Peter Mckinnon – A well-known figure on YouTube. He’s an incredible photographer especially when it comes to understanding the basic principles of photography.
Here I’m going to share a few of those principles with you.
Instead of just quickly thinking about it and taking the shot, take a minute or two and really think about it. Play around with it in your mind’s eye, also known as visualisation.
Move your subject or object a little bit to the right or to the left, take a step back or forward. Get on the ground, climb on the roof. (Please be careful)
Take a second to really think what it is you want to capture of or about your object/subject. Then you capture that instead of it.
2) Shoot through
Shoot through something. I can’t emphasise this tip enough. It can drastically change the quality of your photo. It can easily give it that ‘professional look’ because it seems like you’ve put more thought into it – which you obviously have.
Dangle something in front of your object/subject. Place it behind something or between something. Have fun and get creative.
3) Think Opposite
When everyone is taking a photo from the left, take a photo from the right. It makes it different. It adds that uniqueness to it.
There are no strict ‘rules’ for photography. They’re more like guidelines. Use them or throw them out the window.
Before you take your shot, say to yourself, everyone takes a shot from this spot. What is completely opposite of what everyone else does? And then go and do that.
You might just surprise yourself.
Or it could suck.
Give it a try either way.
The second thing I can’t emphasise enough.
The word “photography” was created from the Greek roots φωτός (phōtos), genitive of φῶς (phōs), “light” and γραφή (graphé) “drawing”, together meaning “drawing with light“.
If your lighting conditions are poor or you have very little light, ‘drawing’ a picture is going to be very difficult. (Unless that was what you were going for.)
Depending on what you’re shooting, choose your light carefully. It can make or break your photo.
Sunrise is great for soft gentle light. Sunset is great for harsh saturated light. Shooting something midday can be very tricky. If you’re shooting indoors, for you food bloggers out there, move to a window. There’s no light better than natural sunlight.
Never underestimate a cloudy day. It can be one of the best times to shoot as the clouds are like a giant softbox diffusing the light. (Basically, you can go and shoot anywhere outside without worrying about harsh light, because the clouds soften the light.)
This can be combined with shooting through something to help frame your object or subject.
Confused by some photography terminology? Here’s a list of photography jargon.
If you found this helpful, here are 5 photography tips for beginners.
Learn about developing your eye for detail.
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