We all want to take better-looking pictures, it’s not simply down to having a more expensive camera. So how can you take a more interesting photo using the camera you’ve got right now?
I’m going to share with you 5 ways to make a photo more interesting that you can try out straight away.
To avoid a cluttered frame and a confusion as to what your photo is truly about put space around your subject. Make it clear to your audience what the photo is about.
By closing the space around your subject it can be hard for your audience to separate one thing from another. While audiences are intelligent in understanding the point of your photo, that’s only accompanied by a good composition from the photographer’s side.
Other things you should consider to emphasise your subject is the focus and the lighting. Make sure that your subject is the sharpest element in your photo. Other parts may be as sharp, but nothing should be sharper than your main subject.
Lighting is very important too to highlight your subject. Avoid making other areas brighter than your subject, or at least use these brighter areas to outline your subject as in a silhouette.
Above: The Swans are pushed to the edge of the frame due to the pond wall. Below: The Swan has more space surrounding and works better as a balanced composition.
Another quick way to make a photo more interesting is to avoid centralised framing. Placing the main subject of your shot in the middle of the scene may not be the most dynamic placement.
Adding negative space to one side of your photo, though empty, can help suggest direction of travel for a flying birds perhaps or that there is something more interesting going on off-camera in a portrait.
Image: Use the rule of thirds to help position your subject to the side of the frame.
Beginner photographers sometimes overlook the power of changing the camera’s height when shooting. Just a simple drop of the knee or step up higher can make a photo more interesting.
When shooting along a path for example, get the camera down to the floor to widen mouth of the path at the bottom of the frame. This will help funnel your audience’s attention down the path and further into the shot.
It’s really easy to do and can very quickly take a photo from being OK to great!
Above: Image taken at standing eye level. Below: Image taken crouched down.
Leading lines are one of the best compositional tools for a new photographer to use. It’s probably the best way to make a photo more interesting in every situation.
Finding lines, whether man-made or natural, is simple. Think about paths, roads, fence lines, walls, branches etc they are all around is and just requires the photographer to get close to the end of a line and place it correctly.
Start the line in the corner of your frame and allow it to lead into the middle or across the frame. Otherwise you can use lines to cut horizontally across the whole shot depending on your shot.
Image by Chris Sale
Just because the main subject of your shot is in the picture doesn’t mean you’re capturing the story you intended – you may have included lots of unnecessary stuff too.
Instead of shooting wide and including everything in your view, be selective with what appears in your shot. Take a few steps closer to your subject, or zoom in if you must, and cut out distracting objects. Look at the edges and corners of your shot just before you shoot and make sure what is in-frame is important to the story.
If you can’t step in closer to your subject then use a zoom lens to get tight. If you are using a phone for your photography limit yourself though. Digital zoom lenses on smartphones costs you megapixels the more your zoom in.
This may be fine if you simply want to keep the photo on your phone but if you intended to display it on social media or in an online photo gallery then the resolution when viewed on a bigger screen won’t be as good.
Above: Is this photo about the Deer or the pushchair? Below: Make a conscious decision on what is included in the photo.
To further demonstrate these 5 ways to make a photo more interesting I’ve included a couple of examples of average shots I’ve taken. Then, using some of tips, I’ve adjusted my shot to make it much more interesting.
Above: What is this shot about? The weather? The city? Below: A better crop focuses the image on to the point of the story.
Above: Does the red pepper stand out enough from the yellow/orange? Below: A clear understanding and focus on one subject.
I hope these 5 quick tips to make a photo more interesting will improve your photography. Whether you like to shoot on a DSLR camera or even an iPhone you can use all of these tricks wherever you go.
If you want to become a better photographer consider starting an online photography course and learn more about the art of photography. We can teach you how to become more confident with your camera when you understand settings, dials and how to make a great exposure.