It is easier than ever for anyone to pick up their smartphone, take a few pictures, post them on social media and buoyed by positive feedback call themselves a photographer. However, there are several fundamental rules that you should follow which we will outline below.
If you are keen on becoming serious with a good DSLR or simply looking to up your photography game, you’ve come to the right place. However, if you’re only just starting out as a photographer, then you should conduct some research into the best cameras for beginners so you can be sure you’ve selected the right one for you.
A good camera isn’t cheap but you can get a decent price especially with online stores that have great deals like this Lazada discount or this Senheng promotion.
But once you do have your new camera or smartphone and you want your pictures to stand out from everyone else you see on your feed, what can you do?
Following these rules will help your photos to be more appealing, grab and retain attention and feel more “comfortable” for people to see as opposed to quick snap shots everyone is capable of taking with their phone.
This is a simple rule that many fall prey to. Understanding how to compose your shot and filling your frame correctly makes all the difference in the world.
This is especially so if you want to make a specific object or person the focus of your shot and if you don’t do a good job of blurring out the background, or have a really busy background, it can crowd the picture and be confusing to look at.
There are two options here, either move the subject if possible to a more suitable location or failing that you can blur out the background, crop, zoom and try to fill the frame with as much of your subject as possible.
Another common mistake many make when framing their shot is to not pay attention to their background resulting in unfortunate pictures that quite often end up making their way to social media. This can manifest in reflections, strange pictures such as trees growing straight up from heads, people or animals exhibiting strange behaviour in your background and anything really.
So, in short pay attention to your background and ensure it compliments your focus and doesn’t jostle with it for attention.
Another issue many make is to not pay attention to the person they are taking a picture off and cuts off their hair, ear and even body parts. This is usually caused by paying too much attention to the background and not the focus.
We’ve all probably seen or had this happen and it can ruin an otherwise perfect shot.
Watch the frames and ensure that you have the picture end nicely without any unintentional jarring amputations. There are exceptions to the rule and if it is your intention then go for it but this is a good general rule to follow for the most part.
Understand The Rule Of Thirds
The most well known rule of video and photography has to be the rule of thirds. Essentially, you are dividing your frame into nine equal segments with a set of intercrossing vertical and horizontal lines.
Placing the elements that you wish to focus upon either one of the lines or a an intercrossing gives your shot the space it needs for your focus to stand out without being crowded in by other elements. This works great for landscape photos with a specific focus and is a great way for beginners who are becoming more serious about photography to learn how to compose shots.
A caveat is that not all pictures follow the rule of thirds. This rule is more of a stepping stone to help you master framing and composition and once you do however, it is important to actually move away from using the rule of thirds and learning how to give your pictures their own voice and how to really make it your own.
One way to do so is to use natural frames such as plantlife, architecture to help give a sense of isolation to your subject and to guide the gaze to the point you want it to. Using this also can help give an image depth and more interesting to look at.
Utilizing architecture and nature
When we look at buildings, trees or flowers, our eyes are naturally drawn to specific points as intended and designed. Being able to use this can help create more dramatic pictures such as the one below.
Bridges are fantastic for this as the lines will tend to create a “wall” on either side and something placed straight in the centre will naturally become the focal point. You can even place multiple people on the bridge and it won’t feel too crowded or confusing.
Going a step further such as being able to use shapes such as points, circles or landmarks to highlight your focus is another great way to do it but much harder in practice. Looking out for natural symmetry, patterns and more can give your shots a dramatic effect as the repeated pattern will make your subject pop.
Less is more
If you feel the need to absolutely pack your frame to the brim with elements because you feel you need to, stop.
Just like in cooking, where adding way too many ingredients can lead to a confused, muddled dish, having too many elements creates too much visual noise and learning to prune your images or having the confidence to take simply composed pictures with minimal elements can help to improve your skills.