With the ‘Taking Better Photographs’ series we’re hoping to give you a tip or two on how you can improve your photography. And we’ll be learning and experimenting right along with you. We’ll hopefully giving you some simple pointers to have a go at with your own camera. Giving you some skills and rules to work with and then hopefully inspiring you to learn more and break those rules to find other great ways of taking photos.
I think of photography as having two elements really; the arty bit and the technical bit. Or maybe that should be the creative bit and the equipment bit. However you want to look at it I guess the proper terminology for it would be the composition and the execution. We will go on to the ‘techy’ bit in coming weeks, but we’re starting this week with the very beginners basics of photo taking. The arty bit.
Most professionals will argue that you can’t teach the creative side of photography, it’s about how you ‘see’ the picture and about spotting those opportunities to get a great snap. That’s probably true, a lot of great photography is about your eye for it, but there are some little tips that can help you to take some really good photos.
So today we’re starting the series with some little photo tips that you can use with whatever camera you have; be that a point-and-shoot compact, an slr or a camera phone.
When you see something that you want to photograph think about what needs to move. If you are photographing still-life objects you might want to rearrange them or move them towards a better light source. If its people you’re photographing then it’s trickier, but arranging a group of people so that their faces are close together at a similar level can make for a better shot. But by far the easiest, and often most effective thing to move is yourself. In fact sometimes even if you have a good shot its worth moving as you can often stumble across a better angles and an awesome photograph.
Obviously it goes without saying that you need to look at what you’re taking a picture of. But look beyond it. Check the background isn’t so busy that it will detract from your actual shot. And remember that the world is in 3D but your photo will be 2D, so that three in the far distance in real life will be growing out of someone’s head on paper if you aren’t careful.
A quick fire way to get a good shot is to fill the frame. Empty space round the edges can often distract from a central point, so try to get whatever you are photographing to fill your view finder. Of course you can always crop empty space of later in editing but this does reduce your photo size and quality depending on how much you have to crop.
So there you go: move, look, frame. Not too tricky and should have you snapping better pics in no time.