Top Photography Tips for Beginners-Part 1

We at Drive South Africa know how frustrating it can be to come back from a fantastic holiday only to discover that those award-winning photos you thought you took were a grand failure. No worries, here is our guide of 10 top photography tips for beginners to improve your photography techniques and skills and get you taking some impressive holiday snapshots. This is the first of a two-part series, so keep an eye out for our next photography blog update.

Fill the Frame

South Africa Grahamstown Boxing

[Photo by Tamzyn Degoumois]

For extra impact in any photograph, you should aim to fill the frame with your focus. Try moving in closer rather than zooming, this allows you to capture more of what you see and just makes for a more dynamic and dramatic photo.

Use Natural Light

Photography is basically the art of painting with light so keep an eye out for good lighting conditions. If you can try to shoot in the early morning and late afternoon when the light is warmer and lights your focus up from the side. If you have to shoot in the dreaded daytime lunch hours switch your camera flash to fill flash to light up those horrible shadowed areas on your subject.

Check out this helpful video from Karl Talyor photography to learn more about how to use light in your photographs.

Rule of Thirds

South Africa Port Elizabeth Miller's Beach

[Photo by Tamzyn Degoumois]

It is the oldest rule of photography, but still the best way to improve your photography techniques and get you taking great photos. When you’re staring down the viewfinder of your camera, draw invisible lines dividing your screen into horizontal and vertical thirds. Then try and place the focus of your photo on one these lines, if you can place the most important part of your photograph on an intersection of two lines to give it even more impact.

Change your perspective

South Africa Grahamstown Bees

[Photo by Tamzyn Degoumois]

There is nothing worse than looking at someone’s collection of holiday and travel photographs and just seeing a bunch of pics taken at face height and aimed straight on at the subject. Change it up! Get down low, stand on top of something and change your point of view and angle. You might feel like a bit of a toss in the beginning but it will give you some fresh creative takes on photographs.

Use Natural Lines and S-Curves

Scotland Tayler's Eyre

[Photo by Idg]

These are usually called lead-in lines, because they help your eye travel through a photograph and add depth and perspective. They can even draw you to what’s important in a photo. Look for long lines like railway tracks and railings as well as long winding s-curved roads or structures and then shoot down the length of them.

Great photography comes with practice, so get out there and start snapping. Most importantly experiment! Try things that make you look stupid, silly or that help you see the world differently. The worst that can happen is you end up with a bad photo.

Part II of Top Photography Tips for Beginners after the jump.

For some inspiration and great ideas check out the Guy with Camera photo blog or Magnum Photos. Let us know what you think, tell us your top photography tip, or even just leave us a link to your great photographs, we would love to see them!

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If you would like to have the freedom to explore the area you are visiting independently, you might want to look into car hire South Africa for the perfect set of wheels.

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