Improve Your Photography Skills with These Steps by James Miller – for OAM


written for Our Arts Magazine by James Miller

A piece of great equipment also needs great skills to make the most of what the technology has to offer. In photography, a wealth of techniques will take you a long way in capturing objects around you from a different perspective. The good news is that there are tons of easy and actionable guides to improve your photography skills.

The Basics of Composting

Wine, grapes and sunset vineyard ©James Miller

In photography, composting is like cooking your favorite dish. You need to have all the ingredients to make a good and tasty dish. The same goes for taking great photographs. You need to know all the important ingredients that comprise composting. Below are some elements that you need to know when composting:
First – symmetry. A good point of interest coupled with strong composition can make your image great and give a nice perspective of the object you are shooting. Second, depth of field. You would not want your viewer to miss the beauty of your subject.

You can isolate it by using a shallow depth of field to make it pop out from the background. Next, texture. It is an element that can make your image pop and become three-dimensional. You can play with lights so that you can achieve the right texture for your subject. Lastly, lines. This element has the power to take the viewer’s eye to the focal point of your image. You must know the power brought by incorporating horizontal, vertical, diagonal and converging lines so you can utilize its strength when capturing a subject.

The Rule of Thirds

In photography, knowing your subject is the first thing you should determine. It is an important factor as the subject will allow you to better frame your image. The good thing is that the rule of thirds can help new photographers to better capture their subject. This rule states that it is best to position your subject at the point where the lines intersect when you use a gridline. Experts recommend that it does not need to be exactly at the intersection, but it would be nice to have it somewhere near the intersection.

Know Where to Place the Horizontal Line

I previously told you about the power that comes with incorporating lines in your image. The horizontal line is one of the most helpful lines to take your image into another level. Most veteran photographers suggest placing this line, not at the center of your image. It is best to place it above or below the frame of your image. But it’s a different rule when you are taking a photo of a reflection. It is recommended for the horizontal line be at the center. This positioning creates equal elements for the whole image.

Leading Lines

Walkway to the dunes wooden walkway extends over marshland toward the distant dunes and ocean In Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA ©James Miller

If you’re still not convinced about the powers of lines in photography, then this second element can make you understood it. Leading lines are what guides the viewer to the important features of the image. You can use various objects as leading lines like walls, patterns or paths. Additionally, leading lines are not confined to straight lines. A curved line can also work. Any kind of line that can help the viewer to focus on the subject and other vital elements of the photograph will do just fine.

Foreground Interest and Depth

Waterfall in Cyprus ©James Miller

If you want to add more depth to your photograph, you should consider incorporating some foreground interest in the frame. This technique also allows your image to have that three-dimensional feel to it. But how do you do it? If you are taking an image of a waterfall, try including those boulders of rocks near where the water drops. The foreground interest provides a nice sense of depth for the image. Additionally, it is best to use a wide-angle lens when you decided to include a foreground interest in your next photo.

The Rule of Odds

Oddities are common in the environment. So, you should not expect that a perfect image comes out at every shoot. However, the rule of odds might help you deal when faced with something odd while taking a photograph. The rule states that an image can be far more interesting if there is an odd number of subjects. Veterans say that with an odd number of subjects, viewers have a lot of looking to do and make the landscape more natural and easier to the viewer’s eyes.


Anything can be easily learned. A skill can make your photographs pop even when using sub-par equipment. These techniques can allow you to tell a story to your viewer without words or background music. And that’s the wonder of great photography skills. So, what will you first try among those techniques above?

James Miller


Abbie (222)

Site owner and painter of awesome oils and watercolours. Manager + on large art site

Married to Robin another artist and sculptor. We live with two Shepweiler's, two demented budgies and 3 fish

Wannabe author and hardcase treehugger. All opinions are my own.

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