Capturing life’s special moments, in a meaningful way, is possible for anyone who goes out of their way to learn the nuances of photography. Though anyone can purchase a camera, not every person who holds one, will truly master it. Mastering the art of photography is a process that is learned and anyone who seeks out information can become a great photographer. Follow these tips to achieve your maximum potential behind the lens of your camera.
Keep your pictures relatively simple. A good image should be straightforward and easy to interpret and appreciate. It is important to take meaningful pictures, but in most cases your pictures will say more if you focus on a detail rather than put together a complex composition that might not strike people as much.
Understand and anticipate the impact that wind will have on the photos that you take. For example, if you are planning on shooting flowers, avoid days where the wind is very active. When flowers and plants are stable, you will have the best chance to get the highest quality and resolution in your picture. In situations where you don’t have a choice, such as weddings, have a contingency plan. Are there sheltered areas where the wind will have less impact?
When photographing portraits, isolate your subject. Use a medium telephoto lens or the medium telephoto setting on your zoom. That, combined with a large aperture (try f/4 or larger), blurs the foreground and background. Focus on the eyes. Use diffused lighting for a flattering look. If outdoors, wait for an overcast sky or shoot with the subject in the shadows and the sun at your back.
Keep your photo subject simple. The busier the subject is the more difficult it is to capture something that is going to be interesting. Keeping the backgrounds simple will make it easier for the eye to focus on the subject that you are capturing. Keeping it uncomplicated seems simple, but many forget to do it.
Use a polarizing lens filter on your camera to minimize glare from direct sunlight and to create an even distribution of light. This is essential when shooting in direct sunlight, but also can be beneficial in any lighting situation. Think of polarizing lens filters as sunglasses for your camera. They are inexpensive, easy to attach and have the added benefit of protecting your expensive lenses from scratches.
Although it may seem obvious, but know how to handle your camera and what happens when you press the buttons on it. Understand what happens when the shutter button is pressed and the timing of the shutter. It really depends on personal preference and there is no right or wrong way, but some things do not vary like keeping the camera perfectly still while taking a photo.
Be ready to take a picture at all times. This does not mean you should have your camera in hand, this means you should be in the proper state of mind all the time. Look at the world as if you were seeing it through your camera. When you see something interesting, take a picture.
An important part of photography is making sure the viewer of the photo focuses in on the subject. An easy way to make your subject really stand out is the use of leading lines. Leading lines draw the viewer’s eye towards the subject of photo and emphasize depth. Examples of objects used to form leading lines include roads, fences, rivers and many others.
Now that you have been enlightened by these simple photographic tips, grab your camera and get out there. That “magic moment” is just a click away, and the world won’t stop spinning. So let your imagination run free, then capture the results for posterity. Only you can tell the photographic story that unfolds from your own unique point of view.