Friends and clients are always asking us for photography tips. We absolutely LOVE talking about photography and so are always happy to pass on our expertise!
This is the first post in a series over the next few months of photo hints and tips on shooting a better photo.
Good photos show things to the viewer in a different way and can simply be down to how elements are arranged in the photo. Here are a few clever little tricks to make your photos more visually interesting.
The rule of thirds
It is generally a good idea to avoid placing your subject in the middle of the photo. Try dividing your image into thirds, both horizontally and vertically and position your subject in one third of the frame. Doing so will add balance and interest to your photo.
Balancing elements & negative space
Placing your main subject off centre creates a more interesting photo, but can leave a space in the image which can makes the photo feel partly empty. You can try balancing the weight of your subject with another, smaller, item to fill the space.
Sometimes leaving the space empty can create a dynamic separation between the subject and the background, this is referred to as negative space. Negative space is usually contrasting in colour, tone and brightness to your subject and creates a balance between the subject and background.Leading Lines
Leading lines is a compositional tool that you have to look for. When you view a photo your eyes are naturally drawn along any strong lines. Because of this you should think carefully about how you place lines in your photo and use them to draw the viewer in towards the subject. Lines can be found anywhere, a road, train tracks the edge of a tunnel, wires or fencing.
See how in the first example your eyes are drawn into the centre of the image by the ring of lights and in the second photo your eyes are drawn along the tramlines and wires to the tram in the distance whilst in the third the lines on the ground draw your eye to the couple. Viewpoint & Angles
Before shooting your image think about where you will shoot it from. Good photos show things to the viewer in a different way. Everyone shoots the famous landmark from eye level, what happens if you change the height or angle of your view or shoot from the side? Shoot the scene from above or lay on the ground and shoot from below. Changing your viewpoint will result in a photo with much greater visual impact.
See how changing your viewpoint and looking at something differently can make it appear more interesting.Framing
Surrounding your subject with a natural frame will isolate it from the outside world and draw your eye into the main point of interest. Think about shooting through objects; windows, a hole in a wall, an archway, a gap between buildings.Cropping
Ok, we said top five tips, we couldn’t narrow it down to just five, so here is a little bonus tip! Often a photo will lose impact because the subject is so small it is lost in the background and the clutter surrounding it. To eliminate unnecessary objects and ensure that it gets the viewers undivided attention crop in close to your subject. You can do this by using the zoom on your camera or by simply moving in closer.
As one of the master’s of photography, Robert Capa, said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”.
Look how the tight crop draws you into those beautiful eyes!Give it a go? Next time you pull out your camera or smart phone to take a photo, don’t just ‘snap’, think about these simple rules and see if you can improve your shot by implementing one of them. We’d love to see your images!
Our next post in this hints and tips on shooting a better photo series is going to be on aperture. Like our Facebook page to get a first look when it’s published!