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10 Tips for Taking More Interesting Photos

The end of one year and the beginning of another is always a time for reflection, and for many people a time to make New Year’s resolutions about things that they want to change, improve, or accomplish during the upcoming year. If you’re looking to improve the results of your photography and take things to a new level in the coming year, here are 10 tips that can help you to produce more interesting photos.

1. Always be Ready

Take your camera with you everywhere because you never know when a great photo opportunity will present itself. Many of the most interesting photos will be the result of something unexpected, and if you’re not prepared you will miss out. If you don’t want to carry a large and heavy camera with you everywhere, consider purchasing a compact camera for keeping on you. Even a smartphone camera can prove to be handy in many situations.

2. Take Candid Shots

If you’re photographing people, candid shots often produce much more interesting results compared to posed portraits. Street photography provides plenty of opportunities to work on candid shots. If you photograph children, couples, or families, candid shots often produce more genuine and natural photos as opposed to forced poses.

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“Ice Cream” captured by Thomas Leuthard

3. Get Closer

One strategy for creating more interesting photos is to simply get closer to your subject and fill the view finder with the subject of the shot. If getting closer isn’t an option, try a zoom lens.

“I Come Alive in the Night Time” captured by Shandi-lee Cox

4. Change Your Perspective

Even the most common scenes can look drastically different and far more interesting from a unique or different perspective. Instead of shooting everything from eye level, change the angle by getting low to the ground or find a high location and shoot down. Use angles and objects to create intriguing perspectives that will bring more interest to the photo. If you’re shooting at a popular location that has been captured a million times before, try finding an alternate view point or a different perspective that can make your photo stand out.

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“Monument” captured by Frans Persoon

5. Use Leading Lines

Another way to take interesting photos is to make use of leading lines that can guide the eye of viewers and help to create intriguing compositions. Leading lines can be easy to find as they are all around us. Things like roads, bridges, tree lines, buildings, and rivers are some of the most commonly-used objects for creating leading lines in photography.

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“Seconds of Frozen Time” captured by Martin Gommel

6. Get Away from Auto

If you haven’t already done so, make it a point to shoot in some other mode aside from auto. You can use the full manual mode, or aperture priority and shutter priority modes also make excellent options. In order to take more interesting photos you’ll need to have a solid understanding of exposure, and also some familiarity with the basic functions of your camera.

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7. Take Your Time

One habit that can hurt your results is rushing. This is often an issue with travel photography if you’re going from place-to-place or if you are traveling with family or friends. In order to get the best results you’ll need to slow down, have patience, and take your time. If this is often an issue for you one possible solution is to set aside some time for you to get out on your own just for the purpose of photography. Without anyone else to worry about, you can focus just on getting some great shots, and it’s usually easier to take your time in these situations.

8. Don’t Follow the Crowds

If you’re in crowded locations try avoiding the tourist traps and the most popular spots. You’ll often get more interesting, and certainly more unique, photos be finding lesser known spots, and you won’t have to fight the crowds. If you’re traveling this may require some planning in advance to find the best opportunities, or it may involve some exploring.

If you’re in a major city like Rome there will be plenty of opportunities to photograph the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and other major landmarks, but you can find opportunities for beautiful photos just by walking down side streets.

“You’re Welcome” captured by Bruno

9. Break Composition Rules

Common rules for composition like the rule of thirds are useful because they tend to produce quality photographs. However, sometimes breaking the rules can result in more interesting or intriguing photos. This doesn’t mean that you should never “follow the rules”, but rather that you should be willing to break the rules when you think it might result in a more interesting composition.

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10. Be More Critical Before Shooting

I’ve found that my results tend to be a little better when I am more critical and shoot fewer photos. When I fire away at everything that seems interesting I wind up with a huge amount of photos. This makes it cumbersome to decide which ones are the best, and takes more time for post processing. Sometimes quality photos get buried by a large quantity of average photos. Personally, I prefer to be more selective about the shots that I take, which helps to make my post processing more productive and effective.

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About the Author: Marc Andre is the editor of PhotographyPla.net, a website that offers downloadable products like Photoshop actions, Lightroom presets, photo overlays, textures, and print templates.

[via PictureCorrect Photography Tips]

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