The weather is getting warmer, and sunshine is filling over the earth. You glance out the window and decides to find some good places to get some sunshine with your friends and families. You bring your camera to embrace the new season and start recording your loved ones outside as they enjoy the weather.
But wait! You remember that you are horrible at taking photos. You are the person who doesn't know what to do when someone asks to take a photo for them, or hurriedly leave the site as soon as you return the camera.
But do not worry! This post is for those who want to overcome such struggles and take photos freely without any fear or shame.
Rule of thirds
If you don't know where to start, always remember the rule of thirds. It is the most well known principle which states divide an image into 9 equal parts using a grid and place the important elements on any intersection point or along the lines to give the image more balanced and natural composition. If you have been placing your subject in the center, try this rule and you will see it creates more balance in your image.
Remember the golden hour! Shortly after sunrise or before sunset is an amazing time to take photos. The reason is when the sun is near the horizon, the light travels in greater depth of atmosphere which reduces the intensity of direct light but increases the illumination of indirect light from the sky. The light becomes more redder and softer that will create a beautiful effect over your images.
Be aware of the light
Following to the prior point, always be aware of where the light is coming from. Use the light to guide the eyes of the viewer. Also, using shade and shadow are another way to add more depth in the subject.
Explore different perspectives. Instead of taking photos from an eye level, try to find interesting angles such as from above, from below, or giving different angles on the subject will create unique and exciting composition. Same subject can look intriguing when you it's viewed at a different angle.
Watch your back! - background
Be aware of what is in the background and focus on the subject of your photograph. If the background has too many details or other elements scattered around, they conflict with the subject of your image and the viewer will likely lose the focus on the subject. Rather, focus on the subject and try to find a simple background that will draw the attention to your subject and avoid unnecessary distractions.
Also play with the space behind the subject. Use the negative space to embrace the subject that will naturally create energy and tension - a good tension. Often people disregard the negative space, but it can make your subject much exciting and dynamic if used properly.
Take a deep breath and relax
Sometimes it can be very intense while you are taking a photo, but it is important to relax when you are taking photos, as you'll know better the right time to take the photo and the results will look more natural.
Don't look too close through your lens
Try to avoid zooming in as it compromises the quality of the image. Instead, you can crop the image in the editing process or get closer to the subject.
Where you live is full of patterns and colours if you look carefully
Every place is filled with patterns and colours. Discover interesting patterns to enrich your subject, or find contrasting colours to make your subject pop out. Your subject might be wearing a bright red shirt, and you find a dark blue wall. If the subject stands before the wall, the photo would look much more energetic compared to just standing in front of a general red-brick wall.
Get a proper grip
Whatever your position may be, you want to have a firm grip on your camera if you are expecting a clean and crisp photo. Usually left hand supports the side of the camera (for small digital cameras) or the bottom of the lens (large cameras including dslr) and right hand holds the body while pressing the shutter. Also, have your elbows close to the body that shaking of your hands are minimized. In these days, the cameras come with a stabilization function which makes your photo life much easier.
You are the maestro
Design and direct where or how your photo want to look. You can direct the subject (for some cases) to pose or move to create more dynamic energy that will interact with the viewers. It can be funny, serious, funky, stylish, or other ways you want to take your photo.
Take many photos as much as you can
Even though you understand all the guidelines above, you won't be able to capture all of them with couple clicks on your camera shutter. You must be willing to take many photos wherever you go, and you will learn and find a way to capture the moments with your colour through the lens. Always explore and experiment with approaching a subject and discover new ways to embrace them.
These guidelines are not rules, but to help you to take better photos. So be free, since these rules are to be broken. Take challenges and build your own.
And after many trials and errors, when you find a great photograph and want to build a hall of your moments, come and visit www.canadaoncanvas.com to print and frame them. They will make your hall much brighter.