How to take good photos: 10 Basic Rules for a Correct Photo [Actualizado]

It is sad to invest money in a good SLR camera and not be able to get more than unsuccessful, ugly and disastrous photos, one after another, due to naive oversights about basic rules of photography, rules that every photographer, no matter how beginner, should know. Today I bring you a series of simple technical photography tips and some very basic rules that will tell you how to take good photos, or at least correct ones, those that satisfy the eye 🙂 From there, making them spectacular will depend only on you. At least the rules will be on your side.

If you want to delve into the Photographic composition and know all the tricks and tips in this mega guide that I have prepared for you.

Basic photography techniques

As I told you before, these are the first steps you should know when it comes to knowing how to take good photos. From here it can only get better 😉

1. The Rule of Thirds

This rule is very simple but it has tremendous power in the way we visualize the photo. It consists of dividing the image, mentally, into 9 equal parts (by means of 2 parallel horizontal lines and another 2 vertical lines) and then placing the subject at some point where the lines intersect. This photo illustrates it perfectly:

Rule of Thirds

As you can see, the photographer has placed the bird at the intersection point in the lower left of the frame. Any other point of intersection would have been equally worthwhile.

This in photography is called strong points. They are points that especially attract attention and give the subject greater interest and prominence.

2. The Law of the Horizon

Useful to know how to take good landscape photos. When you are composing a photo, before shooting imagine 2 parallel horizontal lines dividing the photo into 3 equal parts. This is applicable in both landscape and portrait modes.

The law of the horizon

If you want the sky to be of special interest, place the horizon on the bottom line. If instead you want to give more importance to the terrestrial landscape, place the horizon in the second line, the upper one.

It’s that simple. As you will see, it is not even remotely one of the most complex photography techniques, and yet it is really effective.

3. Straight horizons

Speaking of horizons. It is one thing to include a crooked horizon with a clear intention to create tension with a diagonal, and quite another to carelessly leave a crooked horizon. The first well-executed case is usually attractive, the second disastrous. You can spoil an image you’ve spent a lot of time on.

Example of a crooked horizon that should be straight Example of how a crooked horizon can work

4. Explore new angles

Experience photography by shooting your camera from bold and unusual angles. For example, take a picture of yourself in the rear view mirror of the car (only when you are not the driver, please) or capture the image of a historic building reflected in a puddle of water.

5. Approach subjects fearlessly

Take very close photos of small objects. Capture details and fill the frame. You could even focus exclusively on the detail while ignoring the rest of the object. The results are usually very striking.

This is especially useful when there are many distracting elements around your subject that do nothing but clutter the scene and draw attention away.

6. Take the height of your small age subjects

If you want to know how to take good photos of children, squat or kneel, try to lower and place the camera at the same height as the child or animal you want to photograph, this way you will transmit more realism and the impact will be much greater.

7. Use the flash outside

For portraits, use the flash outside. Even if it is a particularly sunny day, the flash helps prevent shadow areas that occupy the person’s face, for example, because they are wearing a hat or something that casts a shadow or because the sun is above or behind the person being photographed. The best way to avoid it is to force the flash. It’s called fill flash, and its purpose is not to illuminate darkness, but to fill the subject’s face with light so that it is even with its surroundings.

You can also achieve this same effect with a reflector.

8. Get a good exposure

One of the most basic and important technical photography tips that I can give you is to ensure a good exposure. An underexposed or very dark photo should be avoided just as much as a burned or overexposed photo.

Find the right point of light, the semi-automatic modes of your camera will help you achieve it, and the histogram to know if it is well exposed.

In this comparison you can see an underexposed photo (top) and an overexposed photo (bottom).

Top underexposure, bottom overexposure

And now the same photo exposed correctly:

correct exposure

It is important not to confuse high key and low key here. For example, the following image is taken in low key, although it is dark, it does not mean that it is underexposed, since what you want to show is correctly exposed.

low key photography

9. Get a sharp photo

When I talk about sharpness, I don’t expect you to achieve professional sharpness, but a minimum. To achieve a correct photo you must ensure that your subject does not come out blurred (unless you do it intentionally) and that it is well focused, even if you blur everything else.

The following image, in addition to being a good example of overexposure, is a perfect example of an unsharp photo. If you look closely, the girl who should be the protagonist of the image is out of focus, while the plants to the right of her are.

In this other image, however, you can see that it is not moved or out of focus, although the background is.

And the golden tip if you really want to know how to take good photos…

10. Shoot in RAW

Take your photos in RAW, especially when you’re trying to take good photos, not just souvenir photos from your uncle’s birthday. No, those photos in which you put a lot of care, in which you don’t mind spending time developing them in front of the computer to polish them and get the best out of them.

It’s not that it’s the solution to how to take good photos, but this format preserves all the elements of the image (colors, light, shadows, saturation) and allows, through post-processing, to move them as we please. That is, it allows, having captured a correct photo from the beginning, that you can achieve a much better one in the development. Taking a photo in JPG produces a final photo in which we would have no more room for modification. (More on the pros and cons of shooting RAW here.)

I hope you enjoyed today’s article. If so, please do not stop recommending it on your favorite social network.