Photographic Techniques
12 Tips to Transform Your Photographs

This page is all about photographic techniques which will help to improve your pictures both compositionally and overall quality.

What Makes A Good Picture?

This is the eternal question every photographer asks himself and is indeed asked perhaps every week. The answer, well beauty is in the eye of the beholder but there are certain elements within photography that when in place will certainly produce a better image than when not.

When you are a photographer I believe that you really do start to see and notice things differently. You begin to notice form, shape, colour and light, which when used together will create a strong photograph.

The following photographic techniques and elements are all part of the photographic creative eye and together are what help to make a good picture.

Photographic Techniques - Picture by http2007 on

1. Which Format

Vertical or horizontal? It is a common mistake made by the amateur photographer to use the camera always in the horizontal position. This is mainly due to the fact that cameras are made to fit in the hand more comfortably this way.

However if your subject matter is essentially vertical by nature, like a tall building or the composition of your subject warrants the vertical format, don't be shy in turning your camera around and using this format to explore the photographic possibilities.

Photographic Techniques - by Photopediaphotos on Flickr

2. Filling The Frame

How many times has a great shot been ruined by an ugly distracting background? To give your photography more impact, fill the entire frame with your subject matter. This can be done by either moving in closer or by using a zoom lens.

Photographic Techniques - Photographic Foreground by mugley on flickr

3. Where to Place the Subject

Where your subject is placed within your shot will determine its dominance and importance within the image.

Compositionally it is also a good idea not to place your main subject bang centre of the shot. Instead use the rule of thirds where you place the subject to one side of your frame.

Some cameras have this facility built in, where you can superimpose a grid onto your viewfinder to use as a guide. If not it is easy to imagine the grid for yourself.

Remember you may have to use auto lock focus to make sure your subject is completely sharp. Simply have click your camera shutter on your subject then while holding the shutter still, reposition your shot using the rule of thirds and take the shot.

4. Using the Foreground

Often including foreground detail will help to give your image a sense of depth and distance.

Raising your viewpoint and angling your camera downwards can emphasize the foreground.

5. Moving around your subject

Never be satisfied with one viewpoint of your subject. Take your time and walk around it to see if the composition can be improved.

Take several different shots from different angles and positions. This will ensure that you will not have missed perhaps a better shot than you would have first taken.

Photographic Techniques - Photographic Viewpoint by tophee on Flickr

6. High or low viewpoint?

If you are unable to move around your subject matter, it is still possible to get different view points by either crouching down and taking your shot pointing upwards.

This may allow you to catch a beautiful sky for your background. Alternatively if you can stand higher than your subject and point downwards you will be able to fill the frame entirely with your subject, avoid distracting skies etc.

Photographic Techniques - Photographic Frames by punk.jr on Flickr

7. Using Frames Within Frames

It is possible to create well-balanced and striking images by using natural frames. For instance, doorways and windows can act as natural frames for your main subject.

Look for these natural frames, they occur more than you may first realise. Even trees, archways and even the brim of someone's hat can be used to create a frame around your main subject.

8. Emphasizing your subject

By focusing completely on your subject and having a narrow aperture will emphasize the importance of the composition and remove any distracting and unnecessary aspects within the image.

Photographic Techniques - Photographic Scale by photoportunity on Flickr

9. Introducing a Sense Of Scale.

Often when photographing large-scale subjects it can be difficult to really portray its size within the photograph without something for comparison.

If possible try to include something close to the main subject that will be able to allow the view to see the actual size of the subject. Placing a person within shot is particularly good for this.

Photographic Techniques - Photographic Line by boocal on Flickr

10. How To Use Line

Use linear perspective to give images a strong sense of depth. For instance a winding road going off into the distance.

Or subjects that are placed one behind another will appear to get smaller and again give the illusion of depth. For instance a line of street bollards one behind the other will give this illusion.

11. Colour For Emphasis

Colour can be used to dictate the main areas of interest within a composition. For instance a small area of colour contrasting significantly within its surroundings can dramatically become the dominant feature of the image.

Photographic Techniques - Photographic Colour by wanderlustphoto on flickr

12. Colour & Mood

Colour can be used to influence the mood of an image. For instance, bright bold colours will indicate a happy up beat feel whereas pastel or light colours will induce a sense of clam and tranquillity.

Also colours such as red and orange will portray a sense of heat and so will help to create a feeling of summer and holidays. Whereas, blues and greens are colder and will enforce the feeling of winter and dawn.

Selling Your Photos

Once you have mastered these techniques you might start thinking about selling your photos. If you are interested in selling your photos online you should check out selling photos at