Nikon Americas USA

37ArticlesRemaining

4.2 Rating
Composing Photographs

Tips for making better compositions when photographing in the field

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.6 Rating
5 Easy Composition Guidelines

Follow 5 easy tips for better photo compositions

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
3.4 Rating
Taking Better Photos of Your Kids at Play

Taking photos of your kids while at play make great images; next time you’re…

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.3 Rating
Understanding Auto ISO

Auto ISO can simplify shooting under changing lighting conditions

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
3.7 Rating
Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic aberration is a phenomenon in which light rays passing through a lens focus at different…

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.5 Rating
The DX and FX Formats

Understand the differences between the formats to determine which is the one for you.

NEW
Read
Viewing
5.0 Rating
One Shot: The Forest and the Tree

Photographing the same subject different ways

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
3.7 Rating
Nikon Capture NX-D Software

Overview of Nikon's software for image processing and editing

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
3.8 Rating
12 Tips for Better Vacation Photos

A dozen easy tips for taking better vacation pictures

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.2 Rating
Macro Photography Tips: Photographing Insects and Other Small Creatures

A few quick tips on macro photography

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.1 Rating
Taking Better Photographs of the American West

When you get a chance to visit the open prairies, and photograph ranchers…

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.1 Rating
Tips for Photographing Birds

Birds make great subjects for photographs; tips for capturing them with your camera.

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.4 Rating
Understanding Focal Length

Focal length, usually represented in millimeters (mm), is the basic description of a…

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
0.0 Rating

Be the first to rate

Converting Motion Snapshots for Viewing on a Computer

Simple how-to guide to converting Motion Snapshot files on a Mac or…

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.6 Rating
One Shot: No Exit

Bill Durrence on ow a simple change can alter a photo’s feeling

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.2 Rating
Photographing Sports Indoors and Out

Capturing the action of a sporting event is easy when you follow a few simple…

Advanced

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.3 Rating
Polarizing Filters Add POW to Pictures

An Easy to Use Accessory, Polarizing Filters Bring out the Color and Definition in…

Advanced

NEW
Read
Viewing
3.6 Rating
Halloween & Autumn Harvest Photography

Take better photos during the colorful fall season

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
3.8 Rating
Cat Photography: Capturing Cats in Pictures

With a little patience you too can make great pictures of your pet cat or…

Beginner

NEW
Read
Viewing
5.0 Rating
Jody Dole Photographs Objects that Catch His Eye

See how commercial shooter Jody Dole uses anything and everything to…

NEW
Read
Viewing
3.9 Rating
Tips for Shooting Sports

Sports shooter Bill Sallaz knows what he wants and where to stand in order to get it

NEW
Read
Viewing
0.0 Rating

Be the first to rate

Miles of Aisles

Kevin Kubota establishes his clients' comfort level before the wedding, so that on the big day they will…

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.2 Rating
Competitive Edge

Andrew Hancock on sports photography

NEW
Read
Viewing
4.5 Rating
How a Sports Illustrated Photographer Shoots his Kid's Games

What can a Sports Illustrated photographer teach you about…

NEW
Read
Viewing

Composing Photographs

Creatively photographing a salt marsh

One of the most common mistakes beginning photographers make is taking a picture of the first thing they see and not going any further. Spending a little time to walk around the subject and explore it from different angles and distances can often result in a better photo.

Most people "see" good pictures, but then don't know how to take what they see and turn that into an interesting photo. In this example, we've found some grasses at the edge of a marsh. Walking up, we see nice stalks of grass and realize they would make a good picture. So, we shoot it. Now we've got a picture, but we've included too much. Anyone looking at it will see a background with bright green grasses, the river, and buildings on the other side of the river that competes for their attention with the grass we really wanted to show.

So the first thing we need to do is decide what it is that caught our eye? What is it that made us want to take a picture in the first place? If in fact it's the grass, then why include all the other stuff? Why not move closer and shoot just the grass? If we get closer and fill our viewfinder with the grasses, then we can get rid of the other distracting elements in the scene. This can be done by physically walking closer, or if that’s not possible, by zooming into the scene. Photographers using cameras with interchangeable lenses can use a longer lens, or teleconverter to get closer.

We can also change our shooting angle, or use a wide aperture to blur the background so its nothing more than soft color. Placing the subject against a background that is a different color or tone will also help to separate the subject and focus the viewer’s eyes where you want them. Is your subject in bright light and the background in shade? Shooting the grass under such a lighting situation will also separate the subject from the background.

See if there's a different way to shoot the grass, maybe from down low to silhouette them against the sky. Turn the camera and shoot vertical photos. Or even tilt the camera on an angle to add uniqueness to a subject.

Compose an image using negative space to focus on the subject of the picture. Use the reflections of the marsh grass and reeds in the water as part of your composition. Extreme close-up photographs often give an image a more abstract feel. Use a long zoom or macro mode to change your perspective.


Marsh Life

While it’s pretty easy to find gulls, ducks or herons flying or swimming around the marshes, look hard and you’re likely to find plenty of life that call the marshes home. Visit the salt marsh at low tide and look closely—and you’ll find various types of crabs that burrowing out of the sand to feed. All sorts of insects are likely buzzing around the grass, ready for their close up. Deep within the stalks of marsh grass, protected from predators, crustaceans are often visible when the tide recedes.

And just because you’re photographing the salt marsh, don’t pass up the opportunity to photograph man made objects such as small bridges or even works of art that you come across.

Be creative. Most all Nikon digital cameras offer special effects that will let your creativity shine. Shoot in Black & White—or convert an image to B&W on the computer for a completely different look.

Remember, when you’re using a digital camera, you're no longer paying for film. There's no reason not to shoot a lot of photos. Shoot, shoot, shoot, until you're absolutely, positively sure you've got the picture you want. It's always easier to delete the photos you don't need than to go back and try to re-shoot the same scene.

Welcome to
Nikon Learn & Explore

We've made it easy to find all the videos, tutorials &
stories you care about, get tips and advice from pros,
learn new shooting techniques, discover classes and
workshops—in short, help you find new inspiration
every time you visit. (And we hope you visit often.)

Get the Learn & Explore iPhone App

Access all the photography techniques, advice and inspiration of Nikon's Learn & Explore anytime, anywhere with the free app for iPhone®, iPod touch® and iPad®.
photo of two iPhones with the Nikon L&E app on the screens

Take Today's Poll

Make your opinion count and check back often to participate in new polls.

Attend Nikon School

Take your photographic knowledge to the next level; get a working understanding of your camera's features; learn how to create DSLR videos; discover how to edit your images using Capture NX2 software and more.

Nikon School logo and Brian Skerry underwater photo of fish on a reef

Subscribe to the
L&E e-Newsletter

And get great tips and techniques to try next time you go shooting!

L&E e-newsletter examples graphic

Learn photo & video terms!

Learn & Explore features an expansive glossary of over 800 photographic terms. Visit the L&E glossary to learn about specific Nikon camera features or more general photographic or video terms and definitions. Browse the glossary by letter, number or icon.
glossary graphic