3 easy steps for photography beginners

Photography has become more than a hobby for the most of us. It has become a big part of our daily life. Today we can take pictures with our cellphones and share the pictures on social media networks. It is getting easier for every photo enthusiast to take pictures. But not every photo is a great photo if you don’t know what you are doing and just push the button of your camera. Here are 3 easy tips to take better photos without having to learn the technical background:

Step 1: Change your perspective! If you love to take pictures of your kid, bend your knees and take a picture from the level of your kid. This is how you make your photo interesting – capturing how your kid sees the world. You can even go much lower and try to capture your photo from the view of a bug! Or get close to your subject and fill the frame with it!

A fisherwoman in Fiji resting on the ground. I took the photo by laying on the ground too.© Christina Czybik

A dancer during the Agbogboza Festival in Togo. Here I have bent my knees to get a more interesting perspective and took a step closer to fill the whole picture with the dancer. © Christina Czybik

Step 2: Think about the composition before you take the photo. What do you want to have in the picture? You don’t always have to place the subject you want to photograph into the center of the photo. Try to place your subject on the right side of the photo or the left side. Think about the composition and decide what you want to leave in the picture and what you want to cut out. Sometimes you can add more emotion to the picture if the surrounding of your subject is nicely integrated. You can even add some drama to the picture by moving your camera to tilt the horizon in the frame.

A fashion model poses in Germany. I have intentionally composed the model on the right side of the picture and added a little dynamic to it by tilting the horizon. © Christina Czybik

A young man in a store in Ghana. I did not like the look of the store to my left hand side. So I decided to cut out the wall to my left. I composed the young man on the left side of the picture to give more room to what’s going on on the right side of the frame.© Christina Czybik

Step 3: Light. Light is essential for taking photos. You should be aware that if you take a photo against the sun when it is high in the sky, your subject may be dark. If you take a photo of someone who sits half way in the shadow, half of your photo will be too bright or too dark. The high contrast of light and shadow can ruin your photo. Just remember, the sun has the highest point at noon and it just burns down on us. The light and the shadows are looking very hard on pictures.

If you have the sun in your back, be careful not to get your own shadow in the picture! And the model might blink with the eyes if it looks directly into the sun. When the sun sets or rises, it doesn’t have so much power. The shadows are not so hard. You can actually try to take pictures with the sun in your frame or place the sun directly behind your subject. You will get the most beautiful light during the so-called ‘Golden Hour’ which is right before sunset and right before dawn. Try to experiment how the sunlight will affect your photos during different hours of the day.

Togbe Osei III walking a street during sunset. The low sun shines a golden light on the street and throws long and light shadows. Because the sun is almost hidden behind his back, you can see a flares from the light. I also bent my knees a little bit to add an more interesting and superior angle. © Christina Czybik

If you shoot against the sunlight your subject might get too dark, because the light comes from behind. © Christina Czybik

One great advice in the end: experiment! The fantastic thing about digital photography is that it allows you to always try something new. Think about a new way to capture what surrounds you. Be creative!



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