Basic: 3 easy steps to better photographs / by Gustav Thuesen

It is easy to shoot better photographs. Most people don't care about f-stops and ISO and your camera (usually) does a fine job setting the settings correctly. So in the beginning let the camera take care of the technical side of things and focus on shooting more interesting photographs until you start getting more creative and need to expand your technical knowledge to make your creative visions come alive. In the end most people don’t care if it was shot at aperture f/4 or f/5.6. What catch the eye is the composition, light and colors. 

First step: turn off that flash. The on-camera flash or the flash in your phone is a last resort. The flash gives a harsh white light that rarely does any good for photos. Another point is that your flash isn’t powerful enough to light up things more than a meter away. Another problem with using flash is that it will most likely have another color temperature than the natural light. What you will end up with is two different colored light sources lighting up different parts of the subject. This gives the photo a weird and cheap look. Of course flash has its use but use e.g. when there is no or lowlight or you want a specific look.   

Next step is to improve your composition. Generally people tend to put the subject right in the middle. But it is not a gun, it is a camera. This makes the photo very uninteresting to look at - the eye goes right to the subject and stops exploring the image further. Try to use the rule of thirds - a simple grid. Where the lines cross you should attempt to place the subject. This forces the eye to explore the image. 

 Place your subject in the one of the red circles.

Place your subject in the one of the red circles.

The last step is to improve your lighting. This is simple. Shooting a portrait? Usually window light is stunning. Play around with the placement of your subject - generally avoid shooting into the light (backlight) unless you want to get going with reflectors and other light modifiers. Although if done right backlighting can look stunning!
Another thing to remember is to turn off the lights in the room or you will end up with weird shadows and mixed color temperatures.
If shooting outdoors an easy hack to great photos is to shoot at golden hour. Golden hour is the hour around sunrise and sunset. The light is usually really soft and golden and will look really great. The next best thing to golden hour is overcast - a sunny blue sky is often the least favorable lighting.

 It looks great when mother nature puts on a show.

It looks great when mother nature puts on a show.

To wrap it up: turn off your flash to get rid of mixed color temperatures and harsh light. Then move your subject out of the center of the frame to make the viewing experience more exciting. Lastly use big windows to light your subject or shoot at the golden hour.
Thanks for reading - see you out there!