Depending on how this new meme goes, I hope to make Anna’s 5 tip’s a regular blog feature! Very simple idea behind the meme, to encourage fellow blog readers and to encourage myself to commit to a regular blog feature so I write more. The periods of silence have become quite unacceptable.
So to spearhead this new Gold Forest venture are five tips on one of my deepest and long-standing passions: Photography!
Disclaimer: All photo examples are my own images, please request before copying.
This tip was the first thing I thought of when deciding on what aspects to include in my helpful hints, because it is such an important tips that I never ever see in other posts of this nature. Composition can make or break a photo and it is SO easy to get right. Really think about the photo in front of you, think about the area you want in the foreground and what mights be busying up the background. On most cameras (even iPhones) there is a setting to turn on the grid. I would highly recommend using this tool to help you better frame your subject, guide you in the rules of thirds which can take yours photos from flimsy to focused! A technique which has changed my photography habits that some genius told me about a few years ago, is making sure the important points of your scene are placed on the intercepting points of the grid; for example, eyes when taking portraits.
For example, in this image, the centre line occurs straight down the middle of face, dividing the image into the lighter and darker side. The plant coming out of the right is not distracting, but actually points towards her eye, something admittedly I did not notice until I looked at this photo later. But since it wasn’t distracting me whilst taking the photo, it obviously enhanced the composition.
So remember, when thinking about composite, think about foreground, background, what might be distracting, rule of thirds and try to remain minimal.
2. Look Out!
So much of capturing a good photo is just spotting it! Once you have trained your brain to think ‘compositionally’, fantastic photo opportunities will be popping up everywhere. Keep your eyes open for photo opportunities that might sum up the moment, that might be a once in a lifetime image. For photos that are special to you. Be ready with your camera. I tend to take my Nikon everywhere is possible, and at first people can be a bit wary and shy of a “serious” camera. But I would rather have it than risk missing that special or unexpected moment.
Following on from Look Out has to be a tip on iPhone-ography! All these smart phone have made it SO SUPER EASY to capture that ‘Look Out’ moment! For those rare days when I do not have my Nikon with me, my iPhone is the perfect alternative, and some of my most treasured photos have been captured from simply being on the look out and iPhone at the ready.
This is one of my absolute favourite photos of J and I, taken in a parking lot before an early class in the dead of winter. But it turned out wonderfully, us all bundled up and cosy close, silly smiles on our faces. This makes me happy. Thank you iPhone.
Embrace the spontaneity and the freedom that smart phone are bringing to photography. Embrace the apps! (Another tip post about iPhoneography coming soon). The ability to add text, boarders, filters to photos just makes it all the more fun. So don’t just think you must have a big fancy camera, or know about exposure or any of that to enjoy photography. The world of iPhoneography is producing a whole new kind of on-the-go, capturing everyday photographer!
If you cannot immediately seek out the photo you, get active, move around, crouch, climb and seek a new angle to take your photo. Find a better light source, or ask your lovely models to readjust. You may get looks as you squat awkwardly to get level with your subject but it will all be worth it when you have that interesting viewpoint, as with my picture of Perseus in Florence.
5. Be Candid
Capturing candid (informal/unposed photographs) can be tricky. As soon as people sense the camera on them, they react and a beautiful natural moment disappears. This is where having a camera always on you can come in handy. Since my friends are used to my Nikon hanging around my neck, they tend to forget about it, or just let me snap away happily. This last tip also emphasis’ the Look Out point. If you think a moment is about to happen, ready your camera for that careful image. A sneaky trick I sometime do is compose my picture on the person I wish to capture, then call their name, quickly snapping the picture as they respond. And voila! Beautiful, candid images, that are usually more interesting than staged photo after staged photo. Get people used to the camera and they will appreciate the natural results.
This might not be the greatest photo ever of J and I, but it is one of my favourite candid snapshots, taken on my very extended birthday almost accidentally. J telling some silly story and making me giggle as always. Also I wear that jumper too much.
I really hope these tips have been useful for you and the results of your photography is wonderful! More Anna’s Hopefully Helpful tips to come soon!