It is everyone’s dream to take photos they can someday mount in black and white.
Whether you wander the streets with an expensive Nikon or a Kodak disposable, getting extraordinary pictures is a daunting task. It is everyone’s dream to take photos they can someday mount in black and white: of an old couple holding hands, or a dove spontaneously erupting from the hands of a priest. While I can’t get you into the Vatican, I can help you take photos you will love of the places you want to remember.
Mind the Sky. Some of the most fantastic pictures I have ever seen have small slivers of land giving way to elaborate, complex, gorgeous skyscapes. When “trolling” for an awesome shot, always look up and see what the light, clouds, and sun are doing. It will help you to navigate where to shoot from, provide you with interesting shadows to work with, and may even become the focus of your shot. Don’t forget, however, to always include something else in the shot to provide perspective.
Know What You Like. Personally, I love taking pictures of lampposts and trees. For some reason, they make me smile, and I treasure every print. If you aren’t sure of what you like yet, experiment with looking through your pictures and noticing what you breeze over and what you can’t stop staring at. If you notice that you always linger when you see a spectacular door, or that you love photographing a particular time of day, recognize your niche and keep taking photos. You will collect pictures that go well together, and capture something you love. Most importantly, the pictures won’t be boring to the most significant person looking at them: you.
Get Tipsy. No, I don’t mean drink heavily before taking pictures. I’m suggesting that you use angles! Angles make fun pictures and there are tons of photography books available to educate you on the rules and the geometry of aesthetics. (Have you ever taken a picture straight on? For some ungodly reason, they always look awful to me.) So shoot the subject off center, tip the camera a bit, or have a friend give you a shove as you take the picture. Just steer clear of ledges and rivers.
Now go take photos you love!