Watch the video below for a front-row seat in Jim Dicecco’s class for beginning to intermediate photographers on how to turn your snapshots into stunning photography. A professional photographer and Product Educator for Canon, Dicecco explains how by keeping just a few pointers in mind, you can tap into the creative right side of your brain and take your photography to the next level. Trying to keep his presentation as non-technical as possible, he focuses on two main topics: matching the right lens to the right situation, and choosing the most effective composition as you’re out shooting. The video is long, over an hour and a half, but is also fast-paced and packed with useful information:
Here are a few highlights:
Choosing a Lens
50 mm – creates a natural or realistic look, because it imitates how our eyes actually see
Wide-Angle (35 mm and lower) – captures more information than the eye can take in at once
- typically for large landscapes/scenic shots or cramped interiors
- can also be used for an interesting point of view that creates dramatic, graphic images because of the perspective distortion
- can emphasize the foreground while the background stays in detailed focus for a sense of place
Telephoto (85 mm and higher) and Super-Telephoto (upwards of 300 mm)
- short telephoto lenses are ideal for portraits because they offer mild compression for a more flattering shot
- good to use with “camera-shy” subjects, whether people or animals, or simply to span physical distance
- can visually isolate subjects for a crisp focus and a nicely blurred background
“Typically, the rule of thumb is that you pick your telephoto lens based on where you are on the food chain: the lower you are, the longer you want it!”
- Macro – for extremely close range, capturing minute detail; can also be used for portraits
- Fisheye – super wide-angle for deliberate distortion
- look for what will catch the eye in a composition, including the brightest or sharpest object, geometric shapes, motion, and, of course, people
- follow the “Rule of Thirds” (don’t place your subject in the center of the composition)
- you can use cropping can improve the composition
- look for balance and symmetry
- composing your shot diagonally is another option
Check out some examples below:
For more great tips, check out the whole video!
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