1. You’ll get your best shots in the morning and afternoon. Most professional photographers say noontime light is too harsh and unflattering.
2. Remember the classical artists’ rule of threes: draw two imaginary rows horizontally and vertically to divined the image into nine “squares” (like an Xs and Os game). Place the focus of your image at the intersection of one of the intersections of those lines. Way more interesting than a
subject smack dab in the middle of the image.
3. Get closer. This is the on going mantra of many pros. You don’t always need the entire subject in the frame: sometimes just a section will be much more evocative.
4. Look around all of the screen or the viewfinder. Is there
something that doesn’t work – maybe that messy towel on the beach chair, or the distracting
fellow walking in the background?
Wait for the distraction to move away or tidy up the scene.
5. Often you can make a scene more human or give it proper scale by injecting a human into it. A hand next to a massive flower or the woman standing by the river’s edge helps the viewer understand the dimensions.
6. Don’t travel with a tripod? You can stabilize the camera by resting it on a table, top of a car, a balcony railing. At the least, brace yourself by leaning against a wall to reduce chance of
7. Get up. Get down. Lie on your stomach. You’ll get much more interesting angles.
Particularly when shooting small animals and small children, get down to their eye level.
8. And speaking of photographing
people, remember sunglasses can remove the eye “connection” with the lens, rendering the subject
seeming more aloof. Hats such as baseball caps can throw the eyes into dark focus. If the hat must stay on, try forcing your flash to illuminate that area.
9. If you like to take pictures of the local people, don’t forget to ask their permission first! (How would you like it if someone took your picture as you mowed your lawn – without asking you?) If it’s a vendor, try making a small
purchase to engage him or her in conversation. And don’t forget to show them the image in the LCD when you are done.
10. When in doubt… read the manual! And take it everywhere with you to experiment and learn about your (likely surprisingly powerful) camera.