ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Better Photo Tips

Updated on March 8, 2018
Msmillar profile image

Ms. Millar has had many books published online and in print. She learned how to bind her own books to save money on publishing costs.

Panaramic Sunset
Panaramic Sunset | Source

Good Quality Camera

A good quality camera will have:

  • HD (high definition) abilities
  • clear 8x's or more zoom ability
  • The sensor should be of good size. The APS-C sensor is far superior to the point and shoot sensor found on cell phones.

Helpful optional equipment:

  • Red eye correction
  • Interchangeable lenses (APS-C)
  • Shaky hand correction.
  • Megapixels are not always a good thing with a camera. Cramming so many pixels in a picture can actually obscure the image by including too much noise in the background.

The only way to determine if you really like a camera is to review photographs and your own personal experience with it. I can read all the specs available for a camera, but in the end it's my personal taste that will determine if I like it or not.

Are You a Photographer?

Do you enjoy photography? I sure do! One of my most memorial gifts was a very nice camera. I must have taken a hundred pictures the day I unwrapped it. The camera was such that it "couldn't take a bad shot". Well let me tell you, "it couldn't, but I could!". After several rolls of pictures that were "OK", but not great, I decided to take a course in photography. My technique needed a major overhaul as well as my camera.

Most of the material I learned was really basic information. My errors were obvious, after the course taught me what to look for to enhance a picture. Here I'll share with you some of the things I learned about using the right camera and taking a better picture.

Besides technique you need a quality camera. All the technique in the world won't make up for a poor quality camera. The difference between a poor quality camera and a good camera are:

  • Clarity
  • Color
  • Depth
  • Shaky hand correction
  • Zoom quality

As for technique, some of these may seem obvious to you, but you'll be surprised how often these errors get into our pictures.

  • Shadows
  • Foreign objects
  • Zoom
  • Background noise
  • Contrast
  • Blurry photo's

Photo Comparisons

Here are a few shots where you can clearly see the difference in a poor quality camera and a good quality camera. Both camera's are acceptable, but the photo's from the Canon are just a bit clearer and detailed. The shots with the Aiptek are good, but obviously could be much better. The speed of which the camera can take pictures is a plus. While I was out shooting today a hummingbird happened by. The Aiptek couldn't recover fast enough to capture him before he was on his way!

Hummingbird | Source

I was able to take not only one, but two, shots of the hummingbird while the Aiptek was still trying to recover from the previous shots I had taken.

Hummingbird | Source

What Is Important To You In A Photo?

That is what it all really comes down to; What is important to you in a photo. I know a woman that has no interest at all in a photograph if it doesn't have a human in it! Seriously! I can show her a photo of a beautiful, color-rich, sunset, and she doesn't even want to look at it. She'll comment with, "Where are the people?" or "Why are you showing me that? There's nobody in it."

Then, on the other hand, I have a friend that doesn't care for people in photo's. He feels they "ruin" the photo. He wants to see tree's and forests, unadultered by humans.

Everyone is different, and that's great! It provides us with a rich mixture of art. Recognize what you like to see in a photo, and go with it! Perfect it! Photograph it!

My favorite photo's will have a horse in it, or a green valley with a horse grazing, stuff like that. I've recently begun taking close-up photo's of horses. I mean real close! Taking a section, or body part, and really getting the detail of it in a photo.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The clarity on this photo is good, but it can be better.Canon shot. Notice the clarity! The eyelashes come through nice!Look at this beautiful mane of blonde hair!It's not a mane of hair, it's a tail of hair! Close-up photo's can change the perspective of things if you look at it with an open mind!
The clarity on this photo is good, but it can be better.
The clarity on this photo is good, but it can be better. | Source
Canon shot. Notice the clarity! The eyelashes come through nice!
Canon shot. Notice the clarity! The eyelashes come through nice! | Source
Look at this beautiful mane of blonde hair!
Look at this beautiful mane of blonde hair!
It's not a mane of hair, it's a tail of hair! Close-up photo's can change the perspective of things if you look at it with an open mind!
It's not a mane of hair, it's a tail of hair! Close-up photo's can change the perspective of things if you look at it with an open mind!


Your subject should not be in a shadow. If the shadow is unavoidable, put yourself in the shadow also, this will reduce the contrast.

Be wary of shadows falling across the face or the focal point of the subject. A wayward shadow falling across the face can sometimes look like a beard or mustache or both. This is not particularly flattering on a picture of a woman, so mind your shadow's.


Foreign Objects

Pay attention to what foreign objects are in the background. The photo, at the right, was one of my first I entered in a contest. It's pretty old, so the color isn't as bright and true as it was in its day, but it's a good example of where I began. Now, I can easily see the problem. Do you see what is wrong with the picture?

What's Wrong With the Picture

The first no-no I notice is the trailer is very dark. The shadows can barely be made out if you look real hard.

The other no-no, which had to be pointed out to me when I could not see the problem, is the hose running across the yard. I have skewered my daughters head with a hose!

Better lighting and removing the hose from the background would have made all the difference between "Honorable Mention" and a "First" or "Second" place.

Here's the photo without the hose. I used the dodge tool in GIMP to enhance the shadows in the trailer and copy, paste and smudge to remove the hose.



Zoom and Background Noise

The subject of your picture should be front and center. It is better to have two seperate photo's with a subject front and center in each, rather than one photo of two subjects that are not front and center. The picture at the right is of two subjects, but they barely grab your attention. The viewer can't see their faces very well or which subject they should be looking at.

If I want the viewer to see what I want to convey to them, then I need to zoom in and get rid of any background noise that is distracting their attention.


Now the viewer can see the girl's helmet has fallen down on her face and she's being silly with it. You couldn't see that at all in the original.

The photo now has what I want the viewer to focus on front and center.

Whatever you may be photographing, the subject of the photo deserve a stage of their own, so make sure they are front and center!

Sunrises & Sunsets

A sunrise or sunset can provide an incredible opportunity for some really good photo's. Too much sky or too much landshape can distract from the focus, the sunset/sunrise.

With all the photo editing programs on the market now enhancing a photo is easy. I use the free, download program GIMP to enhance my pictures. Contrasting and enhancing to really bring out the subject of your picture.

Below is a picture I took of a sunset. The tree's and horizon are not contrasting well. It's hard to tell where the sunset ends and the horizon begins.

Before Frame

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Before FrameBefore Frame
Before Frame
Before Frame | Source
Before Frame
Before Frame

Frame It!

Your photo is not complete without a frame. A frame adds so much to a photo that some (actually most) contests won't even accept an entry unless it is framed!

A frame "completes" a photo and enhances colors in the photo. If there is an item in a photo that you want to be more prominent, yet it's a small item, then use a frame with the same color as the item in it. It will make the viewer see the item much more than if you had no color in the frame at all.

Below are several shots of the same sunset as above, I have added some contrast to define the horizon, and added a frame. Each photo has a different frame color. Look through them and notice the difference each colored frame has on the photograph. Some of the frames really ruin the photo, some enhance the colors in it, and others are not influential at all.

A couple of the frames I duplicated one of the colors already in the photo and created a frame with that color and added a black edge to it. I prefer to use the colors in the picture because I think it really makes that color pop out and the black trim accentuates the color in the frame.

After - Framed!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Black FrameFramed with GIMP color gradient.
Black Frame
Black Frame | Source
Framed with GIMP color gradient.
Framed with GIMP color gradient.

A good camera is one important part of taking pictures and getting the right shot. Shadows, foreign objects, blurry or far away subjects, is right up there with importance of the right shot. But most of all have fun with it! Take lots of photo's and you'll find that perfect shot in some of them!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)