Natural light will always provide you with the highest quality photos. Cloudy days are actually better for shooting than sunny ones, because the clouds act as a natural diffuser, spreading the light out and eliminating shadows and harsh contrasts. Opt for your next photo shoot outside on an overcast day.

If you are serious about photography, use a tripod. Tripods hold your camera still, which means that you will get an exceptionally clear shot when you use them. They come in particularly handy when you are taking a picture of a landscape, a sporting event or anything happening at night.

When you’re choosing a new camera, think about how much control you need over your pictures when deciding whether to purchase an SLR or a point and shoot. If you’re just going to be taking snapshots of friends and family, or documenting a vacation, you may not need the depth of features on an SLR. If you are going to be doing more serious portrait work, or want full control over everything you do, then choose an SLR.

Go through the manual that came with your equipment. Even if most cameras are rather intuitive, a manual will explain you what every feature does and how to adjust it. Read your manual and then experiment with your camera. You should feel comfortable much quicker when you take the time to learn about your equipment.

If you can’t use a tripod while taking photos for some reason, you should always brace your upper body on a solid surface. Hold your breath if you can while taking the shot. This will minimize shake during the exposure, resulting in clearer pictures. A tripod is always best, however.

A great photography tip is to keep your sensor as clean as possible. If your sensor is dirty, you’re going to end up with a dirty picture. Having a clean sensor can save you a lot of time by not having to clean up a photo in an image editing program.

A great photography trick that can help you out is to aim lighting away from your subject. You don’t always have to aim lights right at your subject. You can aim the light away to create a much more subtle and diffused light. Try this next time you shoot.

If you will be taking several pictures to be pieced together into one big photo, for example if you want a panoramic view, make sure that you turn of the auto focus on your SLR camera. If you do not do this, as you move your camera to take the different shots, the auto focus will automatically adjust. Instead you want to take the pictures with just one focus setting.

A good photography trick that can help you out is to hold your breath before you take a picture. Holding your breath will allow you to take a clear shot. Ideally you should use a tripod but this simple trick can help prevent you from getting blurry pictures.

When photographing with a flash, be very particular about where you point your flash. Remember that if your flash goes off directly at or on your subject, it will cause evident glare in the resulting picture. To get the most from your flash without ruining your picture, it is best to tilt your camera upward slightly.

A little bit of biblical wisdom can go a long way in photography, like doing unto others what you would have them do unto you – i.e. smile! You need to be happy when behind the camera if you’re shooting other people as a photographer. Your energy needs to be infectious. People need to feel that energy to relate it right back.

Once you have spotted the subject of your picture, make sure to take your shot right away. This is especially true if your subject is a living being, such as a child or animal. Since staying in one position for a long time is hard for animals and children, you want to make sure you get the pose you want.

Always stabilize your hands when taking pictures. If a tripod is not handy rest your arms on a table, wall or even another person to get a clear shot. Also, holding your breath while taking the picture will keep the camera from moving and assure the picture you need.

Try moving your subject to the left or right of the screen, instead of having them in the center of the picture. Use the rule of thirds. To do this, imagine there is a grid on the screen with three lines going horizontally and two going vertically. Some cameras do have the grid option. To create balance, place your subject where the lines come together.

A great photography trick that can make your photographs more interesting is to start paying attention to shapes. Try thinking about what kinds of shapes you’re getting in your photographs, and how you can make them look more compelling. Shapes can be a wonderful design motif if you use them.

You should now see why this hobby is very popular. There is so much you can do in it! There is also a ton of information on how to start enjoying the benefits of it. By following these tips, you are well on your way to becoming a successful photographer.

Alfred Schatzberg produces e-books on wedding photographer cheshire