Photography tips: 10 photographers reveal their tricks for taking better photos instantly

I asked some photographer friends for their photography tips for you. With this know-how you will make better photos immediately and now. It doesn’t matter if you shoot with a professional camera or a smartphone. These photography tips apply universally.

The order of the photography tips does not reflect their importance. The advice covers different aspects of photography. Depending on your level of knowledge one tip is more or less relevant for you.

Especially in the focus of a large part of the photography tips is the light as an essential, perhaps even the essential element.

If you are looking for additional photo locations, you can find a free map for photo spots in Lubeck and photo spots in Hamburg on our blog.

But now have fun reading. Don’t forget to check out the various Instagram profiles and websites of the photographers.

The light – Patrick Ludolph

The photography tip I have is about light. In my opinion one of the most important topics in photography. Who consciously pays attention to the light, is often already clearly different from the common Handyknipser.

Many probably know that the light is at sunset at the golden hour with the most beautiful. But what can you do when you don’t have the most beautiful sunset?? For portraits the tip is to look for a roof. You need something above the head of your protagonist.

Why? If there is a roof over your model, no light can come from above. This also prevents unsightly shadows from appearing under the nose or chin.

Even on cloudy days the light from above is not really exciting. The roof forces the light to take a detour. Take a tunnel as an example. Put your model a few meters into the tunnel and let him look to the tunnel exit. Then your model automatically gets the light in the face and you have a really great portrait light.

Photography tips - Patrick Ludolf - Person -Portrait - Black and white image

This also works very well with windows or just any kind of roof over your head. Photography Tips – Patrick Ludolf

Patrick Ludolf, also known as Paddy, is from Hamburg and is a photographer, blogger and Youtuber.

The foreground – Johannes Berger

I have a special photography tip for you, which I also like to use.

There is a saying about this and it’s called "foreground makes picture healthy" and originally comes from landscape photography. It’s about aligning your image composition to take advantage of the complete possible image area that the camera can capture.

An example: You are standing at a lake in the Alps and have a great mountain panorama in the background, the foreground is empty and only the lake is on it. Here you could simply build an organic guiding line with the help of a branch to lead the viewer to the shown mountain panorama.

In my field as mainly architecture and street photographer this is a bit more difficult, however there is a great technique where this saying fits just as well. I use my foreground to blur the foreground in the image and give the image more depth.

For this purpose a lens with a large open aperture is sufficient, for example F1.4, 1.8, 2.8 or similar. Please note that the longer the focal length, the better this effect works. The picture below shows exactly this effect, here the window frame disappears in the blur. For this picture I set the focus to the furthest point (Elbphilharmonie) and my aperture to F2.8 set.

Photography tips - Johannes Berger - Sunset - Sunset through window - Speicherstadt Hamburg

With this technique you can easily blur flowers, leaves or anything else that is very close in front of the lens. Photography tips – Johannes Berger

Johannes is a passionate photographer from Hamburg. Came to photography 4 years ago. His preference is a mix of architecture and street photography. Besides photography, Johannes also likes to travel and look at new places, which is super complementary.

The image focus – Julian Solter

My photography tip for you. Anyone can take beautiful photos! When I’m out and about with my camera, I’m always looking for lines, alignments, structures and objects that give the photo that creative something. Struts of a bench, railings, fences or plants, for example, can turn photos of supposedly conventional subjects into an interesting and unique image in no time at all. So before you start snapping away at random, an initial panoramic view could be the key to finding a suitable set-up.

Also always helpful: The view down. Paving stones, wooden floors and other backgrounds often unfold their effect only with a change to the frog perspective. So just lay down with the camera on the ground and discover the surroundings in a new way – this is not only interesting for the photo, but also for the people around you.

Once I have found my backdrop, I make the appropriate settings on the camera. Important here: The focus. I usually place my focus in the center of the frame – if my main subject is more on one side or the other of the frame, I set the focus point anywhere using the Flexible Spot feature. Also the aperture can be crucial for this kind of photos. A large aperture (i.e. a small value in the settings) creates beautiful bokeh effects that give the photo more depth.

