If you’re like me, your camera is never too far away. With a click you can capture life’s special moments, like that perfect day on the family vacation when everyone was entirely content. Or the moment when you catch your spouse giving you that look that melts you. Or the innocent smile of your toddler that’s growing up way too fast.

With today’s technology, it’s easier than ever to get great photos. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. You don’t have to be a professional photographer or spend tons of money on a fancy camera for your pictures to look professional. Sometimes all it takes is a single adjustment to get a better shot.

Below is a list of some very popular pictures along with an expert tip on how to improve each one.

Sunset Pictures

sunset pictureImage Source: Pixino

Sunsets are one of the most popular subjects for photographers around the world. Capturing gorgeous sunset pictures isn’t always easy. While Mother Nature is providing a naturally gorgeous backdrop, photographing into the sun can obliterate the cascade of colors. There’s also the issue of having a foreground that’s much darker than the sunset in the background.

If you only do one thing to improve your sunset pictures:

Switch to HDR mode. You may have noticed this setting on your digital camera or smartphone. It stands for high dynamic range photography. This allows you to capture a great range of tones so all those brilliant colors get captured.

Outdoor Shots

outdoor shotsImage Source: Pixabay

Taking fabulous outdoor shots during a family outing or your next garden party requires a different set of skill from sunset pictures and indoor photography. You’re out in the elements, which can provide great subject matter, but lighting can be an issue.

If you only do one thing to improve your outdoor shots:

Avoid shooting during midday. When the sun is directly overhead it creates very harsh shadows. The light is also extremely bright and not diffused, which again creates shadows and makes it difficult for the camera to capture colors accurately.

Self Portraits

self portraitsImage Source: Pxhere

Let’s face it. We live in a selfie world. Never have self-portraits been so popular than now thanks to social media. But long before Facebook and Instagram, photo

graphers would often snap artsy self-portraits that told the story of who they are in an intimate moment. You can get that same touching effect and give your selfies a little more depth.
If you only do one thing to improve your self-portraits:

Get a tripod. Even with a selfie stick, your portrait won’t look as good as it would on a tripod because you’ll be in an unnatural stance trying to pose while holding a camera. Plus, being too close to the lens can distort your features.

Family Portraits

family portraitsImage Source: Maxpixel

Some family portraits make it to the wall of fame for all the wrong reasons. Everyone has an awkward family photo they wish they could retake. You can’t always control the kids, but there are things you can do to get a better family photo the next time around.

If you only do one thing to improve your family portraits:

Put one person in charge of the camera and another person in charge of organizing everyone. That way the photographer can keep their attention on camera settings and composition.

Action Shots

action shotsImage Source: Pexels

The kids’ soccer game, a butterfly in motion, your pup running across the yard – when your subject is in motion it can be tough to get a clear shot. Professional action photographers use a super long telephoto lens, but that’s overkill for an amateur photography. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get better action shots without the blur.
If you only do one thing to improve your action shots:

Increase your shutter speed. The shutter speed essentially freezes action and corrects blurring motion. If you’re shooting outdoors increase the shutter speed to 1/1000. In manual mode indoors the shutter speed can be 1/200 to get a clear action shot.


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