Beginner photography tips and . BEGINNER PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS AND TRICKS. Photography basics. In this...
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BEGINNER PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS AND TRICKS.
In this guide you will find a few tips to start you on your photography journey. Most of the tips are applicable to people with any camera, even phone cameras. There are a couple of pages that are
for more advanced photographers with SLR cameras (p.17). Start using one tip at a time and then begin to put them together. You will find your photography skills advancing with practise.
Over time you won’t even have to think about the tips and “rules”.
If you have trouble with any of the tips or activities, please feel free to join my private Facebook learning group and I will help you out if I can. You will find a link to the group on the last page.
o Page 3: Composition basics
o Page 7: The rule of thirds
o Page 10: The room-to-move tip
o Page 12: Catch lights
o Page 14: How to – Silhouettes
o Page 16: Backing up photos
o Page 19: The golden hours
o Page 25: Post-processing
o Pages 28-34: Phone photography
2BEGINNER PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS AND TRICKS BY KATE VERONICA PHOTOGRAPHY
What is composition? Basically it’s the way that the elements in your photograph are positioned in relation to each other and to the camera. Everything from light, lens choice and aperture choice to where you position yourself to take the photo, comes into play when you are considering how to compose your photograph. The aim of composition is to use the elements available to you to create an interesting photograph or to tell the story that you want to convey. You can first start practising different compositions simply by moving yourself around the subject that you are photographing. Take lots of photos and review them to see which one creates the mood that you like most. Do this every time you are taking a photo of something. Over time you will become better at knowing which angle and position you want to shoot from, before you even take the photograph.
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COMPOSITION EXAMPLE – CHANGING YOUR ANGLE OF SHOOTING TO TELL A DIFFERENT STORY Photographed at the subject’s level.
Same position of subjects but taken seconds later from directly above. It changed the whole look of the photograph but I only had to move positions.
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Try framing your subject using natural elements (the leaves in this example).
Centre placement of your subject doesn’t always have to be boring. Use “leading lines” to lead the viewer’s eyes to the subject.
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Check your backgrounds before you shoot. Keep the background free from clutter and distracting objects.
Simplify the scene. Think about what your point of interest in the shot is before you take it.
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RULE OF THIRDS
This is probably one of the most well known “rules” for photography composition. As with any of the “rules” though, they can always be broken once you know how to use them. The rule of thirds aims to create an interesting and well balanced photograph.
Break your image down into thirds vertically and horizontally. Draw imaginary lines and you will have 9 sections (see pics on the next page). The idea is to place your subject matter, or a point of interest within a photograph, at any of the 4 intersecting crosses or along the lines.
“Studies have shown that when viewing images, people’s eyes usually go to one of the intersection points most naturally rather than the centre of the shot – using the rule of thirds works with this natural way of viewing an image rather than working against it.” – Digital Photography School.
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RULE OF THIRDS
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RULE OF THIRDS
When shooting landscapes this is a really effective rule that you can follow. Keep either the sky or the landscape in two thirds of the photo and vice versa. If you have a lot of landscape photos and you have never tried this before, go back to them and crop them so that they fit the rule. You will be surprised how a simple crop of a photo can make it look drastically better. While we are on landscapes, keep your horizons straight! A slightly tilted horizon drives me nuts and it doesn’t look great.
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ROOM TO MOVE
Use this little tip in conjunction with the rule of thirds. It works really well. Place your subject in the frame so that they have somewhere to go or they are “looking into” the frame. In effect you are creating visually good negative space.
In the example here, the little boy is obviously walking towards something. In the top frame we see that he is going somewhere and he has “room to move” within the photograph. In the bottom one I have cropped it differently to show you how it looks if he is placed on the other side of the frame. The empty space is now behind him and he is walking out of the frame. “Generally” it is best to follow this rule but again it can definitely be broken when done properly.
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ROOM TO MOVE EXAMPLES
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CATCH LIGHTS Catch lights are the little sparkle of light in your subject’s eyes. They are a reflection of whatever your light source is at the time. In the photograph here you can see the rectangular shape of the window that we were sitting in front of. Catch lights are important to make your subject’s eyes shine and sparkle. Without them the person can have very dull, “dead” looking eyes.
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CATCH LIGHTS I have a great exercise that you can do, right now,
wherever you are, to help visualise what I am talking
Grab the person closest to you and tell them to stand
up. Look into their eyes. What do they look like? Are they
sparkling? Can you see the catch-lights? Take note of
where you are standing in respect to where your main
source of light is coming from. e.g the sun, window light or
an inside light.
Now, ask the person to slowly turn around on the spot,
360 degrees. Follow them around standing in front of
them and watching their eyes. Watch how the reflections in
their eyes change as they turn. Take note of where they
are in relation to that light source as they turn. As your
subject turns so that their face is in shadow, you will see
their eyes darken and you may even see the catch light
Notice the different directions that make your subject’s
eyes sparkle. You can then begin to notice this when you
are taking photos of your children. 13BEGINNER PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS AND TRICKS BY KATE VERONICA PHOTOGRAPHY
HOW TO - SILHOUETTES
To create a silhouette photo, basically you need a bright background and you expose for the background instead of the subject. If you are using a point and shoot camera you can do this as well. You can even do it with a phone. It’s really easy. Here’s the breakdown. Position your subjects where you want them and make sure they aren’t bunched up. You want to see their outlines. With kids, you can get them to dance or make funny poses.
Point your camera to the sky behind the subject and half press the shutter. The camera will then meter the image based on the sky. So it will make the sky look pretty and your subjects will be in shadow. While you are still half-pressing, recompose your shot to where you want it (move the camera back to have the subject in view) and complete pressing to take the photo.
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HOW TO - SILHOUETTES
On an iPhone you just need to place your finger on the background/sky area and hold down for a few seconds so that it locks the exposure there. Then you can recompose the shot and take it.
Tip: The area behind the subject should be fairly clear and free of trees, buildings or other objects. You can’t get a silhouette of a person if a building or tree silhouette is already going to be blocking their shape.
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BACKING UP YOUR PHOTOS
A very boring but important piece of information to note here. One day your computer WILL crash and you will lose the lot. It happens ALL THE TIME. You need to take a bit of time and create back-ups of your precious photographs. Follow the 321 rule here…
3: Back up your photos (and important files) to at lease 3 different copies.
2: Back them up to at least 2 different media types. E.g. DVD, external hard drive, USB, online cloud storage.
1: Keep 1 copy of everything offsite at a different location in case of fire or storm damage