As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, my neighbor has taught me a lot about photography, which is currently his side-business. I recently helped him create a site to show his awesome work, in return for a guest post on my blog to share more of his photography wisdom. Hope you enjoy!Wendy was kind enough to let me “guest post” on her blog about photography. I use digital gear for portrait and event photography. With digital SLR’s like the Canon Rebel dropping steadily in price, more people have access to amazing imaging machines with more features you could ever use. Even digital point-and-shoots boast more bells and whistles than high-end film cameras of old. Trouble is, as complex and powerful as these cameras have become, many people don’t know simple rules for taking better pictures. So, here are some ideas to quickly improve your photographs, regardless of what camera you use:
5) The most direct route from a good picture to a great picture is the time-tested “rule of thirds”. I’ll bet many of you put your subject smack-dab in the middle to avoid the old fear of cutting someone’s head halfway out of the frame. While simple and effective, it also makes for rather static, boring pictures.
To use this rule, cut the frame into thirds horizontally and vertically. The main focus point of your picture (like the person’s eyes) should be near one of the intersecting points.
For whatever reason, our brains like to view things following the “rule of thirds”. Look at any magazine ad, the Mona Lisa, any of your favorite photographs. Chances are the main focus lies at or near one of these intersecting points in the frame.
Here’s how to do it:
a) Focus on the main subject and press the camera shutter halfway down. This focuses the camera on your subject (always the eyes in portraits).
b) Keep pressing the shutter halfway down, locking the camera’s focus on the subject.
c) Move the camera slightly to recompose the shot, placing the subject near one of these intersection points (usually the top intersection points for portraits).
d) Press the shutter all the way down to take the picture.
6) Last but not least, sometimes break all the rules. Take pictures from crazy angles. Partially cut off the subject in the frame. You’ll develop your own style. Wendy has some great examples of this throughout her blog – she has some amazing shots!
I hope these ideas help you create better images of your world. Check out www.sniderphotos.com to see examples of these rules at work. Good luck, and keep shooting. - Scott Snider