For any photographer, capturing the perfect shot is an eternal aspiration. It’s why we invest time and resources into improving our equipment, staying up to speed with the latest innovations, and learning about amazing places to take our cameras.
If you’re a promising amateur or an enthusiast looking to refine your skills, allow us to share the 10 principles of amazing photography. Keep reading to discover how you can make the best of every snap!
1. Never Underestimate the Power of Great Lighting
The quality of lighting can make or break a photograph. Too bright, and you risk washing out the detail of the scene you wish to capture. Too dark, and you’re likely to have a grainy result with barely more than faint outlines.
Use natural light to your advantage. Sunrise and sunset present warm illumination that works perfectly for landscapes and wildlife, and you can create spectacular silhouettes by keeping bright sunlight behind your subject. To capture an exceptional portrait, utilize the soft lighting of an overcast day.
The middle of a sunny day is often the least successful time to take a photo, as there is an overabundance of light, causing an excessive amount of exposure. Don’t be afraid to reschedule a shoot if the light isn’t right.
When using artificial lighting, utilize the same principles as you would with natural light. Avoid overexposure, but ensure there is sufficient illumination to capture the detail you require. Play around with settings and take test shots to be certain.
2. The Importance of Symmetry
Symmetry can be a powerful artistic tool, allowing you to draw the eye to a focal point, demonstrate interesting patterns, or create dynamic tension.
If you were to take a picture of a pier, for example, you would most likely make use of its natural symmetry by centering its path. This allows the audience to be drawn to the very last board of the pier, and out to the ocean and horizon just beyond it. Symmetry emphasizes the immediacy of what you are trying to portray, evoking an emotional response that connects the viewer with the scene.
3. Creatively Framing Your Subjects
When composing a photograph, you will usually have at least one focal point on which to direct attention. The way in which you arrange the photo to centre the subject is called framing.
There can be many elements to this. You may wish to use surroundings, such as buildings, foliage, signs, or interesting props to do this. A natural frame may present itself. When setting up your shot, take a look around and determine whether you’re in the best place to frame your subject. If not, change location or try a different angle until you find the perfect spot.
4. Diving into Depth
It can be difficult to transfer the rich complexity of what is seen with the naked eye to a flat image. When taking a photograph, careful consideration must be given to the composition of a scene in order to convey its original depth.
Utilise elements surrounding the subject in order to create a well-defined background, middle ground, and foreground. This will help to create depth in your image. Usually, the subject would be in the foreground, but you are free to be creative with how you arrange your scene.
5. The Rule of Thirds
When preparing to take a photograph, use guidelines in the live view (or imagine them if you are using a traditional viewfinder) to arrange the scene. Guidelines should form a grid similar to that used in tic tac toe.
Guidelines allow you to set up the shot for maximum impact. Placing the subject at an intersection point, away from the centre, is best. Instead of simply glancing at the centre of the picture, the viewer will be drawn in, resulting in a more meaningful interaction.
6. Use Leading Lines Properly
Using lines is an effective way of leading the viewers to gaze to the subject of the photograph, particularly if it is in the background or within a busy environment. Earlier we discussed the example of a photo of a pier; its linear attributes would provide a useful guide toward a subject further back in the picture, such as the setting sun.
Look for leading lines in your own compositions; they are particularly useful for landscapes and in urban settings.
7. Adding Depth and Texture with Patterns
Many stock photos can only be licensed for a one time use. We all know that marketing requires frequent publishing and on many platforms. These include blogs, social media, website and other channels. The one time use licensing would mean that the image you used on your site is not the same one you use on your Facebook account.
Aside from that, when you want to publish a message about your brand, you might not find stock images that relate closely to the ones you previously used. This jumbles up your marketing message and makes it inconsistent. No one will believe you.
8. Backgrounds and Photography
A complementary background is crucial to a good photograph. Consider a portrait. If the background is busy and cluttered, it draws attention from the subject. Instead, a neutral background in a solid colour is best; this allows the subject to take prominence.
In other forms of photography, the background need not be as uniform. Use it to create depth and develop richness within the photograph. Always think of it as the scene-setter, and give it appropriate time and consideration.
When thinking about action in photography, you needn’t imagine a fast car speeding by. Action can be more subtle, such as the gentle movement of a crowd, the silhouette of an acrobat, or a single droplet of water springing from a surface.
Capturing action brings a narrative to the photograph; it tells you a lot within a single frame. It’s not necessary for the viewer to see the entirety of a motorcycle race to know what’s happening; one shot of a bike emerging from a dusty start line does precisely that. It may take time to develop your technique, but it’s certainly worth persevering.
It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s quite a responsibility! By utilizing the techniques described above, you will be able to nail the technical aspects of photography. However, there’s more to it than that.
To make a meaningful connection with the viewer, think about the story you’re trying to tell. Compose your photograph in such a way that the narrative is clear, or at least provides food for thought. Your picture is more than a flat image; it is a gateway to the world.
Professional Commercial Photography
I have the hands-on experience and know what is obtainable in the commercial photography industry and I will use this knowledge to provide exceptional photography services which will help you send clear and concise messages to your customers in the most cost-efficient manner, stamping your brand as one to do business with. If you’re looking for professional photography services for your product or business, don’t hesitate to contact me.