Tips for Taking Better Photos

October 21, 2013 Editorial Staff
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(StatePoint) From selfies to portraits of lunch, more people these days are taking photographs in more places. But there’s a big difference between great photos and throwaways — and a big difference between great photographers and anybody with a smartphone.

But don’t despair.

“Anyone can learn to take better photos,” says Lucas Gilman, a professional adventure photographer whose work for such magazines as National Geographic and Sports Illustrated has taken him all over the globe.

Gilman is offering photographers of all levels tips for producing more compelling photography:

Don’t Wait

Shoot images in the moment. Never put anything off until tomorrow. The weather could change, the leaves on the trees could blow. Anything that can happen will.

Think Narrow

When photographing a scene that mixes bright and dark, the camera will lose much of the detail and you’ll end up with overexposed white and underexposed black.

Instead, look for mid-tones with little difference between the brightest highlights and darkest shadow. Flowers and trees, for example, are often best photographed on overcast, drizzly days.

Golden Hour

“My favorite time to shoot is right after sunrise or just before sunset, when the sun is low in the sky. It makes for more interesting and dramatic lighting,” says Gilman. “Shoot around these hours and you’ll be amazed at the great images you make.”

Working the Subject

Once you’ve found your spot and the light is right: shoot, shoot, shoot. Take different shots from different angles and unusual viewpoints.

“Don’t be afraid to take ten shots and edit out nine later,” says Gilman. “SanDisk Compact Flash and SD cards are super affordable these days.” More information can be found at

Shooting landscapes

Something dynamic in the foreground adds depth and scale. Look for a high vantage point, such as a balcony or rooftop. Study the light, especially when shooting from high angles. Shadows can be your best friend, and make for very interesting photos.


“Photography is about making a fleeting moment permanent, whether it’s a kayaker hurtling over a waterfall or the look on your daughter’s face when she opens that gift she’s been hoping for all year,” says Gilman. “These events can’t be recreated. Reliable photo storage is critical for protecting your work.”

A reliable external hard drive data back-up system allows you to seamlessly transfer and store all your digital content with one system.

For example, the Evolution Series with Thunderbolt from G-Technology lets you capture, transfer, edit and distribute media files all within a single storage system. Whether you’re traveling, or at home editing your photos, a high-performance external hard drive can make working with your photos easier. More information can be found at

And you can simplify the task with Time Machine backup, which works with Mac computers to automatically back up files.

For more photography tips and talk, follow Gilman at

Don’t settle for fuzzy, uninteresting images. By paying attention to light and being persistent, you can take a better photo. Just be sure to protect and store your work!


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