Basic photographic principles are the foundation for both digital and film photography. When we ignore them, the basics of learning photography go out the window. It’s time to bring photography back into digital.
Learning digital photography in our instant society is only possible by applying the basic principles of good photography. Digital is another tool and there is no real fast way of doing this. BUT… If you are prepared to follow these six quick photography principles you’re on the road to learning digital photography fast. And I really mean fast. So here goes.
1. Choose your subject carefully.
This is the centerpiece of your photo. Make sure you identify a suitable subject and focus on this. Not negotiable. If the subject is not clearly identifiable your photo will be below average.
2. Place you subject intelligently.
Divide your image into thirds vertically and horizontally. Imagine 2 lines across and 2 lines down. Where these lines intersect place your subject on one of these points. If you have a horizon in the image, line it up with one of the 2 horizontal lines.
3. Get closer to your subject.
Most times the subject is what you want to remember about the scene you are recording. So get as much of it in your photo. This is especially so with family photos. Have smaller groups of people shot closer to the camera.
4. Exclude clutter from around your subject.
Make sure that there are no trees or telephone poles sticking out the top of your subject’s head. Unless you particularly want to remember the garbage can, bicycle, microwave or signboard, leave them out of the scene. Look for anything that you don’t want to see in 20 years when viewing the photos and exclude it.
5. Look at your subject from a different angle.
Shoot from up higher (above the subject) or lower (looking up at the subject). Find a different angle so that the image is unique a gives you a different more interesting aspect.
6. Change your viewpoint.
Most people stand in front of the subject and just shoot away. Move around looking through your viewfinder and find a different position that gives a more interesting shot. Experimenting is the key.
Finally here’s a bonus tip. Choose a subject you want to photograph and shoot it in 50 different ways. Shoot from high, low, the left, the right, directly above. Get in really close, turn your camera at an angle, hold the camera above your head. Change your viewpoint, walk away from the subject, lie on your back or lie on your stomach. It may sound a lot but when you try it you’ll see it’s possible. When you’ve finished, browse through all the images and you will be amazed at your ability. You will have found a new and different angle that will amaze your friends and family. Don’t worry about feeling stupid if you want to get that great shot.
Follow these 6 basic photographic principles and your photos will improve dramatically and very fast. Within hours your friends will be complimenting you on your great images.
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