Everyone’s a photographer these days, right? We all walk around with this amazing device that we call a smartphone that allows us to talk to friends, but also allows us to take photographs with such high-resolution that we would have needed an expensive DSLR camera to take not so long ago. But photography isn’t really point and shoot if you want to be really good at it, and there are some things you can do to improve your end result. Below is a video by photography expert, Joshua Cripps, offering some great advice on how you can improve your photography.
Video Transcript: “Hey everybody. welcome to professional photography tips. I’m Josh scripts that I’m going to show you how you can take amazing photos with any camera whether it’s an SLR or an iPhone and all by understanding seven simple principles of photography. Now these principles are dramatic glee over simplified totally subjective and the list is by no means exhaustive or comprehensive. Nevertheless if you’re new to photography and wondering how to start improving your images. This is a great place to begin. So let’s dive in.
Fill the frame with what you like
This is the most important rule of photography and the only rule you should never break. Zooming is ok but the best zoom lens is your legs so get closer. Now this goes for everything you could possibly want to shoot landscapes, wildlife, people, monkeys. Fill the frame with what you like and get rid of everything else. Boring blue sky. Not exciting you get rid of it. Tree branches, lunchboxes, random people other clutter distracting the elements. Ditch it. Ditch it ditch it philosophically. This is your task. Every time you take a picture. Figure out what the photo is really about. Fill the frame with those elements and get rid of everything else.
Simplify & Exaggerate
A good photo was like a caricature. It simplifies and exaggerates. Now that you’ve figured out what to put in your photo. Think about how you can exaggerate its characteristics. These contrasting colors to make your subject stand out use other objects to create a sense of scale. Big or small. Use a long shutter speed to emphasize movement or zoom in on one particular feature. Try changing your focal length your perspective or your white balance to exaggerate certain characteristics. When you simplify and exaggerate you create photos with focus and punch.
Don’t Center your Subject
Instead use the rule of thirds. Divide your photo up into an imaginary tic tac toe board then placed the most important elements on those vertical and horizontal lines. This lets us define a relationship between our subjects emphasize what you think is most important or create a visual gateway through the photo. The major exception to the rule of thirds is anytime you want to parts of your photo to have the same visual weight – reflections, counterpoint, juxtaposition and abstract. These are all great times to use the rule of halves or quarters or one over pie or whatever feels right.
Use what’s called a near, far composition to create depth and pull people into your image by having a foreground subject close to your camera and a background subject far away from your camera. You create a story and a context for your image. You also create a three dimensional sense of depth and perspective. If you have a wide angle lens you can use this technique to great effect by going all the way wide and getting super close to your foreground subject.
Connect the Dots
If you have multiple subjects in your photo then the story of your image is about the connection between those subjects. And your viewer will understand that connection 10 times better if you use some kind of a line to visually connect those elements. We call these leading lines because they lead from one subject to another. Leading lines are also a great way to give your viewer a visual journey through your photo. Anything can be a good leading or connecting line if you use the right perspective. Use a river to connect your foreground to your background. Use the sand dunes Ridge to draw the viewer’s eye through your frame a crack in the ice or the lines in a piece of sandstone. No matter how you use them leading lines are an awesome way to connect the elements of your photo and to create a visual journey for your viewers.
Perspective is Everything
One of the best ways to make somebody say hey that’s an interesting photo is to show them something they’ve never seen before. We spend our whole lives looking at the world from eye level. So why take a picture from my level. It’s the same old boring perspective. But from down things take on a whole new life. So get up get down get on the ground and show the world your perspective.
Lighting is Everything
Unfortunately, the most common time to be out doing stuff the middle of the day is often the worst time for photography because of the harsh quality of the light and shadow. So what can you do. Well the best solution photographically speaking is to come back another time. Sunrise and sunset usually offer the most interesting skies and the most pleasing light on your foreground. Alternatively you can move into the shade shady conditions or cloudy conditions. Gives a nice soft even light that’s very flattering for things like portraits or flower photography.
But sometimes coming back or moving to another spot isn’t practical. You’re here now. So what can you do. Simple use directional lighting to your advantage. Instead of shooting toward the sun which while it can be dramatic usually makes your subject go completely black. So shoot along with the sun away from the sun or put the sun at an angle. But if that killer shot is looking right at the sun don’t despair. The technique here is to expose for the brightest part of the scene and let everything else go into shadow. Digital cameras have almost no capability to retain detail in the highlights but they have an insane capability to retain detail in the shadows. So if you expose for the brightest part of the scene you’d be amazed what you can recover in post-processing whether you’re shooting with the SLR or an iPhone.
Break All the Rules
Finally break all the rules except number one. Photography isn’t about following rules it’s about having fun and showing people the way that you see the world. So don’t be afraid to experiment or go out on a limb as long as there’s some method to your madness. You’re creating art. So get out there and shoot.”
For more great photography tips like this, visit https://www.joshuacripps.com