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Bad photos how to improve, and get better.

@KeenDogg posted a tutorial to show how to improve SOTD pictures.

@DesertIguana, Burning things sounds like a great photo opportunity! Get low, get close but maybe not too close?

Seriously, take lots of photos. Sure, many will be "bad" but you start finding things that work. Notice those and try to improve the ratio. Show the ones that you like. Try different angles, down low, up close etc.

If you have particular examples of what you aren't happy with let us see them. Maybe we can suggest a solution.
Spend most of working years doing freelance News, and Feature photography.

Play with doing words to support images, thank goodness for editor who made mish mosh hood reads.

Today with digital you’re lucky as you see what you shot. With in a split second of creating image.

Then you got great cameras in or as part of smart phone. Plus you can crop, edit, enhance colors, or turn color image into black n white.

Would guess most of image the member here post, are with phone, and many are top shelf.

Soft light is always available for free outside on super cloudy days. No your images are not full of bright day shadows.

Shoot list of images when you are trying to sell something, get close, use contrasting background. Last edit three times.

First time get the thing out you do not like, second time editor of the not so good images, last picture the best to show. No one will know the three photos posted were best of 60 or more images you shot.
I'm not a pro by any means, but first thing is composition.

Use the rule of thirds.​

The rule of thirds is a way of dividing frames for optimal composition. It involves evenly dividing the frame between two equally spaced horizontal and vertical gridlines, creating a three-by-three grid. In order to create balance and flow within the image, compositional elements should be placed where these lines of the grid intersect or segment your image. This tends to allow for more interesting images than simply centering a subject. “You want to move your eye around that image and find things with that trio,” says Long. A photo with an interesting element in only one section likely won’t be as successful as a photo that’s interesting top-to-bottom and side-to-side.

Balance images.​

Balance is related to, but distinct from, symmetry. A balanced image doesn’t necessarily look the same right-to-left or side-to-side. Rather, the various quadrants of the image complement each other in aesthetically pleasing ways. A viewer’s eye will likely scan the picture, looking for a point of interest and something else in dialogue with that point — an obvious subject might be balanced on the other side of the image by negative space. “If you have a really complicated photo with a lot of stuff going on, it can cause us to respond by drawing parallels,” says Long, “which can be kind of invigorating, confusing, and aggravating in a good way.”
Loud or vivid colors often demand attention and disrupt or complicate. “The saturation of certain hues is really going to pull your eye,” says Long. “If I want something to pull more visual weight, increasing its saturation or its luminance can be useful.”

Unbalanced photos can look disorienting or amateurish. “When a photograph is out of balance it provides uneasiness,” says Long. “The majority of the time we like a sense of fluidity with the image.” Things on the left correspond with things on the right, and perhaps they circle around something in the middle. Like having a feel for aesthetics or good intuition about images, recognizing balance comes with practice. “Balance isn’t something you can teach people,” says Long. “You really get a sense of it as you look at things.” The more you work, the more familiar you get with how elements of an image work in concert with each other.

Work with leading lines, focus, and depth of field.​

Photography flattens three dimensions into two. In order to preserve a feeling of space and dimensionality, a photographer has to be aware of what’s in a shot and how they’re focusing on it.

Leading lines are visual elements that pull the viewer’s eye toward a subject or focal point. They can be anything — roads running off into the distance, an arm stretched out toward something else, tree branches rising toward the moon — anything that pulls attention toward something else. These lines can give flat surfaces the appearance of depth, dimension, and shape.

Focus and depth of field also add to the illusion of a third dimension within the photo. Shallow depth of field can give the viewer the impression that they’re focused on something immediately in front of them, and it provides a look of depth and scale, even in a flat photo.

ind the right point of view.​

If you want to play with composition, move around. Simply changing perspective can mean the difference between a great photo and a conventional one.” All we’re doing is choosing to exclude things or include things,” says Long.

Play with your spacing and distance from your subject. “I move around a lot,” says Rivera. “I get really low or really high. I see what it’s like if I get under my subject or see what it’s like if they move side-to-side.” Get close, get far, and move to find how you want to frame your subject.

Lastly, when you’re composing a shot, keep in mind how the image is ultimately going to be used. “There might be text that goes over an image, or it might be a magazine cover,” says Rivera. Allow for those potential extra elements when you’re lining up the shot, and try to conceptualize them while you look through your viewfinder.

Improve composition with post-production cropping.​

If the composition of a photo is a little off, it’s often possible to improve it in post-production with a quick crop. A photo might not frame the subject in an optimal way. But, just by moving the edge of the frame, you can often find a good image within a mediocre one.

When going through old images, try looking at them from a different angle or perspective. “Play with the rotation of the image,” says Rivera. “When you do a crop you can rotate it, flip the image, or put it upside down and maybe see something else.”

Getting composition right.​

You need to do more than just follow compositional rules to shoot good photos. It’s possible to follow things like the rule of thirds without intention or to use it without purpose. Understand that the elements of composition aren’t like algorithms or formulas — they help guide a photographer’s decision-making skills, not substitute for them. “Leading lines are great, but hopefully they’re leading me to your subject and not leading me to nowhere,” says Long.

Photography composition rules are the foundation. After you’ve internalized the fundamentals of what goes into a good image, you can break the rules. “Once you have the basics down, you can experiment,” says Rivera. “There are no set rules for how you should shoot anything. That’s the beauty of being an artist. You can make your own rules and your own imagery.”

Good photographers have an eye for subjects and scenes. Composition is a tool they can use to help others see what they see. They collect elements of a wide world and, with their equipment and expertise, organize it pleasingly within a rectangle. This is true for any type of photography, whether it’s portrait photography at a human scale, landscape photography on a grand scale, or macro photography of tiny worlds.

Photography is one of my hobbies I’ve been developing over years. Here are some of the tricks I’ve developed to make my pictures better.

First, treat the camera as a tool and extension of yourself. The camera snaps images, but you make the picture.

Zoom with your feet. Too many people rely on zoom lenses while standing in place. Learn to use prime lenses (or don’t zoom the lenses) and move your body to frame the image you want.

Use telephoto lenses for portraits. The use wide angle lenses for close ups. These result in nice images.

As crazy as it sounds, change your position and perspective. Stand on tables. Belly crawl on the ground. This will help you see things new ways.
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