This article is dedicated to the newest photographers. If you haven’t started in the world of photography for a long time and you feel a bit lost, these tips will come in handy to motivate you to keep going.
It is a compilation of tips that will help you both to evolve as a photographer and to improve your photos. We will review some elements that usually spoil the images and many tricks with which you will make your photos more spectacular. Let’s go there!
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Take the Camera with You
You never know when that special moment will appear that you can photograph or if you will pass through a magical corner worth capturing. That is why it is important that you try to always carry your camera with you so as not to miss that moment.
If you are going to travel, to attend an event or simply to go for a walk, take your camera with you. Do not think that you will be more comfortable without it or that carrying weight will be an impediment to enjoying yourself. Because if you think like that, it’s probably laziness or insecurity that speaks and not your desire to get spectacular photos.
Seek the Light
Light is everything in photography. Therefore, now that you are beginning to discover this world, understanding and seeking the light must become your priority. Notice her, even when you’re not taking pictures. Look at the light and how it interacts with the environment.
Begin to ask yourself questions such as: how light falls on objects and faces, how the intensity and color of natural light changes throughout the day, what light is like in an interior. And do the same with other related elements such as shadows, reflections, light rays passing through blinds, through smoke… Even look at artificial light.
Select the Background well
Choosing a suitable background for the photograph you are going to take is very important. In fact, it may be the key to composition. Although if the background does not add anything and you want to avoid it, remember that you can use high apertures (low f-numbers) and make it not come out sharp.
In any case, before taking the photo, make sure that the background does not contain any element or color that could distract the viewer. If so, try moving your position around the subject you want to photograph to see how the background changes.
Analyze the Subject
When you take portraits, carefully analyze the subject you are portraying. It is essential that you detect if there are elements that can generate distraction and avoid giving them prominence. A watch that is too bright, a stain or wrinkle in clothing, or hair in front of the face are examples of things you can prevent by directing your model well.
Including elements or accessories in the composition can be interesting, but as long as the person portrayed is not left in the background. Getting along with the model and having fluid and relaxed communication will be the key to achieving natural and visually attractive poses.
Focus the Eyes Well
Another tip for portrait lovers. Focus on focusing the eyes well so that they appear completely sharp. Why? Well, because when we look at a portrait photograph, our gaze goes directly to the eyes of the model. It is a gesture that we make intuitively when establishing eye contact with a person.
The same thing happens with photography. Looking eyes first is our unconscious way of reading an image. Unless we are looking at a portrait without a face, the eyes usually acquire all the visual weight of an image. For this reason, if we achieve a portrait with well-focused eyes, we will visually attract the viewer who observes it.
Choose the Best Framing
When we take a photograph, we usually want to show something, so the object or subject being photographed should stand out from the rest of the image. This is why we make the main subject take up a significant portion of the photo or fill the frame as much as possible.
Take the same photo trying different framings to see which one works best for each situation. In portrait photography, many times we have to cut the subject somewhere. Choose well the parts that you want to leave out of the photograph and remember not to cut at the joints.
Use the Vertical Format
Are you one of those who only take pictures in the horizontal position of the camera? Remember that you can vary the format so that your photography gains more strength. Try taking the same photo horizontally and vertically to analyze them later and see which one you like best. But above all, why do you like it more?
Some elements such as buildings, trees, waterfalls or human figures have proportions that perfectly fit the vertical format. Normally we will place the ‘weight’ of the image at the bottom of the frame because we tend to read vertical images from bottom to top.
Change the Point of View
Do not take all photos from the same perspective. If you take them from your natural position, they will all look the same. Any position other than the classic one will bring a new point of view to your photographs, giving them a different touch.
Try to take photos varying the angle of the camera and get overhead shots, nadirs, high angle shots, low angle shots, etc. And thus get your own vision of a space or even a creative and original portrait.
Learn the Rules and Break Them
Surely you have heard about the rules of composition in photography: the law of the gaze, the rule of thirds, the rule of the horizon. The truth is that these are not unbreakable guidelines that you must follow to the letter. Compositional rules are more like easy to understand and easy to apply guides that can help you compose your photos.
For photographers who are just starting out, they can be very useful when it comes to framing and knowing how to distribute the visual weight of the elements in an attractive way. They will surely help you learn, but you don’t have to follow them all the time. In fact, over time, our advice is to try to break them while still getting spectacular photos.
Take Lots of Photos
Don’t be afraid to take lots of pictures. You are just starting out and, luckily, digital photography allows us to take photos without developing them or wasting physical film. You will only need space on a memory card with sufficient capacity.
In fact, the only expense you will have will be the batteries, so take photos without fear. When you transfer them to the computer, spend some time studying them and choosing the ones you like the most from the ones you’ve made, analyzing why they work better.