Do the jaw-dropping photographs in magazines and coffee table books make you wonder if you could ever snap such images? Well, you can definitely do it if you master some very simple but vital tricks of the trade to get the best photo!
We bring you a quick and handy photography guide to help you compose and create some awe-inspiring images.
Let’s get started.
1. Always make sure you have a story to say. If you are shooting a model/friend, instead of treating them as mere subjects without any purpose, give them a reason to be there. For instance, if your friend is sitting on a seat in the garden, give her a book so she can pretend to be reading it.
2. Besides the model having a reason to be there, it is also equally important that your main objective of clicking the photograph clearly comes through. To frame a hillside view aimlessly simply because you liked it is not enough! You have to give others an interesting reason to view it.
3. Let’s talk about the most popular kind of personal photos on social media – the “Hey, see where I am” types! We totally understand that when you visit picturesque spots, you want to click such photos for memories. However, let’s try and get them right. When taking the photograph of a friend or relative standing in front of a historical monument or tree, keep him/her in focus. Rest is the background. If you wish to take the image of the object behind, your subject will then become a tiny silhouette.
4. It is always a good idea to include people in your composition – be it a colourful wall or a street or sunset. People make your images look livelier. If you are clicking their faces, you do need to take their permission. Engage with locals and earn their confidence. You can also ask your friend to pose with the locals.
5. There are some cardinal rules to photography, which you better stick to unless you have acquired the art well enough to break them. When taking the photo of human subjects, never cut off their head, arms or feet inappropriately. If you wish to take mid close up of a human, don’t cut the image at the joints such as knees or elbows.
6. Another important rule when shooting profiles is to give enough breathing space to your model. Do not model them in a very tight space. If your model is looking to the left, leave space to the left.
7. Many people are camera conscious. Give your friend/model enough time to overcome the initial nervousness. Take some candid shots when the model doesn’t notice you are clicking. Encourage them to make faces or pose with interesting gestures. This will add life to your photographs.
8. Try clicking people in sitting position. People feel at ease and more relaxed when they are sitting rather than standing.
9. Patience is a key to good photography. Once you reach the location, don’t be in a hurry to click and leave. If you are clicking street life, it makes sense to wait for a colourful cart or a vegetable vendor to arrive. Remember, the fruit of patience is always sweet.
10. Props in hands make your models look more natural. It also engages them and helps them overcome shyness. Books, flowers, balloons, and bags make for good props.
11. Instead of straight lines, it looks more interesting and aesthetic for your model to be seated cross-legged.
12. The built-in flash is a big “no” as far as candid photos are concerned. Flashlight creates a flat look with red-eye issues. Good photographers always advise you to make use of an ambient lighting. In case of DSLR cameras, there are many settings that can help you achieve better brightness levels.
13. Don’t be a lazy photographer. Always experiment with the highest and the lowest points of view to get outstanding results.
14. One of the thumb rules of photography you will read everywhere is not to shoot against sunlight. But if you are shooting a model and wish to make use of a contre-jour effect (read: against the light) for an aesthetic glare, producing a silhouette effect – go ahead.
15. Make the best of small puddles and pools; these can be a very good source of creating reflections and adding an interesting dimension to your images.
16. An hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset are considered as the “golden hours” by photographers. You can make good use of the soft lighting, interesting hues, and silhouettes created at this time.
17. The “blue hour,” which is nothing but an hour before sunrise and after the sunset, is also a good time to get an interesting blue tint on your photos.
18. Whenever you shoot in low light, make it a point to hold the camera steady because the device needs more time to receive light. You could also use a tripod.
Once you have got it all right on your camera or cell phone, you are almost there. Now you can use some photo-editing tools to enhance your picture-perfect snapshots. Happy clicking!