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Tips for Taking Better Photos

Mrunal Belvalkar
There is a lot that goes into becoming a good photographer. Thankfully, it begins with small steps. Find out about different tricks and tips for taking better photos, here.
You look at a picture of a diamond necklace, and you want it. A picture of a cool Coca Cola can with condensed water droplets on it makes you feel thirsty. A picture of a cake makes you want to eat it! A picture of your dog when he was a puppy brings you to tears when he is no more. A good picture evokes the strongest emotions in us, influences us so much!

How to Click Better Photos

To be able to take good pictures, it takes a little bit of knowledge, a little bit of guidance and a lot of practice. The persistence makes your dream of becoming a good photographer and take flattering pictures come true. Read on to know some tips about how to click better photos.

Tip 1 - Know Your Device Well

Today's digital cameras are developed to such a high degree of complexity than what they used to be less than a decade ago. So, when you are at a complete loss of how to use the new digital camera, worship the User Guide!
The User Guide comes with all technical information about your device. Study it carefully. Educate yourself about the various settings of the camera, different presets available, what all you can do with them, how to edit pictures, zoom, crop, delete etc. Familiarize yourself with your device as much and as soon as you can.

Tip 2 - Experiment on Manual Mode

Most digital cameras come with a lot of presets that allow you to capture pictures in all sorts of conditions - dusk, dawn, landscape, indoor, portraits, motion etc. In the beginning, this is a good way to learn to use your device.
But as you become comfortable with handling the camera, switch to manual mode. Experiment with the aperture, the exposure time, the zoom, the resolution of the picture and other such details. Play with the focus - do you want the foreground in focus or the background or the subject?
Try clicking different things on manual mode and try to understand the difference between a preset and a manual mode. Why a picture in the portrait preset looks better than when it is clicked on manual mode. Identify the differences. Once you do, you will have already understood half of the things you need to do to click different kinds of pictures.

Tip 3 - Use a Tripod Stand

Using tripod definitely proves to be an exceptionally useful trick. Till you become used to handling your camera, your palms may tend to shake and so, most of the pictures you click are out of focus. Use a tripod stand in such cases. Some people have shaky hands to begin with - tripod stands would be a blessing for them.
A tripod stand will also let you take a group picture without you being out of the picture! Isn't that nice? Finally tripod stands can also be an indulgence - if you want to indulge in yourself and click self-portraits! (If nothing else, then THIS will surely serve as motivation for you to invest in a tripod stand... right?)

Tip 4 - Natural Lighting

As far as possible, click pictures in natural lighting rather than using the Flash-On mode. The problem with flash pictures is that they throw disproportionate light so that only certain things in the picture are unnaturally illuminated.
The difference is particularly evident when clicking pictures at night. Avoid the flash mode as much as possible. Completely avoid it in the day time; while at night, prefer to use natural lighting of bulbs and tubes in the house.
Also try to use reflected lights rather than direct lights while clicking picture at night. Pictures in soffit lighting look the best, as the light is soft and uniform.

Tip 5 - Use a Viewfinder

Using a viewfinder makes landscape photography a lot easier. A viewfinder is a small frame - usually the height and width of which can be adjusted - that helps you cut out and see a part of the 'view'. It helps you decide what you want and don't want in the picture.
This is especially helpful while clicking pictures of a beautiful landscape. Sometimes you are so taken-in by the beauty of nature, that you are unable to decide which part of the magnanimous view will look good as a picture, cut out from the rest of the view.
A viewfinder helps you do exactly that. It is a great tool to learn about the basics of composition, an integral part of a good photograph.

Tip 6 - Practice, Practice, Practice!

If one is to believe what Malcolm Gladwell has said in 'Outliers: The Story of Success', then you must invest around 10,000 hours in photography (or any pursuit you wish to excel in) before you master it.
That is a LOT of time! How do you do that? Practice. Start early on and practice clicking pictures everyday. Click your family members, click your friends, click buildings, roads, your house, the garden, trees, flowers, insects, clouds... Carry your camera around with you when you step out of the house.
As you develop an eye for photography, you will be able to capture interesting moments of day-to-day life along with mastering your technique. Another tip is to click multiple pictures of the same thing in different modes.
This will help you understand just how your camera works, and exactly what effect does each of the parameters (like aperture, zoom, exposure time etc.) have on a picture.

Tip 7 - Read Up and Interact

Since one learns from own experiences as well as from those of others as well; subscribe to good photography magazines to read about people's experiences with different kinds of cameras, different techniques of photography. If you particularly revere any photographer and like his work, get a copy of his/her autobiography and read it.
You may even check out the official websites of professional photographers and contact them. Make sure to attend local photography workshops. Participate in photography competitions. Increase your exposure to the field of photography, and instead of getting into photography, let a little bit of photography get into you!
It works better that way (for you may easily pull yourself out of something, but you cannot dissociate something you have imbibed in yourself!).


As an amateur, there are a lot of common mistakes that you are bound to make. Learn about them and avoid them from day one! Mistakes are pretty much like bad habits - once imbibed, they are hard to get rid of. So make an effort to consciously avoid them from the day you begin to work on and sharpen your photography skills.
These tips may seem like a lot of work to simply click a good picture. But it is better to inculcate a good technique or a good habit rather than to simply click a few fluke good shots, isn't it? Also, let these tips become a habit rather than a protocol; it won't seem so difficult if you manage to do that.
Take some time out of your busy schedule and invest it in photography, and one day you will be much sought after at your family and friend get-togethers and functions! Good luck!