Photography Tips - Julian Berengar - Lines lead into the picture - Bank -Himmel in Hamburg

When exposure, shutter speed, aperture and focus are right, I focus on my subject by pressing the shutter release button down only slightly and then holding it in position. Then I move the camera up, down, left and right until all the visible objects (e.g., the ceiling) are in focus. B the alignments of the struts of a bench), which I chose at the beginning, are in their correct position. When everything is right, I can press the shutter button all the way down and look at the result. Photography Tips – Julian Solter

Julian works as a freelance photographer and captures people, animals, nature and architectural masterpieces in urban spaces in his pictures.

Less is more – Tom Tagtmeier

Try to have only something in the picture that contributes something to the overall picture. Sometimes you catch yourself trying to capture a lot of details in one picture.

Instead, you should rather take several pictures with few details, in order to direct the focus on the one important detail, so the pictures look tidier, more professional and the viewer knows exactly what he must have in the eye.

So you also manage to put very special and small details in the right light.

Photography tips - Tom Tagtmeier - Droneshot - drone photo - Hamburg Speicherstadt

Photography tips – Tom Tagtmeier

Tom is a hobby photographer from Hamburg and mainly takes pictures of architecture and everyday life in all kinds of cities, but especially in his hometown Hamburg.

The right time of day – Marcel Wiest

Many wonder why the photos from the professional photographer look so good. Of course, several factors play a role, but the most important is the light! In the studio you always have the light fully under control.

But how does it look outside? There are two hours every day which are particularly suitable – the so-called "Golden Hour". The Golden Hour is one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset. At this hour, the light is particularly soft and all photos look better immediately.

Most of the time this means a bit more planning, as you have to be in the right place at the right time – but it’s guaranteed to be worth it!

Photography Tips - Marcel Wiest - Reflection Reichstag Building Berlin

Photography Tips – Marcel Wiest

Marcel lives in Berlin and is 30 years old. Since early 2020, he has been a freelance photographer working u.a. with brands like Canon and Samsung. Before that he was shooting for a big studio.

The search for something typical – Jorg Nicht

I often look at photos and recognize the place where they are taken. For me, a good street photo is one where I can tell where it is taken. It gives context to what is shown and creates stories. I often wonder how I can tell where the photo is taken without seeing a landmark or something like that. Almost every place has details that make it unique: orange trash cans in Berlin, for example, white-green lamps at the subway entrances in New York. When I take photos in a place, I look for what is typical for the place and try to incorporate it.

I’m interested in the life on the streets, how people move on them. On a rainy afternoon in Havana, I photographed a street with a man walking along it carrying an umbrella. But the man is slightly out of focus and his umbrella, together with his body, forms a kind of frame that emphasizes a section of the street. There you can see a turquoise car.

The crucial point is that the man is not walking along the edge of the street. Walking in the middle of a street, you can’t do that in many places in the world anymore, just like it’s rare to see vintage cars like this standing almost alone on the side of the road. Almost every viewer will recognize that it’s Cuba, even if he or she has never been there before. And maybe it will become clear that walking along narrow sidewalks is not the only way to get around in cities.

Photography Tips - Jorg Nicht - Cuba -Person on the street with umbrella - Car

Photography Tips – Jorg Nicht

Jorg Nicht is a photographer from Berlin and LUMIX Ambassador. His clients include companies like Adobe and Nissan as well as various tourism destinations. Jorg has gained international fame with his Instagram profile @jn.

Learn the basics – Alina Rudya

Unfortunately, there is no magic trick you can use to take better pictures right away. To take better pictures, you need to learn a few things, even if you have a good eye.

One of the biggest mistakes many photographers make is that they rely more on a fancy and expensive camera than on technical knowledge about the camera.

The first thing you should learn is how to use your camera and the basics of photography. How do I set aperture, shutter speed and ISO and what effect does it have on the photo?.

If you only shoot with your smartphone, learn about its capabilities and limitations. Start with a minimalistic compositions and good light. If you’re happy with the results, try moving on to something more challenging.

To learn about image composition, look at images you really like and try to copy their image composition.

