Amateur photographers: Easy hints

We all know how expensive photography equipment can be and if your not a photographer by profession, very often specialised equipment can be out of reach. So therefore this week our post is dedicated to amateur photographers, taking photos of family and friends, pets, nature and so on, with instant, point and shoot cameras. Even cell phones! Do not underestimate the quality of these digital little wonders!

There are ways that you can improve on the photos that you take to make it look more professional.

  • Golden-HourThe golden hour: Shoot your photos in the hour before sunset (or after sunrise, but let’s face it, that can be early!) With the sunlight soft and diffused, your photos will have a beautiful golden glow to be proud of. Faces, especially, can look way better in this light.
  • Check how much of your photo is bright. Your phone probably has a sensor to check the average brightness of every photo and calculate the estimate and set it automatically.  Let’s say you take a photo under an umbrella, the background might be very bright. The camera will notice this and set the brightness lower, so the faces might eventually turn out shadowy. Ways to fix: Get closer so that the faces take up more of the pic/ turn the camera so that there is something darker in the background.
  • Rule of thirds: If you devide the photo into thirds, try and get your focus point on one of the crosses. The human eye loves these points and it helps with composition. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, but first learn the rule.Rule-of-Thirds
  • IMG_8831Sun and shadow: Be very aware of sun and shadow! If a shadow falls across someones face it will spoil the photo. Watch for shadows under eyes: sometimes it’s better not to take photos in full sun, but rather in more diffused shadows. Here, the doggies face is in shadow and the sun on his body enhances the photo.
  • Composition: When shooting a group, do not place them in a line next to each other! Use an interesting alternative composition. Shooting in nature, remember depth and perception, perhaps placing some objects closer to the lens and some further.
  • Symmetry/ lines and patterns: Always be aware of how patterns look in the frame. Move your frame from side to side and watch the change if you concider patterns and lines. On photo, the lower angle and allowing the lines to flow out of the photo, creates distance.IMG_1514
  • IMG_9018Framing: sometimes it helps to have a natural ‘frame’ around the subject matter. Be aware of the back ground and whatever ‘frames’ the people you’re photographing. Leaves (as in photo) can help a lot with framing.
  • Have fun with your camera and flash: very often amateurs are threatened by either the camera or cell’s own flash or only uses it to flash someone head-on. Try using something in front of your flash, like different colour cellophane paper (called gels in photography) or coloured glass in front of the lens.
  • IMG_8992Perhaps use angles, like lying on the ground, to shoot with and create weird and wonderful photos. Remember to sometimes shoot up close, and sometimes with a wider angle. Here, with the baby the distorted baby bottle helps the photo.
  • All in all, remember that photography is your own point of view, and NO ONE can tell you it’s wrong. It’s supposed to be a lot of fun! Also remember that every photographer throws out a lot of photos to get that ONE beautiful one. That is one of the beauties of living in the digital age, right? It costs nothing.

Till next week