Photography Hacks: Tips, Tricks, and Cheats.
If you’re looking to improve your photography skills with minimal effort, look no further. Here are some easy ways to achieve more composed images. Important elements to keep in mind are positioning and lighting. Here are some tips on how to work with these to master photos that are sure to make you proud!
Rule of Thirds
Imagine your image is divided into a 3x3 grid. The rule of thirds suggests that you should place your subject or most important element away from the center, ideally at a point where the lines cross.
Placing your subject of interest off-center is actually much more pleasing to the eye, as it creates a sense of balance.
Keep in mind, however, that leaving too much of a void can create a sense of emptiness. Think of maintaining a 2:1 ratio, meaning dedicating one third of the space to one element and the other two thirds to another element or a background.
The purpose of leadings lines is to create a path for the eyes of the viewer to follow through different elements of your photo. Leading lines can be used to add depth and perspective, guide the eyes’ focus, or draw different elements of the scene together.
Leading lines give your image a more sophisticated composure, and often work very well with aspects of nature and architecture: try experimenting with trees, roads, rivers, lamp posts, etc. Regardless, I’d recommend using a large depth of field to make sure everything is in focus.
Remember, different types (and directions) of lines evoke different effects!
Composition makes a huge difference in any style of photography. Work with depth perception and camera placement to create the impression of imagery that might not be how we would typically view the subject.
A classic example is the typical tourist shot of “holding up” the Leaning Tower of Pisa! Changing perspective allows you to transform the viewpoint of the audience, leaving them with a newfound way to look at the world and your image.
Some easy ways to practice working with perspective are simply positioning yourself as the photographer in ways that aren’t so typical—so drop down to the floor and start snapping away!
Taking portraits is a pastime that allows us to document our loved ones as we see and remember them. Depending on the purpose of the portrait, the techniques you use can vary widely.
One thing to always keep in mind is the importance of proper posing. Especially when shooting more “typical” posed photos, make sure your subject is positioned in the most photogenic way possible! This means chin forward and down to create a flattering angle of the face with a jawline and bigger eyes. And don’t forget about body positioning—work with spacing and angles to ensure that your subject doesn’t end up looking larger than they actually are.
These tips are just as important to consider when shooting nontraditional portraiture, but there is definitely more creative freedom. Remember that eyes often tell the story!
Don’t forget to include some emotion and personality with your subject—after all, your goal is to capture all of them in a single photograph!
Silhouette photos have an incredible air of meaning and mystery to them, and leave much more to the creative vision of the viewer.
To capture a crisp silhouette, make sure that your subject has a defined outline so that they stand out in contrast to their background. And speaking of the background, do make sure the background is brighter than the subject! Sunsets are prime time slots for silhouettes.
You want to meter your exposure off of the sky, then focus on your subject. Then, you’ll come away with a photo that really captures the attention of your audience.
Backlighting can definitely be tricky to work with, as it’s easy to settle into comfortable front lighting. If you’re looking to capture some truly creative shots and explore beyond your comfort zone, mastering the backlighting technique will leave you with magical, glowing images.
Timing is everything – try to capture your backlighting during “magic hours”, right as the sun is rising or just before it sets. Try not to have the sun directly in your shot so that you can minimize flare. When shooting into the light, you’ll actually want to overexpose the meter a bit so that your subjects are dark enough to see.
This technique is definitely one that takes a lot of practice and patience, but the end results are always worth it!
What are your photography tips? Tell us in the comments below!