Burning Man - Person on bicycle with octopus

I honestly think this is probably the best photography tip for beginners, especially if you don’t have that much experience yet. In general, learning by doing is a very good and yet simple advice. Photography Tips – Alina Rudya

Alina Rudya is a Ukrainian-born photographer who currently lives and works in Berlin. Her clients include, for example, Mercedes-Benz, Nikon Germany and Samsung Mobile Germany.

Light for the second – Jerome Fleck

As one of the most important photography tips I can recommend you the topic light. I always try to avoid the midday sun or the sun in general and go to more shady corners.

Unless it’s very early in the morning or just before sunset. In these cases, very beautiful backlight shots can be made. This needs however some practice and the correct positioning of the sun behind the model.

In the shade you should make sure that enough light reaches the model, especially to illuminate the face properly. Here there is the possibility that either the light from opposite buildings is sufficient to be reflected onto the model or, otherwise, a reflector is used.

Depending on the location, I simply turn the model in the direction from which the sun is shining. Even on a cloudy day, this can do wonders for getting enough light on the face.

If you are not at all sure whether the lighting on the face is right, take a 360 degree shot and move once completely around the model. You will quickly realize from which angle the light works best. Of course, this tip doesn’t work at every location, but it can quickly lead to good results when working with light.

If you are working inside buildings, you can also make very nice portraits with the help of window light. In this way, the light can be used very specifically and you can concentrate on the remaining aspects of a portrait.

Hamburg Hafencity with the Elbe Philharmonic Hall

No matter where you make portraits, the light should always be in the first place and set correctly. So here is practice, practice and practice again! Photography tips – Jerome Fleck

Jerome Fleck has been living in Hamburg for almost 3.5 years. In addition to his main job in online marketing, he is engaged in photography in his spare time. Here he is particularly fond of portrait and landscape photography.

His own style – Tomy Heyduck

Photography is very multifaceted and individual! This makes them incredibly exciting! Of course, it is always in the eye of the beholder whether a photo is beautiful and good. However, you can achieve beautiful results by a certain creativity. Great photos are characterized by a successful composition, the right light and an appealing choice of motifs.

Of course the quality of the photos is very important but not everything. Therefore, you don’t necessarily need an expensive camera to take beautiful photos! Many other aspects are important.

Personally, I love to take photos in the early morning when the sun is rising! The mood and the colors of the pictures become much better and more harmonious by the morning light. You can fully concentrate on the essentials here. I also enjoy the peace and quiet in the morning in nature or in the cities of!

You will also get a better result of your photos if you work with manual focus. Here you can determine yourself what is focused and can thus also snap sharper photos.

It is important to find your own style and always stay true to yourself. Be inspired by other photographers but don’t copy their work. Tell stories with your photos. Photography Tips – Tomy Heyduck

Tomy Heyduck is 28 years old and has been a part-time photographer since the end of 2018. His specialties are architecture and landscape photography. In addition, he is now also a passionate wedding photographer on the road.

Image composition – Oliver Bock

The last photography tip comes from me personally and revolves around the topic of image composition. Especially if you take photos mainly or exclusively with your smartphone, aspects like aperture, exposure time and ISO are uninteresting for you, because you can’t influence these technical but important elements most of the time.

  • Rule of thirds: With the rule of thirds you divide the picture by two vertical and two horizontal lines into 9 equal pieces (on almost all smartphones and cameras you can switch on this grid and it is then visible in the viewfinder or in the picture display). screen visible). Now you place the core element of your photo on just one of these imaginary lines resp. at the intersection of the two. This will make the picture more interesting than if you place your core element centrally in the middle of the frame.
  • Symmetry: Sort of the opposite rule to the rule of thirds. We find symmetrical things inherently beautiful. This is what you can use in your photos. So look for a perfectly symmetrical image composition. This works very well with architecture or reflections. Attention: small deviations are immediately recognized by our eye.
  • Lines: There is virtually no image or image section without lines. Be it the horizon or the street leading into the picture. Use such lines deliberately to lead the viewer’s eye into the picture. This will add depth to your image.

Oliver Bock is a photographer, content creator and social media expert. A few years ago, he founded the successful Hamburg Instagram community @igershamburg.

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