If you’re new to photography, fear not. I’ve always enjoyed snapping away at pretty landscapes, funny strangers in the streets, the 1,284,932 pigeons that live in Buenos Aires, and hell – I’m even guilty of the foodie pics and hot dog legs that say I’M ON VACATION BY A BODY OF WATER ARE YOU JEALOUS? However, I try to avoid them like Ebola if I can help it. I’ve hardly had professional training, albeit I’ve taken a few classes in my short 27.1 years on this planet…but I’m no pro. I’ve recently had many questions come in regarding what camera I use and what tips I can offer to shoot better photos. You ask, I deliver.
Find A Photo Op
Take your camera everywhere. I’ve visited restaurants, been on day trips, seen sporting events and thought, “I don’t need to lug the camera around.” Oh how regretful I have been. The more you bring it along as an accessory, the more photos you’ll take, and the better you’ll be at photography. It’s not rocket science.
Compose Your Shot Thoughtfully
Use the rule of thirds, where the primary points of interest in your scene sit along “third” lines. Find a leading line that will draw in the viewer’s eyes and take them through the photograph. Move positions to avoid trees looking like they are growing out of heads. Change angles to avoid window glares from across the street. Remove all the unnecessary clutter from the frame to make for a much more aesthetically pleasing picture.
Break The Rules
Taken in Bosques de Palermo of Buenos Aires with my DJI Phantom drone
I’m such a daredevil. The above “rules” work a lot of the time, but it’s not imperative to impose them upon every photograph. Perfect symmetry can be dramatic and amazing, so screw the rule of thirds. Clutter can add texture and color, so leave the unnecessary items in the frame. Am I confusing you yet?
Get Up Close and Personal
Sometimes I tend to focus on the bigger picture and forget about the little details. Don’t be afraid to get close to what you’re photographing. It’s nice to have detailed imagery so fill the frame with your subject from time to time.
Experiment With Different Angles
I was taking pictures in the Recoleta Cemetery last week in Buenos Aires (major tourist attraction, promise I don’t thoroughly enjoy hanging out with the dead), and it was a good opportunity to get creative. I shot the same subject with different angles, towered over them or crouched and peered up. I’m sure the other tourists and cemetery caretakers probably thought I was super weird, but they weren’t getting the good shots!
Pop Of Color
Vivid photos are extremely eye-catching, but I probably don’t need to tell you that. Even if only a pop of color is visible, the stark contrast will make for a great turn-out.
Play With The Light
Light is the biggest determinant in how your photos will transpire. Have you ever asked a stranger walking by if they’d take a picture of you, to only get it back and realize you are one with the very dark background? Well let’s all do humanity a favor and learn how to successfully light a photo. Don’t have the sun behind you (unless your doing artsy silhouettes). Wear sunglasses to avoid squinting if it’s in front of you. Or, be more like my boyfriend and ask complete strangers who look like they’re struggling hard to take a selfie if they might want him to take the photo instead. Such a hero, that one!
Now…what to buy in order to make pretty pictures? See below for the best entry level DSLR camera to snap the picture perfect landscapes and adventures you can find in my galleries!