Beginners guide to taking better pictures, is often the question that I am asked. As I am alway behind the camera taking pictures. Either food, or anything that strikes my fancy therefore a normal question that I get often.
There’s a common misconception nowadays that a good picture can only be taken if you have the best tools and are a professional photographer. The truth, however, is that you can still take really good pictures even if you have something as small as a camera phone. To do that, you have to learn a few tricks in photography. Tricks that I have learned and are as follows:
It’s All in the Eye Contact
Direct eye contact can be as effective in taking pictures as it is in holding a conversation. When taking someone’s picture, make sure to hold the camera at that person’s eye level. This will immediately put the focus on their eyes which, in turn, captures whatever emotion they are evoking.
It does not even matter if the subject is staring at the camera. You can still take a good picture of that moment as long as the camera is focused on the face and the eyes.
Mind the Background
A cardinal rule in photography is that the attention of the view should always be focused on the subject matter. As such, anything that could take away that focus from the subject to the background should not be included in the picture. This includes planes flying out in the distance, cars, or even objects sticking out in front or back of the subject.
Also, search for other places to take your picture if your primary background is too distracting. You might just notice how more memorable your pictures are if everything around the subject does not take away the viewer’s focus from it.
Beat the Sun
Unless you are aiming for that trendy “sun-kissed” picture, sunlight will always work against you as it creates too many shadows on your subject. To deal with this, you have to turn the camera’s flash on as you take the picture.
Use the fill-flash feature if the subject is located at least five feet from you. If they are located further away from the camera, the full-power flash will be better. Always take multiple pictures and review them for any sunlight-induced blemishes especially during early mornings and late afternoons. In the below picture flash was positioned to bounce off the wall so there will not be a dark spot on the back flowers.
Mind the Distance
If the subject of your picture is no bigger than a car, take two steps towards the subject and make the camera zoom in. The point here is to make the subject take as much space in the picture and reveal as much detail as possible.
However, make sure that you are no closer to the subject by 12 inches. Some digital cameras have auto-focusing features, which go haywire if the subject matter is just a few inches away. To avoid this, keep your camera’s distance from the subject between 2 to 5 feet.
Center is not Always the Best
Although basic photography tells you to always put the subject at the center, this only works if the subject is static. If you want a more dynamic picture, go for weird angles. Or move the subject to either left or right from the center. This would make the picture stand out in an album without taking focus away from the subject. By slightly moving the dish to the left, the red napkins accentuate the plate and directs your focus to it.
Enjoy those few tips that have helped me.