Take better photographs : composition

I don’t know how you feel about New Year resolutions. I am trying a new version of resolutions: not a “must do it otherwise I failed”.. but a gentler self-encouragement. One of these is blogging more. I’d like to blog about my work but also more generally about people and subjects that I find interesting and would like to share with you.

Today I want to start with the basics: most people take photos, phones are becoming better at it and today I saw a portable printer for phone photos by Fuji. Even bad cameras can help everyone improve their photography skills. So if you want to take better photos, start here.

Basically in photography, there are 2 sets to consider: the technical aspect but you need to have control over how the camera takes photos so not today and the composition.

Today I am starting with the very basic, please don’t be offended if you find this too simple (I added a * version to take each step further) Here are 2 simple steps you can take towards better composition. Please take one at a time. One step, practice, get better, feel good, have fun!

1- This is really the first one: declutter Our eyes are very good at seeing what we focus on and ignoring the rest, just as we can hear our baby’s whimper in a noisy room, but on a photograph we can’t ignore the cluttered, distracting background, so take your time, look at what/ who you want on the photos then look around, all around, see if there are branches sticking out of their head, or dirty laundry in the corner, strange reflections or shadows, aim for less. Do that when you take a photo and when you look at photos, look at what shouldn’t be there. It’s like everything the more you do it, the more naturally it comes.

1* Remove background. The title photo I shot outdoors but brought some black card to isolate the Chinese lanterns. I had to try different positions so the card was in shade and the plant in the light- which is why I wear trousers when I shoot, I get into very strange positions!

2- Light. Obvious really as “photography” means “writing with light” (hence the name Lumiere) Light is everything in photography. Learn to see it, where it comes from, its colour- warmer earlier and later in the day, its shadows, the dappled shade that is best to avoid as patterns on faces rarely look attractive. Experiment with objects how they look different if you turn them slightly, do that with people too if they’re willing. Window light is fantastic: explore! A sunny day with indirect light is good, so indoor/outdoor like under an archway or other semi roof building, in an even shade but as near the light as you can without shadows. Bright grey days are great too as you can go anywhere and have soft, even light.

2* If you want to add light start with a reflector: take a white T shirt/tea towel/canvas/sheet of paper/polystyrene/thing and place it so it bounces light back in the shaded area of the face or even underneath. Really not that hard, have a go, play, you’ll be amazed.

To see other tips, click here

If you need help with anything photography related, give me a call, Alix 07763064497

 

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