As August 19th is being observed as the “World Photography Day”, let us take our time to applaud all the photographers around the world for their creativity and virtuosity. Photography may just be a hobby to you or lets say your passion or it is your source of income, but photography is a beautiful art to express yourself to the world. The word photography derived from two words “photo”(light/photons) and “graphy”(writing) which means “writing using photons” i.e a photograph is nothing but a writing of light (Sounds little creepy, but that is equally amazing).
If you are an amateur photographer, or someone like us – With a DSLR dangling on your neck every time you venture out to trips but still failing to get the best pictures, then on this very day, we got you a few photography tips that will make your pictures from ‘OK’ to ‘Awesome’:
1. Fill the frame with what you like
This is the most important rule of photography which you should never break. Zooming is OK, but the best lens is your legs, so get closer. This applies to everything you want to shoot, may it be landscapes, people, sea monkey or anything. Fill the frame with what you like, get rid of everything else. Boring blue sky is not exciting you? Get rid of it. Lunch boxes, random people or anything? Get rid of all clutter distracting the elements of your photo. See what your picture is all about and fill your frame with that you need and ditch everything else. Remember this while taking every picture.
2. Simplify & Exaggerate
A good photo is like a caricature, simplify and exaggerates. Now you know what to put in a photo, think about how to exaggerate its characteristics. Use contrasting colors to let your subject stand out. Use other objects to create a sense of scale. Use long shutter speed to emphasize movement or zoom in on one particular feature. Change your focal length to adjust to white balance and exaggerate its characteristics as per your perspective.
When you simplify and exaggerate you create photos with focus and punch!
3. Don’t center your subject
Instead, use the rule of thirds. Imagine a ticktacktoe board and divide your photo into the rows and columns. Place the most important elements of your photo on those horizontal and vertical lines. This lets you create a relationship between the subject, emphasize what you think is most important or create a visual gateway through the photo.
4. Create depth
Use a near far composition to create depth and pull people into your picture by having a foreground subject close to camera and a background subject away from camera. Thus you create a story and a context to your image and it also creates a three-dimensional sense of depth and perspective.
5. Connect the dots
If you have multiple subjects in your photo, then you need to use some kind of a line to visually connect these lines to let the viewer understand the perspective. These lines are called leading lines because they lead from one point to another showing a journey. Anything can be a good connecting line if you are using it in the correct perspective. Use a river to connect foreground and background, ridge of sand dunes, cracks in the ice, lines in a piece of standstill or anything. No matter how you use them, leading lines are an awesome way to connect the elements of your photo and to create a visual journey for the viewers.
6. Perspective is everything
If you want people to look at your picture and say “Hey, that’s an interesting picture” then show them the world through the camera than with their eyes. We always see the world at our eye level, so why take pictures also at eye level and make them boring? So, get up, get down, get on the ground and show the world your perspective.
7. Lighting is everything
Unfortunately, the most common time to come out is in the afternoon, which is the worst time for photography because of the harsh light. Sunrise and sunset offers the most interesting skies and most pleasing light on foreground. Alternatively you can move into shade. Shade and cloudy conditions provide even light and are very good for portrait and flower pictures. But if you cannot do anything but take a picture in the sunlight then use directional lighting. Instead of shooting directly towards the sun, which makes your subject go black, shoot along with the sun or away from the sun or at the angle from the sun .
But if the killer shot is looking right up the sun, don’t despair. The technique here is to expose the brightest part of the scene and let everything go in the shadow. You will be amazed by what you recover after post processing, as digital cameras doesn’t have the capability of retaining details in highlights but have an insane capability of retaining every detail in shadow.
Lastly, break all the rules if needed except for the first because at the end it is your perspective and creativity that makes a good picture.
A camera doesn’t make a good picture anymore than a type-writer writes a great novel!!