At times, even the slightest adjustment or change to your position or technique can help your photos have more pop or more impact on those viewing your images. Here are a few quick tips to help you take better photos:
Change your position: Before you snap the photos, have a good hard look at what you are photographing. Walk around to see different angles of the focus of your photo, crouch down, look at different perspectives of the focal point and you may find a more interesting perspective that will provide a unique quality to your image.
Under/Overexpose: On purpose of course! Especially on these sunny autumn afternoons when the golden light is streaming through the trees and buildings, try underexposing your photo to see how the colours and light in your photos change. On the other hand, over expose your image for a more washed out look to give a lighter look to your photo.
Use a Grey Card: Cameras are incredibly intelligent now, but it still doesn’t stop them from the occasional missed white balance reading. To save yourself time editing your photos, use a grey card to set a custom white balance to make sure the colours in your photos are accurate. Another method is to take a photo of a grey card at the beginning of your shoot, then use this as a white balance reference in your editing software to set white balance for all your images from the shoot quickly.
Make a Scrim: To help eliminate strong flare or cast shade on an object, keep a piece of blank paper with you to use as a make shift scrim. You can also use a grey card to help act as a temporary scrim. This is also handy if you do not have a lens hood or forgot yours at home. You can use the paper or grey card to shade light flare from your photo by positioning it between the sun and your lens to block the unwanted rays.
Look for action: Photos can easily become static when there is no movement or life in the frame. Even if it is a passing car or a person coming through your photo, capture their movement with a slower shutter speed to help breathe a bit of life into your photo.
Rule of Thirds: This one is pretty basic, but never hurts to mention. Most cameras have an optional grid view built in that will have a horizontal and vertical line at each third of the frame. Instead of framing your photo with the main point of interest being centred in the photo, shift your camera so it lines up with one of the thirds markings. This will help your photo feel more dynamic as it is not split in half by an object directly in the middle.
Stop Chimping: Our camera’s all have these wonderful high resolution LCD screens now where we can instantly view our photos and see what we are getting. To build confidence in your photography skills and to force yourself to pay more attention to the photo you’re taking, don’t look at the LCD screen after you take the shot. Wait until you get home to look at the photos and see what you got. This takes practice and patience, but in the end can make you a stronger photographer with a more developed eye and skill set.
Most importantly, get out and take lots of photos. Try taking photos you think you would never take and experiment. With each photo you take, you create a precedent to learn from for every photo you take afterwards.
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Photos by Terry Cioni/ Written by Corey Bradder