20210105-MAG-Nubble Lighthouse

Nubble Lighthouse in York, Maine

You’ve probably heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Every photo you see and take, tells a story and preserves memories that can last a lifetime. Prior to smartphones and digital cameras, taking pictures was expensive, and you had to wait a week or more to see the results. Now, thanks to new technology, anyone can take good photos and instantly share with friends, or post on social media. Despite owning an expensive camera phone or digital camera, have you ever experienced blurry photos or those that are too bright or too dark? Have you ever wondered why your photo didn’t quite capture the moment or scene as you remember it?

Welcome to my first article, on how to take better pictures. Whether you are a novice or serious amateur photographer, these monthly articles will provide tips to help you improve your photography. I will be covering subjects like what makes a great photograph, fixing blurry and overexposed or underexposed photos, lighting, color, composition, camera adjustments, choosing the right camera, Photoshop software, printing at home, photographing people, sports, landscapes, scenic photo opportunities and much more.

Let’s start with the elements (ingredients) of a great photograph, according to professional photographers. The photo needs to be in focus, properly exposed, have one main subject or theme, be artistic, unique and have an emotional impact on the viewer. Today, let’s start with focus and then move on to other elements in future articles. By being in focus, I mean the main subject is not blurry. The most common cause of blurry photos is that the camera moved while taking the picture. To correct for this problem, hold the camera closer to your body and brace your elbows against your body for stability, or brace yourself against a tree, post, table, etc. You can also mount the phone or camera on a monopod (one leg) or tripod for stability.

I look forward to sharing more tips with you on how to take better photos.

Ron Bowman is a New Hampshire-based photographer with more than 50 years of experience photographing weddings, real estate and New England landscapes. He is a member of the Lakes Region Art Association and can be reached at rbphotonh@gmail.com. His work is available to view at www.rbphotonh.com