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Taking Better Photos

May 03, 2012

Taking Better Photos

We asked three experienced photographers for their best-loved techniques and some tips that everyone can use to take better digital pictures

Jordan Morrison, Applied Photography 2003 

Favourite Photography Technique: extended exposure times

The outcome of this technique is often beautiful because movement is captured.


  • Composition – make sure there aren’t any trees sticking out of people’s heads and don’t cut off body parts such as feet.
  • Lighting – think about the quality of light and where it’s coming from.
  • Keep your camera with you – if you’re into photography, try to have your camera with you all the time, you never know when a good picture moment will happen.
  • Read the camera manual - although getting through one is a chore, the manual teaches you everything about the camera.
Jordan says cameras nowadays are all decent, so it’s the person behind the lens who makes the difference. Someone with an expensive camera isn’t guaranteed to take great pictures, but someone with a $100 camera easily could.

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Michelle Neumayer, Graphic Design 1985 

Favourite Photography Technique: working with light to express exactly what she wants. Light is an amazing, creative tool.

  • Take notice of the light. Is it harsh, sombre or illuminating? The most flattering and artistic light is early in the morning and late in the day. When forced to shoot midday, try shooting toward the light so your subject does not have to squint into the sun.
  • Allow yourself to play. Enjoy your photography, because we are really creative when we’re having fun!

Michelle teaches creative photography at the 171 Cedar Arts Centre in Corning, New York. She encourages her students to find what they’re passionate about and explore that through their photography.

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Meghan Hall, Applied Photography 2007

Favourite Photography Technique: getting people to be who they are. Meghan makes an effort to depict people’s personalities in her portrait work.

  • Take a lot of pictures. It’s digital, so you’re not wasting film. Don’t be afraid to delete your bad photos.
  • Get to the right level of your subject – you’ll get a better perspective if you’re at the same height as the person you’re photographing, so if it’s a child, sit on the floor.
Meghan says photography is becoming a more diverse field. She is often asked if she produces video content as well. It’s now about wearing different hats, she adds.

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