I will share the secrets of taking great photos, using the focus methods. All you need to do is read the instructions and try out these tricks on your cam. But first, I will tell you why most people can't take a great photo.

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Why Most People Can't Take A Good Photo

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  1. 1
    They usually move the camera while pressing the button.
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  2. 2
    They usually take the photo in low light.
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  3. 3
    They do not understand the shutter speed which varies according to the light condition.
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  4. 4
    They usually use flash when too close to an object.
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  5. 5
    Most people move too close to an object, blurring the picture.
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  6. 6
    Most people just don't care what kind of photo they are taking.
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  7. 7
    Most people don't understand the lighting condition.
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  8. 8
    Most people only use the smart mode, and it will help you to take good photos but other adjustments are needed.
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  9. 9
    They use zoom and, while pressing the button, shake the camera.
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  10. 10
    They don't use the exposure very well.
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Methods of Focusing

To take a good photo, you need to learn few things. If you know what to do with the focus, you will know what to do at the right time.

Auto Focus

Auto Focus helps you to take a photo from Infinity to Macro, meaning from your eye sight to 10 cm close to an object. Infinity is when you are far from the object and when you are 10 cm close to object it's called macro photography. Auto Focus usually helps you maintain the photo blurriness and sharpness and since it focuses according to condition you won't have any problem using it for the first time.

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Macro Focus

Macro is basically close-up photography. When you are 10 cm close to the object and you want to take a focused photo, switch to the macro mode and measure the 10 cm. The distance from the tip of the middle finger to the centre of your palm is 10 cm. You can also zoom in macro mode which will help you get closer to object.

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Super Macro

Super Macro is the ultimate close-up photography. When you are at 1 cm it means that your cam is about to hit the object. Switch to Super Macro and make sure that the subject doesn't move while your are taking the photo. Make sure to use centre focus meter while using this mode; it will help you take a more focused shot in Super Macro.

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Manual focus

In Manual Focus, the focal length is set manually by you. This helps you take more stable shots, but if the subject moves, it will ruin the whole photo. This mode is good for taking photos which require more blurriness than focusing. Get close to lights, not too close though, open Manual Focus and then start focusing until it is blurred enough to make stars of light take a photo. It is called bouquet photography.

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Lighting Controls and Conditions

Exposure

Exposure, in photography, refers to the amount of light exposed to the sensor of the camera. Simply put, more exposure will take a bright, noisy photo and less exposure will take a darker, less noisy photo. Exposure levels differ from cam to cam. A simple and cheap digital cam can control exposure to -4 and a professional DSLR can control exposure up to -20 or more. If, for example, you want to take a photo of the sun make sure that the exposure level is set to -4 or below then the sun will be taken as a ball not a bursting flame shot.

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ISO

ISO is the condition of light. It can help you take bright photos in low light conditions, something that exposure can't handle. ISO level starts from 50 or lower and goes up to 6400 or 12800. More exposure can also increase noise in the photo.

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Aperture

Aperture is a hole through which light travels. In simple terms, the settings of the aperture indicates the amount of light that should be accepted. Aperture starts from f2.8, which means that the hole is at its smallest position and less light will come in, and f8.0 means the hole is completely open and more light will come in. Aperture settings also affect the speed of the shutter and more shutter speed can capture bright photos with the help of a stand. Less shutter speed can capture photos in the brightest daylight.

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Shutter Speed

Now, this is something tricky. Many people completely ignore the effects of shutter speed. More shutter speed can ruin your photo as will less shutter speed. More shutter speed can be used in low light conditions with the help of the cam, and less shutter speed can be used in areas with too much light. If you want to capture light trails, you will need a stand. Set your shutter speed up to 10 seconds and the shutter will capture every frame up to 10 seconds and then give you the results. If you want to take a photo of fire or any other object which is far too bright, lower your shutter speed, it will let in less light and allow you to capture amazing photos.

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Elements of Composition

Composition is the way of arranging the elements of pictures. The elements of composition are pattern, symmetry, depth of field, texture, lines.

