These few tips won’t actually make you a professional photographer, but they will help your photos have a little more of an artistic touch to them. These tips are easy to use and before too long, you’ll just find yourself using them without thinking.
The first tip is called the “Rule of Thirds”.
Wikipedia defines it as “The rule of thirds is a “rule of thumb” or guideline which applies to the process of composing visual images such as paintings, photographs and designs.The guideline proposes that an image should be imagined as divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections.Proponents of the technique claim that aligning a subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the composition than simply centering the subject would.”
Imagine some lines going through your image like a tic-tac-toe grid. This imaginary grid gives you a rough guide on where to line up the subject of your photograph. By being off-centre, it makes the shot a little more dynamic. This effect can be done after the fact as well by cropping the image using the tools in the GroupBook software. So no worries if you have some great images you still want to use.
“Try different angles”. You can get some really cool shots by just changing the height or angle that you shoot from.
Something as simple as rotating your camera a bit can really add something to a photograph. Try it out and see what you can come up with. Don’t think in just portrait or landscape. Have the “bottom” of the picture be a corner of the image. Another thing to try is shooting from down low, or up high, directly above and whatever else you can think of. Especially for taking pictures of kids, get down on the floor with them and snap your shots from their height. It will feel like you are actually down there with them in the photograph. It will feel much more personal than pictures where you are looking down toward them.
“Never be afraid to get too close”. This usually applies to portraits, but it can work great with still life and nature pictures.
Some pictures can benefit from getting right in there, either physically or by zooming. Shots from in close gets those extra details that shooting from farther away would miss. Don’t feel like you need to get a person’s whole body or head in an image. Sometimes, leaving some out makes the image feel more up close and personal. Best thing to do is try taking several shots from different angels and distances. See what you like best by comparing the different pictures. Everyone likes something different.
“Avoid the flash!”. If at all possible, avoid using a flash in your pictures.
Flashes tend to create some problems with images. It washes things out, removes the vibrant colours and causes red eye and weird shadows. If you can, find a place with better lighting instead of using the flash. If your camera can do, lower the shutter speed, change f-stop and play with the ISO settings and see if you find something that works. If you are taking pictures of a distant object in the dark, a flash will only light up the foreground and you wont even see what you are trying to get. So remember to turn it off when your trying to get some pictures at the kid’s school plays and concerts.
That’s all for now. Something important to remember is that these are just tips, not rules. There are no rules in photography. It is an art, not a process. Get creative, break all the “rules” and find what works for you. Not every shot works with the rule of thirds. Sometimes getting close does not make an image better. Flash can be the answer in some situations. The best thing to do is get out there and try everything. See if you can find out what your own style is.
Have you taken a great shot you want to show off? Go to our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/groupbooks and post your pictures.