How to Take Better Photos Today.

It is now 2016, and many of us will have New Years Resolutions. So, if you want to take better photos this year here is how you might be able to get better quick. Here are 12 tips to help improve your photography right away without costing you anything!

1. Consider the Composition

 Use Leading Lines to draw in the eye.

Use Leading Lines to draw in the eye.

Composition is one of the most vital parts of your photography. Study the great photography that exists out there, and understand that mastering it takes a while. However, just understanding that where you place things in the photo matters is huge!

2. Level Your Horizon

Crooked horizon lines are one quick way of ruining otherwise good photos! Level it out by using visual cues in the viewfinder or on the screen before snapping the photo. If you notice this later on know that it can still be fixed by cropping and rotating, but this can throw off composition.

3. Utilize "Good" Light

 Good light is different for each subject!

Good light is different for each subject!

This can be a lot of things! Good light can be from sunrise/sunset, windows, flashes, etc... It is usually anything other than flat, dull, and washed out light. It is typically more appealing to have lots of contrast in photos.

4. Learn to Edit Your Photos

This is not easy, but it is the best tip on the list in my opinion! You can fix quite a few things with a good hand in post-production. It can mean bringing a bad photo to being good or a good photo to becoming exceptional. It won't make your photos great on its own, but it certainly can bring your photography to the next level!

5. Study Great Photography

 Editing can be used to emphasize things already in the photo!

Editing can be used to emphasize things already in the photo!

You can grow and learn a lot from just experimenting and learning your own style. Once you find your voice through photography it can help you grow more by looking at the imagery of the best photographers in the world. Perfecting your craft can take just a few small tweaks that they have learned over years of experience.

6. Be Picky With Subjects

There are times where you have tons of options to take photos of. When walking in a crowded city there may be endless compositions and subjects to focus on. Pick only a couple to work with and perfect them before moving on. Challenge yourself to find the best way to photograph something before putting the camera away.

7. Eliminate Distractions

 Keeping things simple may be the best option.

Keeping things simple may be the best option.

The weird thing in the corner of the photo that just doesn't belong may be something holding you back. When looking at photographs that are at the next level there are no distractions, and everything you can see is intended to be there by the photographer. Scan the edges and corners before clicking the shutter button!

8. Hold Your Camera Steady

Low-light photography is a challenge for everybody. The potential of motion blur increases as the shutter stays open longer to gather more light, and any movement will lose sharpness. Hold the camera comfortably and securely to ensure sharper results. (like a rifle for DSLRs and Mirrorless)

9. Look for New Angles

 Find something fun that is outside your "normal".

Find something fun that is outside your "normal".

Holding the camera up to our eye while standing is how it is usually done, but it is by far the least interesting. Find new ways of seeing things in the world and the interest level in your photography will grow exponentially! (high, low, top-down, under the sea, and why not the kitchen sink?! )

10. Try New Types of Photography

Never tried flash or food photography? A friend needs a picture of their pet cat? If you have never done these things it might be a refreshing challenge to take on. Nothing sparks creativity and growth like a good challenge to the brain can.

11. Use "Bad" Weather

Most people won't go out in the middle of a storm to take photos, and this is exactly why you should be. Keep your gear as safe as you can, but if you can get that one picture nobody else can because nobody else will it can truly change your photography for the better!

12. Don't Post Everything

 I took 400 photos on this day and only 5 were good enough to post from my GoPro.

I took 400 photos on this day and only 5 were good enough to post from my GoPro.

Not every photo you take is going to be your best. I have taken 100s of photos of a landscape before only to edit and post one or two. It may seem crazy, but getting the best photo of something or someone means taking many over and over to perfect the desired result.