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I find it appropriate to share few random thoughts on taking better photos. Today when you look around in any public place, you will notice that almost everybody is busy capturing their moments of joy and happiness be it with a mobile phone camera or a professional DSLR. So today everybody is a photographer and to be able to take better photos you need to understand the general nuances. In my perception photography is all about presenting a visually appealing image to your viewer which he enjoys seeing. Apart from ensuring that the image is correctly exposed and well composed it is also essential that it generates interest and engages him. The photos which you take must draw and hold the attention of the viewer. Please analyse the images below and the annotations which follow to get what I am hinting at. All photos have been taken using Canon eos 60D with 400 mm 5.6 L lens.

First and foremost your snaps must be well composed following the rule of thirds. The focus should be sharp, to achieve this I invariably focus on the eyes specially when I am photographing birds or snapping portraits.

You should preferably shoot during the early parts of the morning or just before sunset. The best light for photography is from sunrise to say 2 hours and an hour before sunset to sunset. At these times the light is directional, soft and has a golden hue. The above photo was taken around 8 am hence you can see the pleasing effect which the light has. You should also learn to use depth of field in a creative way. Notice how the main subject stands out since the background is in soft focus. ( Above photo taken with Canon 60D using a 400 mm 5.6 L lens. I was out for bird photography hence the 400 mm lens. f 5.6, 1/320, ISO 200).

While photographing birds try and fill the frame. This may not always be possible in camera, you will invariably have to resort to cropping using an image editor such as Photoshop.(Photo taken at Kavadi Pat, Pune on 30/12/2013 f 5.6, 1/640, ISO 200).

Your snaps must tell a story. Photography is all about sharing visual experience and that is what the above photo is telling us. Learn to click at the right moment so that your snaps tell a story. (Photo taken at Kavadi Pat, Pune on 30/12/2013 f 5.6, 1/320, ISO 200).

Capture action. Action is always interesting and draws attention.(Photo taken at Kavadi Pat, Pune on 30/12/2013 f 5.6, 1/400, ISO 320).

While taking photographs of birds try and make yourself inconspicuous.

People photography is all about shooting interesting moments. Capture people doing something interesting.

When shooting birds ensure that the eye is in focus and visible. (Photo taken at Singhad Valley,Pune on 30/12/2013. f 5.6, 1/640, ISO 200)

Try and capture them in pairs, such snaps are visually interesting.(Phototaken at Singarh Valley, Pune. (f 5.6, 1/125, ISO 200).

While out on a shoot keep observing the surroundings, you never know when you will find a subject waiting to be photographed. Learn to fill the frame and crop the image in an interesting manner.

Organize yourself for the shoot. Carry appropriate gear such as lenses for the occasion, tripod, backpack, spare battery and memory card etc.

Don’t worry about the quality of your gear. Just go out there and shoot. Make the best of what you have.

When outdoors, don’t miss the wild flowers. They make interesting subject. (Photo taken at Singarh Valley, Pune with 400 mm lens (f 5.6, 1/125, ISO 320). Your composition must be visually interesting.

To capture flying birds acquire them before they are in shooting range and keep the shutter speed quite high to freeze motion..(Photo taken at CME Lake, Pune on 25/12/2013, f 5.6, 1/1600, ISO 200).

Reflection make the image look awesome. Learn to capture them. (Taken at CME Lake, Pune 25/12/2013, f 5.6, 1/1250, ISO 200).

Learn to freeze movement at the right time. (Taken at CME Lake,Pune on 25/12/2013, f 5.6, 1/1000, ISO 200).

Practise, practise, practise to shoot flying birds. Flying birds make amazing photos. ( Taken at CME Lake, Pune on 25/12/2013, f 5.6, 1/1250, ISO 200)