A little bit of thought about the composition of a photo can make a big difference to the result, even if you’re only using a £150 compact camera.
So we’ve put together a few quick and simple tips to help you take better photos, whether you’re headed to the beach or the country for your holiday. Plus, if you’ve any great tips of your own, feel free to share them in the comments section below.
If you’re looking for a new camera to take on holiday, check out how the latest models performed in our rigorous lab tests in our digital camera reviews.
- Place the person off-centre to break up the shot. You could also try tilting the camera.
- Move the person to avoid background clutter or blur the background, using a wider aperture setting (ie. a smaller f number, such as f/4).
- Set up the pose with the the light source in front and slightly to the side of the subject – no more than 45 degrees round to the side or you’ll risk casting long nose shadows.
- Use a small aperture (a bigger f number, such as f/11) so the whole scene is in focus, or use the landscape mode on a compact camera as this will do the same thing.
- Use a tripod or rest the camera on a rock or fence to keep it still.
- Put something in the foreground for interest, such as a path running through the shot.
- Check for pylons, cars or people that may spoil the scene, or in the case of people, position the shot so that they act as a focal point and work in favour of the shot.
- Use the macro setting on the camera.
- Keep the subject simple and look for strong colours.
- For cameras with manual options, use a large aperture (such as f/4) to blur the background.
- Support the camera to keep it as still as possible, as the focus point will be a matter of millimetres – using a small tripod is a good idea.
- Pre-set the focus – half press the shutter – so you can take the shot quickly.
- Anticipate where the subject will be when you take the shot, so they don’t move out of the frame.
- Try using the flash with a slower exposure (such as 1/15) for a flash and blur effect. Set the flash to go off at the end of the exposure.