3 (More) Tips for Better Photos
For all of you who had a chance to take a look at Part 1 of this series the last time, we bring you even more bits of knowledge about photography and composition. If you are new to this blog, we encourage you to visit the past installments on this theme, but it’s not a big deal if you don’t start from the very beginning. The beauty of visual knowledge is that it all ties together in the end. There is no such thing as “complex” photography, only a more practiced eye, and that is exactly what we are hoping to pass along in this series.
You might have heard of this before from professionals and amateurs alike, but that is only because by reminding yourself of this simple trick whenever you are about to take a photo, you will soon notice that your images are gaining a more professional look. Here’s how. Don’t just stand there at shoot whatever interesting subject is in front of you. Consider it from a different angle. Ask yourself: is it something that would gain interest from the top? from the bottom? from an extreme close up or from really far away?
Here, the composition is curiously divided in half, because the photographer chose to place the camera on the floor of the train (perhaps not the most sanitary decision, but one that gets eye catching results!)
A well chosen vantage point can also bring forth interesting emotional responses, such as here, where the towering flowers make one feel small like a bug.
Compare the two images above. Which one is more dramatic? (The answer is the second one, showing a thought through, less lazy approach of capturing a simple cup of coffee).
Big vs. Small
If it’s not the angle that can make all the difference, it’s the size of your subject. Think about making something really small appear huge or something that’s already huge appear tiny in your composition. Consider the following (rather boring) shot of the air balloon:
Now compare it to this one:
All of a sudden the grandure of traveling through the open air is revealed through side by side comparisons with the landscape below, to other balloons, and by making the enormity of the balloon itself a mere spec within the frame.
Zoom in in order to focus on the details. Shoes are a boring subject matter in themselves, but once certain textures and colors become the main focus, the boring is eliminated.
Same with the images of the leaves. Don’t be afraid to go too small!
Traffic as seen from a two story window…
Traffic as seen from the top of the Arc of Triumph! Here, both the vantage point and the “big/small” principle are in use.
People appear to be ant-sized in this down view of the street…
Remember when you were a kid and outlined everything in your drawings? Well, that is because back then you knew something that you most likely forgot later – lines are everywhere! And they do a very good job of leading in and out of the composition, making amazing patterns and literally underlining your subject matter. Take a look at the examples below:
As you can see, the line is a strong tool to use. Lines come in all shapes and sizes and can create a dramatic effect if captured in the right way. They do not have to be thin or straight, as you can see above. Pathways, trails, trees, even buildings contain a multitude of interesting lines that are curvy, wide, parallel or perpendicular, all there to keep the viewer’s eye wondering within the composition.
That’s all for this week. Don’t forget to check in for more informative tips on photography and more in our future posts! Have fun and shoot on!