10 Tips to Take Your Photos from Good to Great

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10 Tips to Take Your Photos from Good to Great

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Take Your Summer Photos to the Next Level 2

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1) Framing Is Everything In some settings there are many eye-catching things to include in your photograph, but these can distract the viewer. Whenever possible frame your photo so that it focuses on a single subject.

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2) Don’t Take the Rule of Thirds Literally If taken literally, the rule of thirds can create formulaic photos with every subject in the dead center of the image. Break away from perfectly centered images. Consider that the eye usually moves from left to right in an image, just as it does when reading. Use lines within the photograph to lead your audience to the subject.

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Another Approach to the Rule of Thirds Is to Use Layers Another option is to build layers in your composition to create a rich viewing experience. Consider this sunrise photo from Africa. The layers include a savannah foreground, the mountain middle ground, and the sun in the distance.

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3) People Are Difficult Subjects Capturing people's spirit, their true essence, is the challenge. You really need to focus on capturing them at ease, which can mean waiting and waiting for an uncanned moment. Other times you need to talk to the subject to get them to relax.

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4) Sunsets and Sunrises Are Click-Bait Sunrises and sunsets are bait for likes, favs and clicks. People love landscapes almost as much as they like dog and kitty pics.  

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Use a Sunrise/Sunset to Dress up a Subject This sunrise image taken for Audi turns a mundane methane gas pump into a much more interesting subject. See how you can frame your subject within the context of a sunrise or sunset to make for more attention-grabbing photos.

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5) Rich Vibrant Color Is a Technique One critical aspect of color is exposure. When you shoot manually, you can choose what to expose in your photo. So when I take a sunset or sunrise pic, I expose for the sun or the most colorful part of the sky.

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Editing for Color In Lightroom, open the highlights to reduce glare and pull out the rich color. Adjust whites and blacks accordingly. From there, normal edits to vibrancy and contrast finish the job. Also open the shadows in Lightroom to expose the foreground or other dark areas.

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6) Edit Your Photos There are purists who say photos shouldn't be "photoshopped" or edited. They are wrong. Some of the most iconic photos were significantly altered in the darkroom.

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Editing: From Good to Great This Great Falls picture was powerful as a raw capture. Editing it made it become a top ten photo on Flickr the day it was published.

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7) Use Filters Mindfully Whether you create presets of your standard workflow, buy presets or use a tool like Intensify, you are using filters. When you edit photos using presets, it's an attempt to make them better. Generally, people like the photos more.

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Use Filters with Intent While haphazard filters produce a few diamonds, the end product is rarely what would be considered photography. Differentiation with intent. It’s an opportunity to distinguish yourself with strong, one-of-a-kind images.

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8) Black and White Works A good color photograph almost always makes for a good black and white photo. But so does a photo with blown out highlights, bad light (for example, your atypical middle of the day shot) or muted tones.

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9) A Take-Away from the Minimalist Crowd Minimalist photographers encourage editing as a touch up only, instead focusing on the capture. They’ll edit in LightRoom, but just enough to make clean, crisp photographs.

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Minimal Edits for Authenticism 80% of the work on this photo was done in the Basic LightRoom panel. I opened the shadows and reduced the highlights. I sharpened the image and punched up the color contrast. Then I enabled lens correction. And that was it.  

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10) If It’s Not Sharp, Don’t Post It It's tempting to post a good capture with a subject that you like even though it's a little fuzzy. Don't do it. The subject needs to be in focus. A fuzzy pic is not a good pic, no matter how strong the subject and composition is.

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The Exceptions to the Rule There are only two exceptions to the rule. The first is sentimental value. If that's the case, cool. Memories are precious. The other is if you are intentionally blurring or distorting a photograph. In that case, go for it. Art is art.  

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Questions? Visit us at tenacity5.com Image by Aaron Squires 20