There is no single rule of thumb to follow when it comes to making a stunning and professional photo. The only thing to know when you first get started in photography is that it will take some time before you are able to take stunning shots.
But without general guidelines you may wander off the path quite easily. This is why we have decided to provide you a list of things to pay attention to. If you follow it through, you will be able to focus your efforts on learning how to take pro shots. Let's see what we have in store for you.
Pick Your Spots Carefully
If you take your time to review the stunning photos captured by your colleagues, you will start to discover certain patterns. There is a particular one that emerges from the pile of the miscellaneous others - unique perspective.
You can easily notice that some of the photos of world-famous architectural masterpieces are simply more stunning than others. Why? Because a photographer picked an interesting spot to take photographs from.
Every great photo follows the rules of great composition. If you are completely unfamiliar with composition in photography, the first thing you should learn is the rule of thirds. You should look at your photo as if were a tic-tac-toe (3x3) board. If you check the work of your colleagues, you will soon discover that they place interesting objects on the intersection of these lines.
This bit takes a lot of practice. Start by using the grid system most DSLRs and smartphones already have. After some time, you will develop an instinct to place the objects of your photography spontaneously in these spots.
Play with Lighting
Lighting is also one of the factors that plays a crucial role in the making of a stunning photo. If you are a beginner photographer, you should start by learning a few tricks, such as when to position the object behind and in front of the light source, how to leverage lighting to emphasize something on the photo, etc.
If you like to take photos of landscapes and city scenes, try focusing your photography efforts on taking pictures during the golden hours. During the early morning and evening, the light is perfect for photography, and there are many pro photographers who swear by this rule. If you take photos indoors, you will have to invest into some lighting equipment to play with.
Photo Editing is a Must
All of the stunning photos that have been captured in the modern history of photography were tampered with. Lightroom and Photoshop can make a stunning image out of the ordinary and "meh" photographs. You should definitely start post processing your photos if you want to end up with diamonds in your hands.
On the other hand, many photographers don't have time or simply don't want to get involved in image editing. If you belong to this group of people, you can outsource your image editing to professionals with years of experience in image post processing software.
Start Learning Exposure
We have saved the hardest for the end - exposure. Since you can control the exposure with ISO, aperture and shutter speed, you will have a lot to learn about how each of these affect your image, and eventually be able to take incredible photos.
Learning exposure is very important because you will end up taking photos in tricky lighting situations, and that's where your knowledge will really shine. If you want to see how exposure affects your photos, load them into any image editing software and check the histogram. The graph to the left indicates that the image is too dark, while the graph shifted to the right indicates the opposite.
There you go. Now that you know what you can do to ensure your photographs look stunning, have a go at it. And remember, nothing beats raw experience and constant practice.