This is the first article of an ongoing series where we look at simple ways to improve our photography. Many beginners, and even advanced photographers overlook some of obvious ways to better their shots and hopefully these posts will help remind you what to look out for.
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In this post we’ll explore how taking a few extra steps to look at a shot from a different angle can help take your photos to the next level.

Don’t settle for the obvious shot

Too many photographers make do with the first view they have of a scene. We see this all the time when photographers pull out their cameras at a popular tourist spot and take their shots. There’s almost always an area where everyone congregates to take their photos. Often, it’s very rare that you see anyone walk away from the crowd and shoot from a different angle. Now I know what you’re saying… Everyone’s taking the shot from there because it’s the best position!

Sure it is! Think back to when you last went on vacation and how you took your photos. Did you walk around the area looking for the perfect angle or spot to shoot from? Did you look to see if you could get any closer to the scene? Or did you just take the first nice shot you saw?

Here’s an example of how taking a few extra steps can really make the difference. I was walking through L’Hotel Des Invalides in Paris, France and looked up to see everyone standing below a display of Napoleon’s clothing. Everyone was snapping away and I took a quick shot as well.

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As you can see the photo was pretty boring and really didn’t seem to do justice to Napoleon’s legacy (or to my photographic taste!) I noticed a little path leading behind the display that no one else seemed to care for, but thought I’d see where it led. So a few steps later I look up to see a much more majestic view of the same clothing display!

napoleon How to Improve your Photography   Look for the Unique Angles

Explore, explore, explore!

So whenever you arrive at a scene you want to photograph, by all means snap a few ’safe’ shots, but always look around you and explore the different views available. Yes, this takes time, but with practice you’ll develop an eye for seeing the different positions that will help produce strong photos.

Here’s a beach we found a few weeks ago that seemed pretty boring at first glance.

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A rickety fence might not seem like a great photographic opportunity especially when shot from a typical angle. But with a little bit of exploration the fence turned out to be a very photogenic subject to shoot.
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So next time you’re out there, remember walk around, climb up on things (don’t get hurt though!), keep shooting and use trial and error to look for the different angles that will help you get those awesome shots you know you can take!