  1. 1
    Texture.
    Texture.png
    This is making a view for the object at different angles that may make three dimensional. This occurs when the light strikes the object.
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  2. 2
    Pattern
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    .
    From the name itself it is the repetition of designs or the arrangement of designs. Pattern emphasizes the size and number of constant design. It seems that the design is unstoppable but in fact the design stopped at the frame. An example of this is a crowd.
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  • Breaking pattern. This is within the repetition of the pattern there is an object the disrupts the constant pattern of design. It can be a change in texture and color.
    Break pattern.png
    You can create your own man-made design or you get from natural environment you have. There are rules when you break pattern you may use
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    rule of third. This is when you divide the photo into 2 horizontal and two vertical lines. You display this mark of grid on your LCD. The rule for this is you include the important objects along the lines or at the intersections. This objective provides interest to the objects in the photo and gives balance.
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  1. 1
    Symmetry.
    Symmetry.png
    You may include this or not. You use this if reasonable. Including symmetry provides creativity. It provides reflection. It is another kind of design.
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  2. 2
    Balancing elements.
    Balance.png
    This is focusing and emphasizing more on the important objects instead of the less important matter
    .
    But leaving and not including the less important object in the picture is also not right. The less important object can contribute to the overall output of the photo. It provides weight to the photo that makes it balanced. Leaving out this less important object will make the photo empty. It still nice to see a background and supporting role of other objects. Having the important and less important object in the photo will help each other contribute function and makes a good work together. A way of breaking a pattern is to include a focal point and tension to the photo. You do not make the photo look heavy or empty but instead balanced.
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  3. 3
    Provide focal points.
    Focal.png
    This is positioning the camera into a reasonable spot where you can insert a break in pattern and focusing it sharply
    .
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  4. 4
    Viewpoint,
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    this is the angle where you take shot of the scene
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    So it is not always straight shot, you take shot even you are above the object, behind or below. This contributes to the composition of the object. So that it is not humdrum to take shot and see the same eye level view always.
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  5. 5
    Another design in a photo is the lines.
    Line s1.png
    It is the attracting object of a photo because your eyes is curious where the lines go. You follow the lines even how confusing it may be. It can be zigzag, diagonal, horizontal, straight, curvy, etc. The lines is not just a background but also it enhance the total view of the photo. It makes the photo look like a journey. A still motion of travel.
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  6. 6
    Depth.
    Depth.png
    In a picture there is an object which is seen afar and object that is seen close, this is depth
    .
    Putting depth is creativity. This is to enhance a plain photo and not the usual ordinary photo with a clear and stationary background. In depth you can have background, middle ground and foreground. You can also do overlapping. This is done by making the object obscure. A photo is a two-dimensional view you can use depth. Depth is placing object at different distances.
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  7. 7
    Background.
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    In a good professional photo, you will consider the background. You must focus on the subject object in the photo rather than including a disturbing background that confuse the total photo. You emphasize the subject by not including a not related busy background. You look for a plain background to take shot of or arrange the background that can contribute well or is related to the subject.
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  8. 8
    Cropping.
    Crop 1.png
    This is emphasizing the main subject of the picture, the viewer can focus on it rather than being confused with lot of background photo which are not the subject
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    Cropping lets you understand the message of the photo by focusing at the specific message of the photo by the less photo provided. You do not need to understand the message by identifying it in all the photo, you can get the brief message at the cropped photo. That is easier and lets you put more time understanding it rather than devoting more time on comprehending all the lots of photos.
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  9. 9
    Framing is another technique in taking a photo.
    Frame.png
    This is making a natural frame
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    The frame are the natural environment like the trees mountain, etc. These natural frame located at the side and the main photo placed at the center. This will put emphasis to the main subject of the photo. It provides focus naturally.
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  10. 10
    Colors contributes to the photo
    Green 1.png
    by including energy, vibrancy, etc
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    at changes the mood of the message of the photo and to the viewer. But if you use incorrect color, a color not related to the object, this will break the overall look of the photo. Green colors provides calm mood. Yellow gives energetic mood.
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  11. 11
    Space.
    Space.png
    Providing space do not allow noise to be included in the picture
    .
    Have a background that is not confusing and do not include unnecessary objects. Allowing space provides freshness and ease to the viewer. Even just a space can provide a message. It allows space for understanding the picture. Putting more object will only complicate and divert the message what the picture wants to impart.
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  12. 12
    Experimentation.
    Experiment.png
    This is having your own technique of eliminating or adding object that can help with the look of the photo. This is not basing the above rules but using your preferences on how to make creativity to the picture. If a single object can make a big message or impact to the picture then you can use it.
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Using Light in Photography

  1. 1
    Usually photographer take shot of photos at dawn or dusk.
    This is called the golden times. This is the time when the sunlight is low. And provides a good angle of light to make a nice texture to flat surfaces. The sunlight makes a good effect on the photo and provides shadow. This is the time when light can make good shadows whether sideways or upright.
    Sideways lighyt.png
    How to Make a Good Depth for Photos
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  2. 2
    Zoom lenses.
    Zoom lenses.png
    This is adjusting the zoom lens into varied focal lengths. A 18mm angle for portrait will make the facial features of the photo distorted. Zoom lets you focus on the subject and focus less on the background that is not that important.
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  3. 3
    Portrait mode.
    Portrait.png
    This is making a depth of picture or called focus become smaller. Taking shot occupying only the head.
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  4. 4
    Buy a new lens.
    By this you can extend the purpose of lens. Fast lens makes the depth smaller. Fast lens are those with larger lens. This lens can shot at low light without using the flash.
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  5. 5
    Positioning.
    Position.png
    This is locating yourself at the right place to take shot of the object. If you are far from the object, this will make the object blurry. You may use different angles to take a good position.
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  6. 6
    Aperture priority mode.
    Aperture.png
    Using this will make a deep depth and makes the other objects blurry. You adjust this on the camera by turning the camera into 'A', this means Aperture Priority Mode.
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Rules in Photography

  1. 1
    Try to experiment on using horizontal lines and vertical lines.
    Horizontal.png
    And crop into a right proportion
    .
    To crop in square shape, use medium-format. When cropping widescreen, use 16:9 ratio. Cropping is necessary if the picture is too tall or too wide.
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  2. 2
    Do not leave empty place
    Fill space.png
    which do not contributes to the Outlook of the photo
    .
    You have to fill all space. You try to zoom so you can fill the space and makes the subject object focused. So that the viewer can understand your picture. By zooming you emphasize the subject object and make it larger.
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  3. 3
    To provide direction where the picture leads and where should the viewer look at, you include lines.
    Lines 2.png
    It can be straight or zigzag
    .
    The lines lead to the main subject. And the lines provides three dimensions instead of a flat surface. Lines can be in the form of fences, walls, telephone wires. Any line that leads a direction. It can lead to a subject which is off-centre. If the lines are focused it will really lead your eyes towards where the line should go.
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  4. 4
    It is not necessary that you place your objects at the center.
    Off centre.png
    It would be creative if you place them on the side
    .
    You use rule of thirds to help you execute this. But you may not also use rules of thirds as long as you do not put the object at the center.
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Categories : Photography

Recent edits by: Anonymous, Eng, Lynn

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