Tips for Capturing Your Best Photos in the Thumb

The following content is provided by Business Soil, located in Harbor Beach. 

When I was tapped to write this article I decided to put myself in the shoes of a tourist by hiking at Port Crescent State Park and taking some photos to use as examples. Huron County has a great amount of natural beauty, but how do we frame that in a way to be as visually interesting as possible? 

Here are some quick and easy tips for taking better photos. Nothing in this list requires a special camera or lens. Nothing in here is expensive or hard to learn. Most of getting a good photograph is seeing a good photograph and trying things out. 

In these days of digital cameras, you can get immediate feedback as to what you may have done well or not so well. You aren’t wasting money on film for practice. Get out there and shoot a lot! 

Change your perspective

This might be the easiest and most important thing to do, but it seems a lot of folks have trouble with the technique. Most of us take photos while standing upright at our normal height…standing in the place we noticed we want to take a photo. If you crouch down, move a couple feet to the left, or find a chair to stand on you will COMPLETELY change the outcome of the photo. 

Move your feet

Zoom lenses are great when you have no option to get closer to your subject but if you can get closer, DO IT! You can get a much more dramatic photo just by getting closer to your subject. 

Shoot a lot

Find something you think is interesting and shoot it from many angles and perspectives as you see fit. There is no such thing as a "correct" photo. Play around.

Rule of thirds

This is a pretty traditional rule. Most cameras these days even offer a "grid overlay" in the viewfinder or on the screen to help with this. In a nutshell, if you put the subject of your photo along the lines, or even better at the intersections, you will create a visually interesting photo with a good amount of negative space. If you'd like to get more in depth, click here

Of course, like all rules, sometimes this is meant to be broken. But, not today. :-) First learn the rule, then you will know when it's appropriate to break.  Below are a few shots of a tree on the coastline. You can see the difference between a centered composition and one that follows the rule of thirds.  

Texture & Focus

If you’re trying to tell a story with your photos, be sure to include some texture or detail shots. Get in close on that flower. Show how the shadows play on the sidewalk. Something that’s not just a wide shot including several things for the viewer to look at…pull their focus into one simple thing that you want them to see. 



Playing with focus in these texture shots can be fun (and useful) too. Here are two shots that are the same photo but with very different focuses. 

Bring the viewer in

One great tip for creating visual interest is to lead the viewer into your photo. You want your viewers eyes to move through the photo. This might take a bit more practice than the other techniques mentioned. You can help the viewer move to a certain area of the photo or "focal point". This can be done many ways, but here are a few examples. If you'd like to get more in depth, click here.

Keep Learning!

This is just scratching the surface on how to take better photos. In this article we mostly talked about composition and visual interest. The "artsy" stuff if you will. There are many, many more technical things to learn if you want to get deeper into photography and get some great photos in those more difficult situations.

If your small businesses needs professional photography or if you 'd like some photography lessons, contact Business Soil.