- Aperture priority mode, which gives you control over aperture while the camera controls shutter speed. This is great for portraiture.
- Shutter priority mode, which gives you control over shutter speed while the camera controls aperture. This is ideal for action shots.
- Program mode, which gives you control over ISO while the camera controls shutter speed and aperture. However, you can override the camera's selections in this mode. This is perfect for learning how to adjust all three exposure controls.
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No matter if you just picked up a camera for the first time or you've been a professional photographer for decades, there's always room for improvement.
The more you dedicate yourself to improving your skills, the better your images will be now and in the future.
With that in mind, I've put together this quick list of things you can do right now, today, that will vastly improve the quality of your photos.
Let's get started!
Get Out of Auto Mode
Auto mode is great when you're a newbie photographer because it lets you focus on developing your creative eye and getting some crucial practice with composing your images.
But beyond that, auto mode just doesn't do you many favors...
That doesn't mean that you have to learn how to shoot in manual mode right this second, either.
Instead, learn how to shoot in a semi-automatic mode. Most cameras have three to choose from:
The nice thing about using one of the semi-automatic modes listed above is that you can start to assume more control over the camera, but without diving right into manual mode in which you're responsible for all the exposure settings.
So, grab your camera, switch to aperture priority, shutter priority, or program mode, and start on the path to taking more control of your images!
Editor's Tip: Want to step up your game and take your photos to the next level? Turn them into fine art! Find out how to do that right here.
Stop Using the Pop-Up Flash
The pop-up flash on your camera is, in a word, terrible.
The light it emits is strong, bright, and harsh. That means that your subject will often be blown out with bright highlights with ugly, harsh shadows as well.
Instead, you can use a variety of techniques to light your shots.
If you're shooting portraits, go outside and make use of natural light. Toward the end of the day when the sun is low in the sky is a perfect time for outdoor portraits because the light is soft and warm.
If it's during the daytime, find the shade of a tree or a building to take your portraits, as that will eliminate the possibility of strong shadows in the shot.
Another solution is to use reflectors to fill in shadows or diffusers to soften natural light to get a nice, even-lit look in your photos.
Get a complete tutorial on using natural lighting for portraits in the video above by AdoramaTV.
Get High-Quality Prints
The true test of whether you've captured a great photo is how it looks in printed form.
By that, I mean that the images we take can look nice on a phone or a computer screen, but those mediums can hide or mask certain inconsistencies or mistakes.
In other words, getting your images printed out completes the process of improving your photography skills.
What's more, a fine art print of a photo that you took allows you to take some pride in the work you do and show it off to friends and family.
The confidence you gain from having a gorgeous photo printed in large format will only help you as you learn and grow as a photographer and gain even more confidence in your ability to get a great shot.
Of course, not all prints are made equal, so if you want to maximize the visual appeal of your photos, you need to get them printed from the right company.
For my money, that company is Artbeat Studios.
I've gotten several prints from these guys, and I can say without question that they are some of the best prints I've ever gotten.
My prints are on metal, and the vibrancy of the colors is simply astounding. It really was a "WOW" moment for me when I saw my prints for the first time.
And since Artbeat Studios offers tons of sizes - including custom sizes to meet your specific needs - you can get a print that's truly your own.
They've got a variety of choices of surfaces and finishes, different wall mounting options and styles, and you can also choose whether the print has a flush mount, which gives the print some depth and heft to it, or a recessed mount, which makes it look like it's floating on the wall.
In other words, improving the quality of your photos doesn't end with getting out of auto mode and using better lighting.
Instead, you need to improve how you present your images as well.
If you ask me, there's no better way to present your images than on a large print from Artbeat Studios!