Saturday, 10 November 2012

5 Simple Photography Tips

Here are 5 simple tips that you can apply to your every day photography. These little tips will help you to stop taking haphazard photos and add a little direction to your composition!
  • Straighten up: This was probably one of the most simple (but best!) tips I have applied to photography. In my first year of University, one professor to told us to “watch our lines”. It might sound a little puzzling, but I promise it's really simple. First find the most dominate horizontal line in your photograph. Then, try to align your camera so that it is straight. See? Easy. What I love about this principle too is that it’s an easy fix when you’re cropping in whatever editing program you use. However, it may result in a more closely-cropped image than desired, so it’s good to get into the habit of straightening your lines when taking photos.

  • Watch the limbs: Another favourite tip from my Professor is to watch where you’re cropping people’s limbs. This means not cutting off hands or feet. You don’t want to accidentally cut off any limbs! Ouch. When you crop at either the thighs or forearms instead, your composition looks much more intentional.
*Photo by Amanda (but cropped by me to show how awkward pictures look when the subjects don't have any feet.. haha!)
  • Keep the time of day in mind (for outdoor photography): It’s a beautiful day out. It’s lunch time, the sun is shining and your camera is calling to you. But wait! Why aren’t your pictures turning out the way you planned? It might be a combination of things. To avoid uneven exposure (and squinty subjects!), keep weather, and time of day in mind. Noon is a tricky time to shoot because the sun is so high in the sky and shadows tend to be pretty harsh. To avoid this, retreat to some shade. Your pictures will have a more even exposure and will be less shadowy. Same goes for any sunny day. Overcast days are in reality the best days for getting pictures because you can shoot pretty much anywhere and achieve an evenly lit look. However, not every day is gonna be overcast. So again, if it’s noon or sunny, find some shade and everything should be just fine and dandy.

If you want to create a more ideal situation, aim for shooting at different times of the day. My personal fav is something called “Magic Hour”. This is the hour after the sun rises, or the hour before the sun sets. Although it’s a small window of time, it really makes for beautiful, softly lit pictures.
  • Learn simple editing skills: Editing is your BFF. Knowing how to edit can greatly change the strength of a picture, and save you when something doesn't turn out how it should have. There are lots of great tools out there to help you learn programs such as Photoshop and Lightroom. And if you choose to edit with Photoshop, there are lots of fun things called “Actions” that you can download for free and use. They’re really easy and fun to play around with! Editing is a great resource (and pretty much a must for photographers) so go ahead and give it a try :)

    *Coming soon: Simple portrait editing tutorial in Photoshop*

  • Remember the details: Cheesy - but true! Great photography is in the details- especially everyday photography. The texture of your sweater, your sweetheart holding your hand, the face of your pet… it’s all special and all worth remembering.
    If you’re capturing someone else’s special day, don’t forget the details then either. Watch for hair in the face, tags sticking out, and clutter in the background And be sure to take photos to set the scene! They’ll want to remember the atmosphere, the little things, those special moments.

Thanks for letting me share my tips with you! If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to comment in the box below!

No comments:

Post a Comment