Taking photos is easy, but taking good photos requires more than just having a camera. If you think you are not capable of taking good pictures, you may have considered taking photography courses. Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney residents have a lot of options to choose from when they want to learn photography from a professional, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money just to improve the way you take photos.
There are several key factors to consider when taking photos. Keep these in mind. These basics will become the foundation of your future in photography, even if you decide to turn the hobby into a profession once you improve your skills.
Changing the way you take your pictures can drastically change the way your photo looks, and the perspective of your photos plays a huge part in this. Instead of shooting photos at eye level, try shooting from the hip for a change (although this can create a little bit of problem when establishing the setup of your photograph).
This can create variety. It’s amazing what an unusual or creative angle can do for a photo, and if you’re shooting a set of photos for an exhibit, experimenting with different angles and perspectives can create a collective sense of unity in a group of photos, emphasizing certain aspects of the exhibit, and helping you get your message across more effectively.
When you take pictures of a person looking directly to the lens, it can create a connection between the viewer and the subject of the photo. But photos should be taken with different angles, styles, and lighting.
Eye contact—or the lack of it—can create illusions that engage the viewer to ask questions, creating a sort of dialogue between the subject and the viewer. For example, try to make the person focus on other environmental objects within the frame. If the subject is looking at a vase, for example, it can draw attention to the vase, leading the viewer to ask what it is about the vase you should focus on.
If you’re taking a picture of two people, you can have them look at each other in order to establish the theme of your picture.
What if you’re taking the photo of an inanimate object? This is where focus and lighting comes into play.
Experimenting with different kinds of lighting can be easy and fun to do. Changing the lighting of a photo can improve it to a huge extent, creating artistic, otherworldly, or even remotely unusual effects.
Take the example of a Hawaiian Tropic ad that ran in print media several years ago. The photo features three ladies at the beach, looking out over the sea to the setting sun. This was taken late in the afternoon, so there was plenty of natural lighting to make it a decent enough photo. But the photographer went the extra mile and secured several strobe flash units and placed them strategically behind the models.
The end result was a photograph that looked like it was hand-painted. The bright strobe lighting illuminated the models to the level of sunlight, eliminating any and all shadows created by the models’ silhouettes against the sun. Of course, there was a little bit of tweaking done with the camera’s white balance settings, but the basic idea here was that proper, strategic lighting helped in making an otherwise normal photo breathtaking.
Lighting is a pretty technical tool to work with, though. You can start experimenting with natural lighting from indoor and outdoor lights, but when you’re ready to learn more about the more technical aspects, you can take photography courses in Melbourne, or wherever you may be based in, to improve your skills in manipulating light to your advantage.
Focus & Selective Blur
The kind of camera you use doesn’t matter all the time, unless you rely on it to make a living. To take good pictures, one of the more important aspects you need to learn is to properly create a focus for each photo. Sometimes, creating a blur effect naturally by decreasing the shutter speed of your camera (something that you can’t do with traditional point and shoots, unfortunately) can actually end up emphasizing the subject of the photo. It really depends.
There’s a branch of photography called Lomography that champions shooting from the hip; this school of thought regards the presence of blurry and uncertain focus as a necessary element of their craft. In this sense, being out of focus is actually a method of focusing and is a completely acceptable practice in some circles.
This is, perhaps, the most important lesson you’ll learn when taking photos. People who want to take good pictures should be patient. Patience really goes a long way and the lack of it can be the cause of horrible looking photos. You should not rush. Wait for the right moment before pressing that shutter button. If you hastily take pictures, you may end up wasting the opportunity to take an otherwise decent shot.
These are the key tenets for good photography; keep these in mind every time you shoot, and you’re bound to improve the quality of your photos.
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